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PHILADELPHIA — Port delays, COVID-19 outbreaks and worker shortages continue to stifle the flow of products across the region and the country.

As congestion at major ports continues in Los Angeles, Houston and Savannah, Georgia, some companies like Target are chartering smaller ships that are being rerouted to smaller, less busy ports like the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in Philadelphia.

“We’re seeing record volumes,” said Sean Mahoney of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority. “In August, we saw the most containers that the port has ever handled. Over 70,000 containers came in the month of August.”

But another challenge is being able to find enough truck drivers to deliver the goods to warehouses. That’s why the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority had to clear a 30-acre site to store cargo containers until they can be unloaded.

“We got some work still to do, but we’re seeing record volumes, and we’re working through it,” said Mahoney.

SEE ALSO: Smaller-sized turkeys may be in short supply this Thanksgiving, warns Butterball

These challenges are fueling empty shelves at the grocery store and other retailers.

“The problems are really only getting worse with supply chains,” said Adam Kamins of Moody’s Analytics.

“That is a big part of the story, that there’s not enough dock workers, not enough drivers and there’s been a surge in demand for e-commerce in particular,” said Kamins.

Action News has learned that President Biden will be meeting with the heads of some major ports on Wednesday to address the issues.

According to the White House, Biden is also planning to meet with the heads of major corporations about how they can ramp up operations to ensure the holiday season is not threatened by these supply chain issues.

Doug Baker, with the Food Industry Association, has some tips to help consumers.

“Don’t buy any more than you need, plan out your meals, and again, if you see it while you’re in the store now, go ahead and get it. Don’t wait until next month,” said Baker.

Baker adds that there will be plenty of items in stores, but maybe not exactly what you are used to getting.

When might things get better?

“We don’t anticipate seeing any real relief until the end of next year,” said Baker.

“There’s a lot of price pressure in the economy right now and that probably will continue at least through the end of the year and into next year,” said Kamins.

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