Mobile, Ala. (WKRG) — The shortage of some products and shipping delays have been on the minds of many people lately. It has also led to price hikes of some products.
The jam-up of ships waiting to get into west coast ports, and some east coast ports as well, is part of the problem. And while the Port of Mobile, specifically the APM Container terminal remain very busy, it is not a reflection of the supply chain woes.
Port director John Driscoll said, “What most of the news is about is the container ships that are stuck on the west coast and some ports on the east coast. We currently don’t have any backlog of ships that want to get into Mobile.”
Yet, the container terminal here is busier than ever. That’s because of steady growth in the use of the terminal.
“Probably about a year ago they went out looking for more business, or companies came to us looking for more business,” said Driscoll. “This is something that’s been in progress for that particular facility for quite some time now, so they are very busy.”
The west coast backups and similar backups at east coast ports are causing delays in delivering some products. Along with the ships waiting to get into the ports–there is also a shortage of truck drivers to deliver those goods, bringing a crowd of new students to some truck driving schools.
“Trucking companies just can get enough drivers,” said Dallas’ Roadmaster Driver School’s Brad Ball. “So that’s why they’re calling, they’re saying how do I hire more drivers.”
But here in Mobile–there appear to be plenty of drivers—and trucks—and stacks and stacks of containers on the move, or soon will be. And as far as diverting some of those waiting for west coast ships to ports here—Driscoll says it’s conceivable.
“But we have seen incremental volume that’s going to another place outside of our catchment area–the normal Alabama catchment area and states that are around us–in the container sector that are coming through our gateway currently,” said Driscoll.