Supply chain bottlenecks inhibiting ag trade

Ag industry seeks immediate action from Biden administration, Congress and FMC to hold shippers accountable.


Jacqui Fatka, NebraskaFarmer

Nov 18, 2021


In the first seven months of this year, shipping supply chain issues cost the U.S. dairy industry nearly $1 billion dollars in additional expenses, lost sales and eroded value, shared California dairy farmer Simon Vander Woude during a House Agriculture Committee hearing Wednesday morning.


The dairy industry is not alone in facing challenging supply chain constraints, including some estimates noting as much as 22% in lost agricultural sales due to the supply chain limitations. Over 70% of containers are leaving West Coast ports empty, an all-time record as boats rush back to China and filled with their own products to meet the unsatiable demand from U.S. consumers.


House Agriculture Committee Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Chair Jim Costa, D-Calif., noted at the onset of the hearing on Nov. 17 that short and long-term solutions are needed to help address the ongoing supply chain constraints negatively impacting the agricultural sector and recognized many of the witnessesí testimony raised supply chain concerns multiple times.


Costa noted the signing of the bipartisan infrastructure bill offers funding for ports and harbors and includes language to allow for a pilot program to encourage the training of younger truck drivers. Additional action and insight are desired to hear how best to alleviate the concerns, Costa said.


Jen Sorenson, president of the National Pork Producers Council, said with regard to U.S. ports, the United States is facing a massive backlog of containers waiting to be loaded into vessels and dozens of ships waiting to offload cargo at West Coast ports. Such disruptions are particularly acute for agricultural goods, many of which are perishable, including pork...


Getting FMC to act ...