Large Retailers Chartered Ships to Avoid the Most Crowded Ports

(p. A1) Global supply-chain delays are so severe that some of the biggest U.S. retailers have resorted to an extreme—and expensive—tactic to try to stock shelves this holiday season: They are chartering their own cargo ships to import goods.

Port delays, Covid-19 outbreaks and worker shortages have snarled the flow of products between Asia and North America, threatening the supplies of everything from holiday decorations and toys to appliances and furniture. It is taking roughly 80 days to transport goods across the Pacific, or twice as long as before the pandemic, retail and shipping executives said.

Walmart Inc., Home Depot Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Target Corp. —some of the biggest U.S. retailers by revenue—are among the companies that are paying for their own chartered ships as part of wider plans to mitigate the disruptions, a costly and unattainable option for most companies.

For the full story, see:

Sarah Nassauer and Costas Paris. “Retailers Charter Ships to Ensure Supplies.” The Wall Street Journal (Monday, October 11, 2021): A1 & A6.

(Note: the online version of the story has the date October 10, 2021, and has the title “Big U.S. Retailers Charter Private Cargo Ships Amid Port Delays.”)

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