UTICA, N.Y. -- Ships grounded by the coronavirus, in China, have businesses in the Utica area waiting for products.
"It's had a big impact; we have about 300 orders that we're waiting on," says Steve Sperbeck, general manager of ERL Intermodal, off of Wurz Avenue, in Utica.
ERL Intermodal sends truck drivers to five ports in New York and New Jersey, to pick up large containers that arrive by ship, from China, and deliver them to multiple area businesses. Smaller distances traveled mean smaller paychecks.
"So they get paid, miles, stops, drop and hooks so if we don't have enough to pick up out of the port, we might send them to Rochester, Syracuse only so they're getting 200 miles instead of 550 miles," said Sperbeck. "It's been challenging to find work for the drivers to keep everybody going."
Once the ships are moving again, the temporily-sparse paychecks will quickly grow.
"On the back side, once it does free up, we're gonna get bombed all at once," said Sperbeck.
But one the ships are moving again, they won't show up from China, overnight.
"Four to six weeks before it hits here," says Sperbeck.