Despite reports of panic buying, CA dock interruptions are having minimal impact

Officials stress so far there have been few delays.
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 9:15 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 6, 2023 at 10:03 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Matson says a potential strike by California dock workers has one of its ships running a day late.

While that’s enough to cause any disruptions for stores, some products have been flying off the shelves.

On Tuesday, toilet paper seemed to be in pretty good supply at Costco’s busiest location in Hawaii.

But staff told HNN that this weekend they were completely sold out of the product.

One shopper said she went to Waipio Costco on Monday morning and found the shelves empty.

“I wasn’t panic shopping. I actually did need it, and there was nothing there,” said Sheryl Bieler, who added she was disappointed to hear about shoppers hoarding.

“They were walking out with three to four packages of toilet paper. How much do you really need.”

If this story sounds familiar, it is.

During the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, people rushed to the stores to stock up on essential items as fears of a breakdown in the supply chain mounted.

This time, it’s dock worker negotiations in California. On Friday, the Port of Oakland was shut down due to insufficient labor for terminal operations.

In a statement to Hawaii News Now, Matson said:

“These labor slowdowns have affected some but not all terminals on the West Coast. So far, only one Matson voyage has been impacted – our Wednesday arrival (one of three weekly) will arrive a day behind schedule on Thursday this week.”

On Tuesday, Hawaii Gov. Josh Green tried to reassure the public.

“Neither Hawaii or Alaska should be affected by any kind of labor disputes that are going on the west coast,” said Green. “There is a long-standing gentlemen’s agreement that whatever happens in California does not affect us here in Hawaii because of our commitment to the Jones Act.”

Staff at the Costco Iwilei location told HNN at this point, they are not having any problems keeping the shelves stocked with toilet paper and are not limiting the number of items you can buy.