CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Stores across the country are struggling to keep items on the shelves. Supply chain issues are making this difficult and workers tell us the logistics for the food industry are the most challenging they’ve ever seen.  

Buzz Food Service Owner Dickinson Gould says he’s grateful his business has been able to stay afloat with loyal workers to execute orders. The same can’t be said for other companies he buys products from.

“What we’re hearing from so many of our suppliers in the industry is that it’s really available staff for picking orders in warehouse setting and certainly making deliveries over the road,” Gould said.

The lack of workers has become such a problem, manufactures are starting to scale back on the products they make for consumers.

“So, they use to make 50 different items and they’re telling us all that’s available right now is their 10 best-selling items,” Gould said. “The port of Los Angeles is a major entry point for anything manufactured in China. Historically, there’s an average of four container ships in the bay waiting to be unloaded in Los Angeles, four ships. Last week, there were more than 80 ships waiting in line in the bay.”

With thousands of products waiting to be unloaded from the ships, it’s leaving the grocery store shelves almost empty and customers have less options to choose from. Things as simple as crackers and napkins have been a major challenge for the food industry.

“Most of the restaurants we’re dealing with are calling us and asking us for things that we don’t sell and that they’ve never bought from us and that’s just definite proof that there’s a breakdown in the supply chain,” Gould said.