BALTIMORE — Latoya Gray said it’s becoming harder and harder to find certain items at grocery stores.
“Everybody has that issue right now,” she said.
It’s a problem shoppers are running into more and more because of issues across every level of the supply chain.
“I work in [retail],” Gray said. “A lot of people that I’ve known they’ve been having issues finding the products that they do want.”
Congestion at shipping ports and the need for more truck drivers to transport good are among the factors leading to empty store shelves and higher prices.
Stores like Giant on York Road in Towson have signs posted, asking customers to limit their purchase of items such as toilet paper because of low supply.
The recent passage of a $1 trillion infrastructure bill is expected to help fix some of these problems.
President Joe Biden will visit the Port of Baltimore Wednesday to the discuss the impact the legislation will have on easing the disruptions in the supply chain, which includes providing funding for the nation’s ports.
It will also look to address the truck driver shortage by allowing drivers younger than 21 to travel across state lines.
“That’s one great opportunity for us,” said Louis Campion, who is the president of the Maryland Motor Truck Association.
He said there is no short-term fix to solve the trucker driver shortage, but he said the rule change to attract younger drivers is a start.
“For someone, who doesn’t intend to go to college for example and they’re looking for a real path to a good paying job in a vital industry, trucking doesn’t afford them that opportunity when they’re 18 typically,” Campion said. “Which leads them to go elsewhere.”
For Gray, she’s hoping the new legislation will help lead to some change.
“Hopefully, everything will go back to what it was,” she said.
The supply chain isn’t expected to get better in the near future, so experts believe it’s going to be important to get your holiday shopping done early.