Supply chain still plagues Napa cork company and other industries

Napa's Portocork is one of the world's largest suppliers of corks for the North American wine industry; importing many cork filled containers from Portugal to The Port of Oakland. 

But supply chain issues continue to plague this and all other industries.

"The port situation has not improved, it's actually gotten worse,"said Dustin Mowe, Portocork's CEO. 

That's forced Portocork to ship to the east coast and truck the containers to Napa. 

"Which has drastically increased our costs but. we are in the peak of our business," Mowe said. 

Before the pandemic wrecked the worldwide supply chain, Portocock would order and receive a container in about seven weeks. 

By last month, seven weeks had climbed to 16 weeks, 

Today it's 17 weeks and growing.

Before the congestion, Portocork paid about $2500 in shipping from Portugal. Today, the cost is $14,500. 

Add on another $3,000 to truck the corks from the East Coast to Napa. 

Total added cost: $14,500. "

"We've only passed on a faction of what we've been hit with," said Mowe.

It's also supply shortages in bottles, bottle top wrappers and labels;  forcing many vintners to postpone bottling. 

According to the man who handles 30% of the Port of Oakland's containers, it's way more than wine. 

"The entire west coast and the country for that matter; the entire supply chin is in chaos and turmoil. It's everything; imports, exports. We definitely need more space," said Scott Taylor, CEO of GSC Logistics.
 Despite come improvements, all of this is further aggravated by equipment out of place and frequent shuts downs of Asian ports though some issue have improved. 

"We still see localized delay. We still see increased dwell times. We still see very high capacity utilization  at warehouses," said Mike  Jacob, VP of the Pacific Merchants Shipping Association. 

In Oakland, space is a such a premium, that's why a ballpark is such a hot button. 

"We have all of our terminals at full capacity and running very hard and we're looking for additional space," said Jacob. 

Taylor added: "We need it for empty containers and exports which is obviously a huge portion of the California economy." 
There is no end in sight.

"We're being told not to expect things to get better," said Mowe. 

But Taylor said: "If the supply chain is not working fluidly, then nothing works."