Main Line's United Bulk Carriers helping with supply chain issues at ports

"The problem has accelerated. I'm not even sure if we're near peak or when it can ease up."
WAYNE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Empty store shelves.

Labor shortages.

Congested rail systems.

All this, and more challenges, as the holiday season approaches.

There are massive supply chain disruptions, and people around the globe in government, in unions and in corporations are scrambling for solutions.

"The delta variant made it even much worse because it came at a critical time. Things did not really ease up," said Amr Mostafa, president and managing director of United Bulk Carriers.

United Bulk Carriers has been located in Wayne, Pennsylvania since 2001.

"The problem has accelerated. I'm not even sure if we're near peak or when it can ease up," said Mostafa.

For United Bulk Carriers, normal day-to-day business includes transporting bulk cargo like grain, sugar and salt.

They trade worldwide, but their focus is in the Americas.

In July, Mostafa started hearing from freight forwarders and container consolidators about the possibility of accommodating containers on UBC ships.

"Luckily we had a ship, a perfect ship, in a good place that can start helping them out," Mostafa said.

Now multiple UBC ships are being utilized. Mostafa explained the ships' hold size allows an even number of containers to be loaded without too much broken space, carrying no more than 300 containers.

That's smaller than standard volume and the reason why the ships can stop at different ports.

"Because of the size of our ships, the length of our ships, you can go to untraditional container ports," Mostafa said.

Mostafa added the business is happy to be able to help get goods to consumers, and they are open to helping more shippers.

"They really thought outside the box, and I commend them for that, to bypass the congested port in China, bypass the congested port in the U.S., and bring their containers," said Mostafa.
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