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CNN 10

A Look At The Global Supply Chain Crunch; New Discovery At China`s Great Wall; A Humpback Whale Rescued In Argentina. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired October 08, 2021 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz and Friday`s are stuck. It doesn`t have the same ring as our usual awesome line this time of the week,

but when it comes to the international supply of the goods we buy, stuck is a pretty durn accurate word. Hold ups with the flow of goods might be the

biggest problem facing the world`s biggest economies according to a CNN business reporter.

This was all triggered more than a year and a half ago by the COVID pandemic and what`s remarkable is how in some parts of the world, supply

chain conditions have gotten worse over the past two months alone. We`ve talked about the back-up of the giant container ships waiting to unload in

California. The problem here isn`t the total clog like you might see in a sink, but more like a slow drain.

Before the COVID pandemic, these ships would sail right into one of the two major ports here to unload their cargo containers. Now they`re waiting an

average of 10 days after they reach the area before they can get a berth in a port. America`s labor shortage is a factor.

News media have widely reported on the lack of truck drivers needed to haul these containers away and the lack of warehouse workers needed to unload

the trucks. But you`re about to hear from the truckers who are working who point to their inability to quickly drive into port, pick up a container

and haul it out. So more skilled long shore men are needed at the ports themselves.

COVID related closures and restrictions play a part in all this, as different countries have different rules for who can work where, and demand

for goods is incredibly high. In the corona virus era, Americans have been spending less money on services and more on stuff. So delays in getting the

stuff into port, onto trucks, out in warehouses and in the mail means the companies that sell these goods are running out and have to wait on what

they stock. Kyung Lah takes us on a tour of how these problems stretch from across the Pacific to a tacoria in California.


COMMANDER STEPHEN BOR, COMMANDER IN THE U.S. COAST GUARD: This is where we`ve got a second passage.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: (inaudible). To understand the problem on the ground --

BOR: (inaudible) ports (inaudible).

LAH: -- you first need to see it from the air.

BOR: We`re flying right over the anchorages just south of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

LAH : This is where the global supply chain meets the U.S. economy says Coast Guard Commander Steven Bor.

BOR: It`s record breaking. It`s unprecedented. There are more ships than there are parking spots. We are effectively operating a cell phone waiting

lot in the Pacific Ocean.

LAH: This bottleneck of container ships as far as the eye can see, carries more than half the made in Asia items purchased by the American consumer.

BOR: You`re looking at all of the electronics. You`re looking at all of the (inaudible) goods. You`re looking at all of the things that people are

looking forward to buy this coming holiday season.

LAH: Zero ships usually stay parked here, but on this day Commander Bor counts 55 in the ports and more drifting further out into the Pacific.

While worst here, the back-up at all west coast U.S. ports. What does that indicate to you about what`s happening in the supply chain?

BOR: You know, I think everybody can see that things are slowing down.

LAH: Slowing down and piling up at sea, and at the ports of entry. This is what happens when a global economy snaps back after the COVID slump of

2020. American consumers are back buying with force, but the supply chain is struggling to catch up.

MARIO CORDERO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE PORT OF LONG BEACH: We need to have an Amazon state of mind in this industry, and by that I mean Amazon

changed everything.

LAH: While shoppers click 24 hours a day, factories in Asia are still stopping due to COVID. Then in the U.S., national labor shortages and

limited work hours. The Port of Long Beach is just now experimenting with round the clock operations.

CORDERO: What this is, is a wake-up call for all of us in this industry to realize you can`t operate with the model of yesterday.

LAH: The goal, cut the wait time for truck drivers, the next link of the supply chain, moving containers out of the port.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of the days are five, six hours in the harbor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to wait like six hours.

LAH: Six hours?


RUBEN PONCE, TRUCK DRIVER: I was in there for nine hours.

LAH: Nine hours Ruben Ponce lost that he could have been moving merchandise.

PONCE: And then I`m making less money. Yes, because I can`t do as many rounds.

LAH: National data shows there is a truck driver shortage, but Ponce says the problem is even more basic than that.

PONCE: So now the port is backed up. Us, we`re backed up, the truckers, we`re backed up. Everyone`s backed up and it`s just a big problem.

LAH: So it`s like a chain reaction.

PONCE: Exactly. Exactly.

LAH: Delayed trucks means delays at warehouses like Canton Food Company in Los Angeles.

CHO KWAN, CEO OF CANTON FOOD COMPANY: I have about eight containers out in the harbor somewhere, from China and Vietnam.

LAH: Filled with food.

KWAN: Still just waiting.

LAH: That means for this warehouse, empty shelves with no date to fill them. Basic economics are at play, scarcity drives up prices. So it`s

almost doubled in price.

KWAN: I would say maybe at least 70 percent.


LAH: Prices for ingredients, restaurant owner Ricardo Mosqueda has to pay.

MOSQUEDA: All the different products that you have to substitute, you have to change now 30 percent more or 50 percent more, 100 percent more.

LAH: This La Tacoria brand location operates in a renovated shipping container.


LAH: The supplies Mosqueda needs sit out at sea, in the same metal bins, a cruel irony after barely keeping his restaurant open through the pandemic.

MOSQUEDA: We -- we worry, as far as -- because you don`t know what`s going to happen. Right? You don`t know what`s next.

LAH: How long are these ships going to be floating out here?

BOR: I really can`t say how long they`re going to be like this. I think we`re all going to wait and see how long this shakes out.

LAH: Now the consensus from the Coast Guard, to the economists, to the very workers on the supply chain, this could last into next year. So what does

that mean for you? Well it means, start your holiday shopping early. The truck driver you heard from, he says he`s already doing his holiday

shopping because he wants to make sure that his nephews get what they want.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Which of these Chinese dynasties ruled the most recently during the European Renaissance? Zhou, Han, Yuan or Ming. It was

China`s Ming Dynasty that lasted from 1368 until 1644.



AZUZ: A stranded whale on a beach, doesn`t sound like our usual lighter side 10 out of 10 report, but this one`s got something special. When a 32

foot long humpback whale recently appeared on the coast of Argentina, about 30 people got together and took action. They put slings underneath the

whale`s body, used an excavator to help lift it and eventually returned the animal to the sea. It was the second humpback whale rescued near Buenos

Aires in 48 hours.

What I love is that they didn`t sit and "blubber" about it or wait for some "indorsalment". They just "beleaned" it to their rescue efforts, flexed

some "pectoral" muscle, worked hard for a good "codle" and used a little elbow grease to oil the gears of a stuck mammal.

Now that`s what I call keeping it "whale" ya`ll. The Buckeye state is the site of today`s shout out. We`re giving a big hello to Pickerington High

School Central in Pickerington, Ohio. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN.