BEND, OR -- Central Oregon businesses are starting to feel the pinch of the labor dispute slowing work at west coast docks. Young Joen with Ruffwear says the Bend-based dog gear company is faring better than others, however it now has a number of containers just sitting at ports in Portland and Seattle. He tells KBND News they are now 10 to 15-percent off inventory targets at its Bend distribution center. "It’s been getting progressively worse by the day. Typically when the vessel docks at the port, it takes two or three days to unload everything. Now it has been in some cases 30 days or plus."
Joen is not optomistic that the problem will be quickly resolved. "What I’m hearing now, is because the backlog is such, even if a negotiation is reached this week – and I highly doubt that’s going to happen – in order to go through all the backlog we currently have, it would take another 4 to 5 months to clear the backlog." Much of Ruffwear’s product is manufactured in East Asia and shipped to its Bend warehouse before being sent out to customers all over the world. Joen says the company is considering turning to more expensive air freight to transport product to its Bend facility. He says outbound shipments aren’t yet impacted.