You may be switching your plans for dinner if it included cheese and you walk down the dairy aisle at Costco.
Costco is having trouble stocking imported cheeses because of a shortage of shipping containers around the globe and bottlenecks at key West Coast ports, such as Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland and Seattle.
American Dairy Products Institute President Blake Anderson suspects increased tariffs and geographical indicators are the cause of imported cheese shortages.
“It’s a crisis in the industry right now and there’s a whole container crisis in the west coast ports,” Anderson said.
Anderson said although exported dairy production has seen an increase, there are containers off the coasts of the United States with goods who can’t get in.
“There are lots of goods that are loaded in containers off the coasts trying to get in while there’s a shortage of containers here,” Anderson said.”If cheese is being imported out of Europe or Oceania, trade deals or any number of reasons could affect the import in the US.”
The total cost of shipping to the United States by sea reached $6.36 billion in January, compared to $2.46 billion a year earlier, according to CNN.
Unfortunately for consumers, cheese isn’t the only item Costco is struggling to keep on the shelves.