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Experts: 'Supply-Chain Issues Worst Non-War-Related Backup World Has Ever Seen'

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - The supply chain nightmare continues to drag on.

Experts are now calling it the worst non-war-related backup the world has ever seen.

When COVID19 began, ports saw a significant decrease in trade. Now, a massive surge, coupled with the holiday season, is creating a bottleneck like effect in the supply chain system.

CBS4 News went to Port Everglades to find out more. It's one of the largest ports in the country, playing a major role in the eb and flow of the supply chain.

"More than likely, if you consume anything at breakfast, lunch, or dinner you're going to consume something that has been handled through Port Everglades," said Jonathan Daniels, Director of Port Everglades.

The supply chain, made up of ports, railways, roadways, and airways, is experiencing the worst back up of all time.

"We're seeing a situation where the supply chain was not built and cannot keep up with the current problems that are occurring. Some of the products that are supposed to get into distribution centers aren't going to be on shelves for another 6-8 months," said Daniels.

Triggered by the pandemic, the issues we're seeing in the US started in California.

"They saw 50% in reductions in the amount of cargo flowing through their ports," explained Daniels.

A lull, followed by unprecedented surge.

Daniels said, "That surge happened at the same time that distribution centers and our retailers in the US are beginning to bring on inventory for the holiday season. Both situations are enough to stress the logistics chain. When they happen simultaneously, you have a perfect storm."

A shortage of goods, leading to an increase in demand, then inflation.

"We're paying more at the pump; we're paying more at grocery stores. We need to be prepared that we might see higher prices for a long period of time."

To stay ahead of the problem, Daniels says they're planning 10-20 years out at Port Everglades; spending nearly half a billion dollars on equipment and infrastructure upgrades.

While Florida ports remain ahead of the game, working towards a solution, Daniels says the critical problems are deep rooted, and will require the help of the Federal Government.

"We must do a better job of integrating our transportation network: road, rails, air, ports. If we don't do that then what we're looking at is this type of situation is going to occur over and over and over again."

These supply chain issues aren't going away any time soon. Experts say we'll likely be well into 2022 by the time we see relief.

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