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A Ship Stuck in Port for 54 Days Hurts Small Business

This is the not-so-festive tale of how one small container ship being stuck in a port for 54 days has had a lasting impact on small businesses that were relying on the ship to deliver Christmas goods from Hong Kong to Los Angeles.

It was what many businesses were fearing would happen – jams at shipping ports that would mean huge delays on deliveries in time for Christmas.

The small container ship, A Kinka, left Hong Kong in late August that was loaded with Christmas goods, including TVs, cookware, guitars and 26,000 back gammon and chess sets for a small toy company in California.

According to marine tracking data, A Kinka arrived in Los Angeles on September 12th, and found itself caught up in a bottleneck of a dozen ships at the port. There it would float in the Pacific Ocean for 54 days before it could finally unload its cargo.

On the A Kinka were Halloween boots that did not arrive in time for trick or treating, and another company did not get paid for over $250,000 worth of lighting fixtures it had sold until they weren’t delivered. 

Over 100 companies were relying on the container ship to deliver on time, many of whom were small businesses who were waiting on just one or two containers along with bigger companies such as Amazon, who have since decided to charter private ships to avoid further delays. This is of course something small businesses cannot afford to do, and they have been left with disgruntled customers waiting for their purchases.

Due to the global supply chain being at breaking point, which has left businesses and consumers frustrated, driven inflation sky high, and delayed the delivery of produce from China, the story of A Kinka is just one of many similar stories of shipping delays.

This week, furniture giant warned of supply chain disruptions and shipping delays and said it would defer $45 million of its revenue into the new year.

The extended factory closures in Vietnam, congestion in global ports and extended shipping times has seen customers receiving delayed deliveries. said those disruptions had “worsened in recent months, negatively impacting the timing of stock intake”.

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Source: Wall Street Journal

Retail Gazette