GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — This week, the backlog at the San Pedro Bay Port Complex set a new record with 100 ships waiting offshore to dock and unload.

At the same time, the transport company Union Pacific expanded its hours at a near-dock rail facility, just after President Joe Biden announced the Port of Los Angeles would start processing ships 24/7 much like the Port of Long Beach — yet shipping delays continue to cause problems. 

What You Need To Know

  • Despite recent measures, the backlog of cargo at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach continues

  • QYK Brands is stockpiling raw materials to avoid manufacturing delays

  • While this helps them fulfill orders on time, it's a costly and wasteful short-term solution

  • The company's CEO is drawing up plans to manufacturer their own raw materials rather than continue to import from overseas

At QYK Brands in Garden Grove, piles of boxes nearly touch the ceiling. CEO Rakesh Tammabattula is running out of space for all the raw materials they need to make their disinfecting products. He’s resorted to storing things outside where even a drizzle could cause big losses.

“We’re not normally supposed to store things here, but we don’t have a choice right now,” said Tammabattula.

Last year, Tammabattula’s company was manufacturing in Anaheim. As demand ramped up, they outgrew that facility and moved to Garden Grove, doubling their space. However, the crowding issue creeped up anyway this summer.

That’s because as the port backlog and overseas delivery wait times worsened, Tammabattula started stockpiling to limit production delays as much as possible and fulfill orders on time.

“It’s extremely frustrating. Some customers who know about this, they’re able to understand, but many of them, they would feel it might be easier for them to do it themselves,” said Tammabattula.

Workers like Liem Ta have to be cautious. A few loading docks are completely blocked by boxes, and some aisles are too narrow to pass through anymore.

“Sometimes it’s very crowded because when we do production, [there are] a lot of people, so we have to be very careful with the forklift,” said Ta.

They can’t keep going on like this.

Some of the goods are going bad due to the wait and exposure to the elements. Plus, the city and the neighbors aren’t too happy with the view of boxes in the parking lot. 

Rather than turn to even more costly alternate shipping methods, Tammabattula has plans to manufacture his own raw materials, specifically the cloth wipes they currently order from Asia.

It will take millions of dollars to build the facility and hire the people, but long term, it has the potential for profit and reliability where importing is falling short.

“The best way to prepare is to control the supply chain, and we’re only able to control the supply chain if we have it here domestically,” said Tammabattula.

Before the pandemic, QYK Brands focused more on beauty products. They’ve since pivoted to PPE which has kept them very busy.