The wave of lockdowns that currently affect roughly 25% of China’s population (per the New York Times) will have supply chain impacts beyond anything experienced to date, according to Chain Store Age. Not only have the lockdowns, especially in Shanghai, China’s largest city and a major port, slowed manufacturing and shipping out of China, once lockdowns end, there will be a rush to ship product to catch up, leading to congestion at U.S. ports. These impacts will lead to significant delays and shortages on imports from China in the early summer through fall, the peak shipping season.

Compounding concern is the looming threat of labor trouble at west coast ports; the contract for the International Longshoreman Warehouse Union expires July 1, which could lead to work slowdowns or worse as negotiations proceed.

Although few had predicted substantial improvement in supply chain issues this year, the outlook now is considerably more troubled, with the full impact of the Omicron outbreak in China still taking shape.