Supply chain problems threaten to cause holiday shopping issues, Port Milwaukee warns

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Port Milwaukee says U.S. supply chain problems begin just getting into the country.

"Much of the backlog that we're seeing is containers from the Asian market, with scores of vessels that are currently waiting outside the Port of L.A. and the Port of Long Beach," Port Director Adam Tindall-Schlicht said.

The current route often puts containers on train rail from the east coast, then through customs in Chicago, and finally sends the cargo to Wisconsin by truck.

"We have a driver shortage," Tindall-Schlicht said. "Not enough drivers are doing short and long-haul driving."

Tindall-Schlicht said there is a better way. He is asking U.S Customs to allow Milwaukee to import international cargo straight through waterways from the Atlantic Ocean.

"Should our customs facility come online, either in the short or long-term, we could have that direct container shipping route that I believe our economy really needs right now."

Without changes, he believes supply chain problems will last through the new year and significantly impact the holiday season.

"A lot of those shipping delays are going to be days to weeks, even months."

Traditionally, only the Port of Cleveland has been allowed to directly handle international cargo on the Great Lakes.

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