A Perfect Storm: Supply Chain Battered by Chinese Port Closures, Trains, Trucks, and Workers

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The supply chain crisis isn’t just coming, it’s already here.

As Americans face empty shelves across the country, skyrocketing prices on everything, and a constant worker shortage, it’s impossible to ignore – the supply chain crunch is here. And it isn’t getting any better as a perfect storm gathers to decimate our inventory of goods.

Consider this: China is the world’s biggest trading nation. Anything they do market-wise reverberates throughout the world. Who is America’s largest trade partner? China. What happens when China decides to shut down some of its ports? Americans feel the crunch.

This is what has just happened, as China has shut down the busiest port in the world by shipping volume – the city of Ningbo. In addition, the port of Tianjin has also been locked down, with many people being completely barred from leaving their homes at all.

Port of Tianjin.

These aren’t the only cities in China which have been locked down – Xi’an has as well (where there’s recently been an outbreak of hemorrhagic fever) – but they are both major ports.

Currently, sailing schedules within China are delayed by a week, and cargo ships are being forced to divert to Shanghai with hopes of loading and offloading their cargo. We’ve discussed before here at TOP how there have been serious cargo ship holdups off of the Pacific Coast here in America. And this is most certainly a major problem. Cargo ships carry massive amounts of goods.

And then there are the trains.

Not only can we not get products into or out of these United States. Now, we’re having a difficult time transporting it about our own land as well.

This past October, 2021, one of America’s largest railroads, Union Pacific, began a legal battle with its union workers over Biden’s jab mandate. The CEO of Union Pacific wanted to force this mandate upon his workers, and in return, they threatened to strike.

It was then on October 15, 2021, that Union Pacific filed a lawsuit against the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Railroad, and Transportation Workers (SMART) – Transportation Division. Union Pacific asked the federal judge presiding over the case to find SMART guilty of violating federal labor law.

As of January 13, these workers, as well as others from other train-related unions have begun steps to go on strike. A recent attendance policy change has proven to be the final straw, and now, The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, which contains 17,000 members, and the BNSF have also joined the fray, with threats of strike.

According to President Ferguson and Pierce of the BNSF, “This new attendance policy may be the tipping point for what may be the ‘great railroad resignation.’”

BNSF pointed out that this movement is a trend as well. They stated, “As is the growing trend among all major rail carriers, the working conditions at BNSF have deteriorated to the point that there are many tenured employees leaving the railroad industry because they can no longer tolerate the treatment that they must endure on a daily basis.” [source]

The supply chain crunch extends to the trucks.

Not only do we have a container ship problem, but logistics workers are leaving their jobs. But perhaps we can rely on the truckers? Well, it appears that this industry currently has its own set of problems.

As of October 2021, there was an estimated 80,000 trucking positions that needed to be filled within America, a record high. Trucking companies are not able to find the drivers they need, and the product isn’t getting shipped quickly as a result.

This is even affecting the packages which should show up at your doorstep. USPS has pointed out that there is a shortage of mail carriers nationwide.

FedEx has seen similar staffing shortages, to the extent that they recently experienced a $470 million dollar loss. Things have actually gotten so bad for FedEx that they’re forced to reroute approximately 600,000 packages a day due to their labor shortage.

When cargo ships can’t unload at port, when trains aren’t showing up to the station, when there’s nobody to drive the trucks or deliver the packages, can we say anything other than that the supply chain crunch is already here?

And it’s not just logistics. It’s shop workers as well.

What happens if you own a small grocery store but can’t find anybody to put your produce on the shelves in time? What happens if your ground beef is left too long out of refrigeration because you were too busy stacking lettuce? You’ve likely felt the end-results of these staffing shortages at restaurants of late. Has the service recently grown incomparable to how it was even a year ago?

People are quitting in record droves. Washington recently lost 3% of its state labor force within a single day. America now has two consecutive months of record high quitting rates. From March to September 2021, we saw quits increase by 24.3%. Colorado recently broke its record for most number of employees quitting. (It appears people hate tyranny.)

This supply chain crunch is going to affect your daily life on a very personal level.

You need to get your preps in order now. This is a downward spiral.

If your business needs product that comes from overseas, do you have plenty of it in stock? If the medicines you need come from far away, have you built up your supplies to outride any “buffering” time? Do you have enough food to keep your family fed until you can get more?

It’s currently impossible to get chicken wings at any of the restaurants in my area. Gas is high, and food prices are rising. Have you prepared for this? Have you built your American Free Market Network?

The world is going the way of John Galt and things are getting crazy.

Please, get your preps in order. You’re going to need them.

Check out our free QUICKSTART Guide on where to begin. Then, read this book.

Are you prepared for the supply chain disaster?

How are you preparing for the perfect storm surrounding the supply chain? Do you have any tips to share with other readers? Let’s discuss it in the comments.

About Aden

Aden Tate has a master’s in public health and is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com, TheFrugalite.com, PewPewTactical.comSurvivalBlog.comSHTFBlog.comApartmentPrepper.comHomesteadAndPrepper.com, and PrepperPress.com. Along with being a freelance writer, he also works part-time as a locksmith. Aden has an LLC for his micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

 

 

Aden Tate

Aden Tate

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  • This will make the situation worse.

    Canada-US vaccine mandates for truckers threaten worse supply chain disruptions
    “80% of two-way trade between the U.S. and Canada is shipped using trucks.”
    The Canadian mandate went into effect on January 15th.
    The American mandate goes into effect on January 22nd.

    “We’re expecting an exit rate of 10-15% of our 120,000 drivers. So, that’s 12,000 to 18,000 people out of the system.”
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/economy/canada-us-vaccine-mandates-for-truckers-threaten-worse-supply-chain-disruptions

  • When they first started talking Covid I started stocking up on everything I used.

    I guessed at how long a tube or toothpaste lasted and bought a years worth. When I opened a new tube I wrote the date down, then I wrote down the date I opened the next one. That told me how many tubes I used in a year. I checked my supplies and adjusted accordingly making sure I had at least one extra.

    I did this for everything I use.

    For over the counter meds I bought a bunch of everything. We don’t use pepto bismull much but I bought a bunch just in case.

    Now I just restock as we use it.

    • I think we need to think outside of the box. What happens when you can’t RESTOCK? What happens if there is an EMP and we lose power or something else happens.? Civil war or any other thing, then what? SO, the more you have, the better prepared you will be…Storage space is needed of course. Maybe an extra bedroom could have products there on shelves, or you can buy a storage shed, store things in your laundry room if you have one. But people with limited space will certainly have a hard time stocking up and storing. SO, just food for thought. People living in efficiencies, studio apartments or even in 1 bedroom will have storage issues. People that are in mobile home and even campers will also have storage issues. Many people are downsizing now and moving into tiny houses and buses. My town has a place that sells those tiny houses on wheels, they are cute and pretty, however the storage space is almost nonexistent. Well, that’s all economical and well, however they offer little storage space so think twice before downsizing so much that you have no room left for those extras that you know you will eventually need…Take care! Better safe than sorry! Wandakate

      • Having at least a year or everything is only a part of my plan. It’s the smooth out the bumps plan.

        If there is an EMP or Civil war or someother incident that basically changes our society for good, or for several years, we go to the bug out plan. That means moving to a 160 acre farm where we can grow, raise and hunt our food.

        The bottom line for me is that I have done everything possible to help me survive whatever happens short of spending millions or dollars or things I can’t do anything about like the sun going supernova.

        I’m sure I’ll find holes in my plans and preps but I’ll deal with them as they crop up.

        • “That means moving to a 160 acre farm where we can grow, raise and hunt our food”

          farming isn’t a walk-in-and-startup thing, takes quite a while to come up to speed.

          “Having at least a year or everything”

          five years.

  • My husband and I are very lucky because even though we live in a college town in Michigan where people seem to love government tyranny we are surrounded by local farms for miles all around. One of our philanthropist neighbors and her family started two permanent, year round farm stands that sells locally produced meat, dairy, cheese, dry goods, produce, bread, beer, wine, chocolate, soap and more. 80% of the profits go back to the farmers and producers! So for us, that’s where the bulk of our food comes from.

    The only dark spot is that the philanthropist/owners fired all their unvaccinated workers. 🙁

    I voiced my outrage to the owner (She’s a very good person, a friend and she was open to information I sent her about vaccine injuries) but I can’t bring myself to totally boycott something that’s been so good for our city. It’s very disturbing and I’m actually thinking I may make my own arrangements with the local farms myself.

  • Great article!! I work in the rail industry and have seen this coming for several years. I have been warning all that I can. We have seen many disruptions in our work, mostly due to management decisions. Freight is intentionally delayed due to a process called PSR which is a way to maximize profits. The only ones that profit are shareholders and upper management. The industries that are serviced, the transportation workers and the customers are all losing on this. In the next month there is a very high probability that BNSF union employees will strike due to a new attendance program. A large majority of the transportation employees work on call, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They are currently allowed up to 7 days a month off, the new policy to go into affect will greatly limit their time off forcing many to be disciplined and eventually terminated. That is the goal of this system to do more work with even less than they already are. The end product they want is to operate trains without any crews.
    If this all goes through can you imagine what 1 lost day of freight delivery will do to our weak supply chain? It will be a ripple affect that will take a long time to recover from.

  • I always try to buy ahead. Toilet paper, paper towels, personal hygiene etc. I bought a small freezer for my garage. The only thing I can’t buy ahead are my meds – I only really take one and get a 90 day supply at a time.

    • MARY, you can ALWAYS buy extra medicine if you paid cash for it. I have done it before with my high blood pressure medicine and Walgreens or CVS will do it and maybe even Walmart and others. Ask them if you can buy it for cash. One time back in 2014 in Missouri bought a years’ worth. YES, it cost me $$$ but it was worth it b/c it eased my mind. Now I am looking into getting off of it altogether since it’s synthetic and not good for my body. Side effects are not bothering me, but the long-term effects of ANY medicine are NOT good, but then that usually is just common sense. Sometimes I do wonder if we don’t take it just b/c it’s a habit. Check it out and good luck to you.

      • That works only if your Health Care Provider is OK with the idea of you stocking up on your meds. Not all doctors are willing to prescribe that far ahead.

    • You can buy many medicines online from RiverPharmacy. You do not need a prescription to buy them. I bought Ivermectin, Hydroxycloroquine and an antibiotic from there months ago. It Does take about 4 weeks to get it though. You can see all the meds they have on their website and there are a ton. I received them packaged just like they would be If You bought them here.

  • I own a small Mom & Pop Shop that does Media Conversions (think Legacy Box but way smaller) in the Free-State of Florida. We have definitely seen supply problems. DVD & CD Disc shortages of brands we use, packaging supplies hard to find, etc. And if you do find the stuff you need, the price has jumped 20% or more compared to what was paid the last time we ordered. When our price for supplies goes up….we pass that cost on to the customer with higher prices. Up until 2020 we hadn’t raised prices since 2010. Now we’ve raised prices this month and we might have to raise them again on some items.

    Let’s Go Brandon!

    • I own a small propane company and since 2014 my bottle gas prices have stayed the same. Bottle gas is considered 20lb grill tanks up to 100lb cylinders. This year i raised prices 35% and still make less than idid a year ago. I have a very high turnover so I can keep my price lower than most and thats the only reason I didn’t go up more. On over my cost per load of propane doubled and as you i had to pass that along to customers. As it stands right now, all the major propane tanks distributors, Manchester, quality steel, trinity, etc have told me it would be atleast 50 weeks before I would get a shipment of 250 gallon tanks and up. Other parts are hard to come by. I spent quadruple on inventory when covid hit and still am having a hard time staying stocked up. This is real and it’s here, but most are blind to the truth.

    • My niece works for a box company in N.C. and her business is great. They have lots of boxes for sale if you know anyone that wants any boxes…Just passing it on, just in case.

  • There are reasons that people quit their jobs. If you use any legal dictionary, lookup the definition of “mandate”. There are 3 parts that have to be met. One of those 3 is that “a mandate is voluntary on the part of the person that carries out the action”.
    Then look at 21 CFR § 50.23 & 24. This is US federal law that codifies the Nuremberg Code about coercion to partake in a medical experiment. Remember that even to this date, 17 Jan 2022, all “vaccines” for Covid-19 are EUA only. (Emergency Use Authorized)
    Talk to your life insurance company, see what they say.

    I am a retired international Logistician, member of Society of Logistics Engineers, International. The supply chain breakage is made by politicians whom are in contrvention to their oaths and law.

  • This stuff is good to know, but also know that humans are very adaptable. We’re already adapting, as comments on this board show. It’s always darkest before the dawn, though I grant that the hours before dawn can be an absolute Bitch! Adapt, adjust, and prepare.

    But one thing that doesn’t make sense to me is the number of workers quitting without any obvious way for them to support themselves. Walking away from an income while inflation is raging and the kids need to be fed? And I’ve read this in sources left, right, and center. The bare shelves tell the story of supply shortages. Are we so sure we know the true story of the worker shortages?

    • That’s a very good question Jayne. In the end people will be practical with mouths to feed and bills to pay. My hunch is that people have had a couple of years now to think about how the dominos are stacked and have quietly anticipated the coming crunch. Some forward-thinking folks have already hopped over to those states which are fighting those mandates. Hopefully all that fight talk is sincere and real. Massive population movements out of all the states on the left coast. Here in SoCal it’s going to be bad. Being on the medically needy side, I frequently have chats with people taking care of me. They know.

  • I’m always prepared but just not seeing anything that would cause significant pain on the food front over the last 2 years. I continue to sound warning bells to others but am beginning to sound like a loon.

    • I don’t know about your area, but in mine (front range of the Rockies in S. Colorado), only certain items seem to be seeing shortages. They started up in 2020, eased up a little (but never returned to pre Pandemic levels of stock), and now they’re out or only a little trickling in.

  • The one thing I didn’t see in your article that is affecting everywhere in the supply chain is workers getting sick. Port workers, truck drivers, rail crew and even stock boys/girls. Some ports are seeing record numbers calling out sick. The same at grocery stores. And this doubling the load for those who aren’t calling in. We see it in service jobs, where stores are closing because not enough workers are coming in. They have been in the front lines slogging away, but they are getting tired of the attitudes and rudeness. Some are quitting over safety issues while others over pay. It is the perfect storm, workers quitting because how they are treated by the general public and their company or workers calling in sick because they have been exposed or because stores/customers aren’t following safety protocols. There is always a breaking point. Hopefully we can get past it.

    • Blame it on the others (not following safety protocols) is a lame, false path. We do not get sick from the outside–viruses, fungi and bacteria do not kill us or make us sick. In other words check out the fallacy of the germ theory. The whole virus thing is a created psyop and is instead about control and getting people ready for the merger of human and machine.

  • SARAH, YOU are not a loon…Reach out to all that will read. Even if you just help one person or one family to see the need and the urgency you will have saved them. Doing something is better than doing NOTHING dear. Remember we really are our brothers’ keeper, and you will be blessed. Sound the alarm, blow your whistle, stand out in the crowd, shout it from the rooftop. Be awake, awake, alert, and ready all the time to help someone, b/c there are some that will listen!!!

  • This deadly fiasco sits directly on the shoulders of global corporations, the federal government and Big Pharma. Global corporations because they thought it was a good idea to have everything made in China. Big Pharma for creating a bioweapon no more dangerous than the flu, then creating a “vaccine” to kill off it’s customers. And lastly, the federal government for allowing all this to happen. So much for government “of the people.” I don’t think any off us signed up for this.

  • If the supply chain remains crippled then that means the Democrats can’t get their preprinted ballots from China in time for the next election. They’ll still be on container ships grounded in harbours.

    • “Perfect opportunity to bring manufacturing back to America”

      can’t. most of the factories and machinery were broken up and sold for scrap, and most of the tool and die makers dismissed without training any replacements, decades ago. all gone.

    • That ship done sailed. I heard that Craftsman was bringing two plants back to North America. One in Mexico filled with workers (thanks USMCA/NAFTA) and one being put in Fort Worth, totally automated. Companies are going to go where labor costs are less. They are leaving China but that doesn’t mean they are coming stateside. They are going to Vietnam, the Philippines and Mexico. With Mexico they don’t pay tariffs.

  • I can tell you right now that the spoiled globalists and their like will not do well with a major supply chain interruption. They like all their toys and fancy things. They will feel the pain long before I do. I am prepared to minimize and do without a lot. I will survive!
    This is all fascinating to watch unfold and yes, I do try to tell others to be aware and prepare. I leave it up to them as to how they want to prepare. Humans have been adapting and surviving for as long as humans have existed. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Nothing new under the sun.
    Stand your ground and know that things will change, they always do. The sun sets and rises every day without fail!
    Thank you Aden for all of your insights. I enjoy your articles very much.
    Usually learn something too 🙂

    • What demographic is the biggest drain on a country’s Health Care System? No matter which you pick of the industrialized nations, the answer is the same, the Elderly and the Chronically Ill. So they introduce a Virus , that’s genetically engineered to target that Demographic group. Then, in record time, they come up with a Vaxxine (Not Vaccine). It doesn’t prevent you from contracting the Virus, it doesn’t prevent you from transmitting the Virus. The claim that it lowers the severity is dubious at best. Here’s the real kicker, even after inoculation, the Demographic group most effected, is dying at the same rate they were prior to the Clot Shots introduction.

      From the beginning we’ve been Lied to and manipulated. At what point do we start lynching those responsible? They’ll never stand judgment in any court of Law. The A-Holes make Joseph Mengele look like a beginner.

  • It has begun – China closes their main ports, a “Volcano”/torpedo nuke was set off in the South Pacific as a warning from Russia to back off from Ukraine, many US stores are becoming bare shelved, US truckers can’t cross into Canada & Canadian truckers are going on strike to shut down the Canadian economy until Vax mandates are lifted. Criminals in ALL Blue cities are being released on No Bail regardless of the Crime. ALL US Diplomats are being Expelled from Russia with the Russians telling them to take their Rainbow Flags with them & Iran & Saudi Arabia – Mortal Enemies have just re-established Diplomatic ties. Germany is so Freaked out by the US that they are ready to make a deal directly with Russia. Massive Cyber attacks are happening all over the World. Stock Up, Lock & Load & Pray to the ONLY AUTHORITY – GOD!

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