Small businesses facing setback for blocked shipments

Published : 14 Oct 2021 09:16 PM | Updated : 16 Oct 2021 10:41 AM

Wayne Sosin of Worksman Cycles says he has tried everything since the pandemic began to find a way to make and deliver his bikes.

He has been looking for a container to send a shipment to Saudi Arabia for the last six weeks to no avail so far.

That's not even to mention his tire supplier who expects a year-long wait. Nor the price of shipping a container from Asia to the United States, which has risen from about $6,000 to $25,000 or even $30,000.

 "We are not dealing with it very easily," said the 60-something, whose New York-based company made a name for itself with industrial and delivery tricycles. Between factory closures due to the coronavirus, an explosion in demand for certain products such as bicycles and computers, and personnel shortages at warehouses and in the truck-driving industry, Covid has disrupted the global economy.

Many companies are struggling just to simply get supplies. And global multinational behemoths have not been spared. Nike has warned that some of its products, among them shoes and sportswear, may temporarily be unavailable. ­To insure that shelves are stocked for the holidays, Walmart meanwhile has chartered its own ships.

For small business owners, however, the logistical challenges are diminutive in scale, but still just as nightmarish.

  - Higher bills -

Jack Hillman is the manager of Hall-Woolford, a company that has been manufacturing wooden tanks for liquid storage in Philadelphia since 1854 and now employs about 10 people.

At the beginning of the year, he had to deal with the soaring price of wood, which has since come down in the United States.