Over the last two plus years, the U.S. economy has fought its way through a steady stream of harmful supply chain disruptions. This variation has challenged production and inĀ­ventories in every facet of the economy.

Perhaps the place where this volatility in purchases could be most easily observed has been the ports, where dramatic changes in consumer behavior were observed in seemingly mile-high stacks of containers and vessels waiting to be unloaded.

Observers hoped that port congestion previously had peaked at the beginning of 2022 and appeared to finally be easing in May and early June, but now things are worse than ever. Is erratic consumer spending to blame again? Or is something...