SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The ports in Southern California are now moving 24/7, but small businesses in the Sacramento area say it’s too little, too late.
The region is seeing epic port congestion, supply shortages, a serious lack of truck drivers, and a price hike for both businesses and the consumer.READ MORE: Thursday's Show Info (1/27/22)
“A lot of business owners like myself don’t have the luxury of time,” said Akash Lal, the owner of the Union Hotel in Old Sacramento.
He’s trying to open a new activity-packed space, including a miniature golf course and bar.
But with supply chain shortages, everything is on backorder.
“All these construction plans are delayed and it all comes to a cost of whoever is building that project,” he said.
It’s trickling down to ice cream shops.
“There was a vanilla shortage, a cookies and cream shortage,” said Inn Su Suh, manager at Old Sacramento Cafe.
It’s also impacting toy stores.
“Especially seasonal merchandise like Halloween and Christmas. It’s still on boats,” said Troy Carlson, of G. Willikers Toy Emporium.READ MORE: Rancho Cordova Hosts Vaccine Clinic, Offers COVID Testing Kits
The supply chain nightmare is jacking up prices for consumers and seeping into small business operations.
Experts say the weakest link in all of this may be the shortage of truck drivers
“You just can’t find enough people,” said Mike Nord with Western Truck School.
He says recruiting drivers is difficult.
There are more than 13 loads for every truck at the ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach and now President Biden hopes to fast track licenses for truckers.
“We’re running full for students for what we have available,” said Nord.
But now it’s about putting products back on store shelves heading into the holidays.
The federal government vowed to ease delays at ports, but for some small businesses, they feel it’s too little, too late.
“I don’t think it’s going to help things this year. I think the wheels are already in motion, the delays are there,” said Troy Carlson.MORE NEWS: Concerns Grow Over Illegal Camping In American River Parkway
Clearing the backlog could take months. Experts say it could take until 2022 to get things back to normal.