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US Inflation Hits 31-Year High in October

Container ships located at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA, are averaging a 17-day wait time, according to a Bloomberg report. As of November 12, 83 ships remain either at anchor or in a holding zone, compared to the previous high of 81 from earlier that week.

"We are trying to add capacity by searching for vacant land to store containers, expanding the hours of operation at terminals, and implementing a fee that will incentivize ocean carriers to pull their containers out of the port as soon as possible," said Mario Cordero, executive director at the U.S. Port of Long Beach, per the report.

There have been gradual improvements, including a decrease in costs to ship freight. Bloomberg reported that the price to ship a 40-foot container from Shanghai to Los Angeles in September cost $12,424 and more recently that price dropped to $9,947. However, this amount is still 145% higher than the rates from a year ago, according to the Drewry World Container Index.

The backup within the supply chain also has raised concern about inflation. On Nov. 10, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported consumer prices jumped 6.2% in October—a high not seen since 1990.

"I do think we're moving into a new phase where inflation is broader and where things are going to get a little more intense," said Laura Rosner-Warburton, senior economist at MacroPolicy Perspectives, per The Wall Street Journal. "Part of that reflects that [supply-chain] bottlenecks are not resolved going into the holiday season, when a lot of purchases get made, and that the economy is doing really well, so you have strong demand."

—Bryan Mason. editorial associate

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Wednesday, 08 December 2021