By Jennifer Smith
Freight bellwether J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. expects bottlenecks at West Coast ports to intensify heading into the holidays, with congestion continuing to snarl labor-strapped logistics networks and strong shipping demand extending into 2022.
“While peak season is upon us, we believe the bottlenecks on the West Coast are going to compact and even intensify further peak-season capacity needs into November and December,” Shelley Simpson, J.B. Hunt’s /zigman2/quotes/205536609/composite JBHT -2.83% chief commercial officer, said on a conference call Friday to discuss the company’s third-quarter earnings.
Executives speaking on the call attributed much of the broader supply-chain upheaval to a shortage of truck drivers and rail workers, along with labor scarcity at customer warehouses.
The backlog of vessels waiting for berths at gridlocked West Coast ports is adding to the challenges, Simpson said, and is delaying the delivery of some of the company’s containers that are on ships waiting offshore for berth space at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
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