Cory Whitlock threw his hands up in the air.
“It’s maddening. It’s frustrating,” the owner of the Whitlock Surf Experience in Oceanside said. “Who do you talk to? Who do you go to for supply help?”
Whitlock is one of countless business owners trying to get supplies and inventory to keep their businesses running. Much of the blame has been placed on the log jam of loaded cargo ships off the coast of California. President Joe Biden recently ordered crews to work to unload those container ships around the clock.
“I guarantee they got a container full of black Next Level tees that I need,” laughed Whitlock.
Whitlock said he needs so much more.
“It’s the littlest of things that you would not think of that you’re so dependent on and when it’s not there, you’re like, ‘Um, what are we going to do?’” he said shrugging his shoulders.
However, the former pro surfer said he doesn’t think clearing the container ship traffic jam will solve the supply issues that have also seen prices skyrocket. Whitlock said customers still haven’t returned.
“People are still timid,” he said. “They don’t want to. They don’t know what they’re doing.”
“On top of that: The employee shortages,” he added.
Whitlock said he was notified by a supplier that they had to sell their ships and cargo containers for scrap to make ends meet. He added they’re trying to ramp up production with minimal staff and income.
It’s a perfect storm facing thousands of businesses across the country and Whitlock said he didn’t see an easy fix.
“Unless we start building more things in America, I don’t see it stopping anytime soon,” was all he offered.