ARLINGTON, VA — Over the past year, supply chain challenges have led to product delays, rising costs, and inventory stock-outages that have impacted a wide range of industries and consumers across the United States. But port backlogs and skyrocketing ocean cargo prices aren’t only hitting store shelves and consumers’ pocketbooks, they are also threatening shortages of many of the ingredients essential for our health and everyday lives.

While some are claiming a victory lap on solving the supply chain crisis, recent data collected from National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) members show most have not seen the ongoing shipping crisis improve. If anything, it’s gotten worse, with the majority of survey respondents continuing to experience stock outages, face shipping delays of 11 days or longer on average, and have lost revenue due to delays or inability to book transit. Some experts say it could be years before we extricate ourselves from the current crisis.

According to the survey, a record number of container ships are waiting to dock. The total number of container ships outside LA/Long Beach Port as of Nov. 30 is 94, just two fewer than the all-time record.

Costs are reportedly growing rapidly, as 100% of surveyed NACD members reported increased shipping costs in October, and 72.2% reported lost revenue of $50,000 or more (12.7% higher than in June). 

The survey data indicate that delays are still getting worse. Over 90% of October respondents reported average shipping delay of 11 days or longer (increase of 8% since June). 

NACD members responding to the survey indicated that severe shortages were also a problem, as 87.5% of October survey respondents reported going out of stock on imported products.

The NACD Member Survey data were reported on Nov. 23, 2021. There were 40 responses collected. The survey has a range of +/- 14.5%.