If you’re thinking about apocalypse, the one written in the bible, the one mentioned in dozens of history books, and the one explained in hundreds of movies – it is happening, but it is not something that has ever before been explained.
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In an open letter, a coalition of unions that represent shipping workers across the globe warns of the imminent collapse as fragmented and inconsistent pandemic restrictions around the world toss international shipping into chaos.
According to the report published by the Daily Mail,
“he shipping workers write: “We are witnessing unprecedented disruptions and global delays and shortages on essential goods including electronics, food, fuel, and medical supplies.
“The impact of nearly two years’ worth of strain, placed particularly upon maritime and road transport workers, but also impacting aircrews, is now being seen.
“Their continued mistreatment is adding pressure on an already crumbling global supply chain. At the peak of the crew change crisis, 400,000 seafarers were unable to leave their ships, with some seafarers working for as long as 18 months over their initial contracts.
“Flights have been restricted and aviation workers have faced the inconsistency of border, travel, restrictions, and vaccine restrictions/requirements. Additional and systemic stopping at road borders has meant truck drivers have been forced to wait, sometimes weeks, before being able to complete their journeys and return home.”
The coalition of unions called on governments to grant freedom of movement for transport workers and prioritize them for vaccinations.
Signatories in the letter include the heads of the International Road Transport Union (IRU), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).
The coalition’s warning comes as supply-chain backlogs leave many cargo ships idling outside U.S. ports. This exacerbates the delays caused by a national truck driver shortage that threatens to derail the Christmas shopping season.
Retailers have also warned of shopping chaos during the Christmas season as backlogs in supply chains have seen over 70 container ships lining up off the coast of California and another 60 off New York.”
Also, traffic jams at ports are a persistent, continuous problem this year, since there’s a lack of workers.
“Lines off the coast of Los Angeles are expected to cause shortages across the country as the port complex processes 40 percent of all containers arriving in the U.S. Traffic jams at these ports, which serve as the main entry point for cargo coming from China, have reached their longest since the start of the pandemic. It has been a persistent issue this year.
In March, a logjam of cargo ships outside the Port of Long Beach had caused major delays for all sectors – from construction and plumbing to retail and design.
“Anything that’s coming in from overseas, where it was usually eight weeks before, it’s about 16 weeks to 20 weeks is what they’re quoting,” Capitol Hardware President and CEO Alan Bleecker said at the time. “That applies for just about anything. I’m hearing that with appliances. I’m hearing it with lumber. I’m hearing it with drywall, steel.”