On your next trip to Costco, don’t be surprised if you can’t find your favorite cheese.
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. The combination has led to delays for suppliers shipping their goods, retailers like Costco receiving products, and higher costs along the supply chain.
“Overseas freight has continued to be an issue in regards to container shortage and port delays. This has caused timing delays on certain categories,” Costco chief financial officer Richard Galanti said on a call with analysts last week.
The problem isn’t just limited to cheese, but also seafood, olive oils, furniture, sporting goods and lawn and garden equipment, Galanti said.
He expects the “pressures to ease in the coming months, but it’s impacting everyone.”
Supply chain pressures have been a constant for retailers throughout the pandemic. But a chorus of chains, including Crocs, Urban Outfitters, Foot Locker and Dollar Tree, in recent weeks have described the container shortage and backlogs at West Coast ports as the latest challenges in securing merchandise for consumers.
“Importing product from Asia, getting it through Long Beach and other ports, and getting it shipped to customers is really challenging right now,” Crocs CEO Andrew Rees said on a February 23 call with analysts. “I…