The global shipping network has been clogged due to the massive blockage , even as consumer demand has picked up along with an easing pandemic. Some factories in the U.S. and abroad are still shuttered while many others are running at partial capacity because of employee COVID-19 cases or social distancing requirements. Ports, warehouses and trucking companies are also grappling with worker absences. And COVID vaccine deliveries are taking up shipping capacity.
Containers are piling up at ports, which don’t have the workers to store and move them. And congested ports have lengthened the time it takes truckers to pick up or drop off containers.Suzano, a Brazilian company that accounts for about a third of global supplies of hardwood pulp, which is used to make toilet paper, told Bloomberg the container crunch already poses the risk of supply snags.
Most producers of robusta coffee, used in Nescafe, ship the product through the canal. A coffee shortage would mostly affect Europe but could ripple worldwide, according to Bloomberg and Business Insider.
Coffee roasters on the continent already were struggling to get supplies from Vietnam and the coffee beans Europe imports from East Africa and Asia flow through the Suez.