The Wall Street Journal

07 February 2015

Even if labor negotiations move quickly at West Coast ports, the underlying structural and technological issues will continue to plague retailers. “Recent earnings reports make clear that port issues are already causing headwinds for retailers, and they’re bracing for gales,” Frank Layo, Kurt Salmon retail and supply chain strategist, tells The Wall Street Journal. The West Coast port problems won’t end quickly, Layo warns, because the ports aren’t structured to manage the newer bigger ships and increases in cargo. Combined with multiple other factors, we’re headed toward a “new normal” in transportation. “Consumers are going to feel it in the form of mass out-of-stocks and price increases if retailers don’t act quickly,” Layo adds.

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