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As Thanksgiving Approaches, Will Rising Costs, Supply Chain Issues Spoil the Holidays?

Shipping containers are stacked over a truck at the Port of Los Angeles Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Thanksgiving is one week away and the holidays just might be spoiled due to rising costs and supply chain issues. 

With inflation hitting Americans hard in their wallets, a growing consumer crisis has been added to the holiday hustle.

From Thanksgiving turkey to holiday travel to Christmas gifts, this holiday season is going to be the most expensive in more than 30 years. 

Continued backups at our nation's ports remain the main source of inflation and shortages nationwide. Bottlenecks at the Los Angeles- Long Beach port complex are slowly unraveling, but not fast enough. There are currently 84 ships waiting to unload.

"This is jaw-dropping without precedent," said California Gov. Gavin Newsom, while overlooking the port. "You've never seen six containers stacked high."

The California complex has removed 32 percent of the containers that had been waiting by hiring younger truckers, and running operations 24/7. 

President Biden's long-term infrastructure plan will invest $17 billion toward improving U.S. ports. Still, it won't come in time to save the holidays. 

"I heard someone say, 'This is not a silver bullet situation. It's more of a silver buckshot situation,' with a lot of different solutions that can be deployed at the same time," said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. 

Now, consumers are paying the price with this year's Thanksgiving dinner rising twice as fast as consumer wages. The cost of turkey alone jumped 21% and a family of ten can expect to pay 8% for the big meal. 

Others may have to forego traditional meals altogether due to the shortages. 

Experts expect the shipping crisis to double as families send holiday gifts around the globe. Retail sales increased in October with 20% of shoppers over-buying gifts to account for supply-chain issues. 

"Retailers are expecting November and December sales to be up 10%," said Dr. Christine Whelan, a clinical professor of consumer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "That is a lot in the family budget and it's going to be an expensive holiday ahead." 

Leaders of the U.S. - Mexico - Canada agreement met Thursday for the first time since 2016. Biden announced the new agreement hoping to ease supply chain pressure, speed up vaccine distributions, and fight climate change.   

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