As of today (Sunday, 2/22) West Coast ports are expected to come back to life. The backlog will reportedly take up to 8 weeks to clear. So the impact to importers and retailers will be felt long after the labor contract dispute ends.
While all my clients who import felt the pinch (more like 'crush'), some felt it more than others.
The companies that minimized the impact of port closures did so because they could:
- Divert boats on water to the gulf coast ports (or be ready to pull that lever)
- Leverage their safety stock in domestic warehouses (one client always keep 6 months of supply on hand)
- Air ship some inventory as needed
- Leverage their early (and heavier) orders placed in anticipation of Chinese New Year to fill the unexpected holes due to the port closure.