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Charleston Ports continuing to experience extreme backups

Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 7:31 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2022 at 8:31 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - People may find themselves waiting on some items like furniture, baby products, hardware, even vehicles. Authorities say Charleston ports are seeing the worst backup of goods in decades.

“By far, this prolonging of this issue is the worst I’ve seen in my 26-year career,” said Phillip Ousley, President ASF Global.

ASF Global is just one of the companies that felt the impacts of backups at Charleston ports. This company moves goods from Asia into South Carolina. The company said hundreds of its containers are now just sitting.

“As those containers sit, it accrues charges. They have to get paid. Eventually, all of that rolls down to consumers,” said Phillip Ousley, ASF Global’s president. Ousley said they’ve experienced backups before but nothing like they’re seeing now, which is costing people major bucks.

“Typically in a normal time frame, the backlog may be $10 million. Those guys are eight or nine times that amount right now,” Ousley said.

Authorities said arrival of already sold items have been pushed back between two and six weeks at a time. Ousley said, “You have people out there waiting for a couch and different items, and they cannot arrive.”

The South Carolina Ports Authority said the winter weather the state’s seen recently isn’t helping the situation.

Kelsi C. Brewer, the general manager of Public Relations and Digital Media with the South Carolina Ports Authority said, “Our team is working on deploying creative, responsive solutions to meet shippers’ needs. We expect to see recovery from this within the next 6 weeks.”

Ousley said people need to realize not much can be done to solve this issue. He said people just need to be prepared to wait.

“Getting upset with retailers is not making it go any faster, trust me. If they could get things in faster, they would because it’s tying up their dollars. They’re suffering the same challenges that we all are,” Ousley said.

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