Port fight costing us $400,000 a day: CEO

Port shutdown = big impact on products
Port shutdown = big impact on products   

The gridlock at West Coast ports is hitting companies hard, with one CEO telling CNBC his organization alone has 200 containers with "millions of dollars in inventory" stuck at the ports or offshore.

West Coast ports reopened Tuesday after shutting down for the long weekend because of an ongoing contract dispute between dockworkers and their employers.

"This is currently costing my company $400,000 a day in sales," A.J. Khubani, president and CEO of Telebrands, said in an interview Tuesday with "Power Lunch."

Telebrands is a leader in the "As Seen on TV" industry. It sells about 80 products, including Pocket Hose, Ped Egg Power and Dump Dinners.

A container is loaded onto a ship docked at the Port of Oakland.
Getty Images
A container is loaded onto a ship docked at the Port of Oakland.

The dockworkers union and the maritime association began meeting in May, and in recent weeks their disagreements at the bargaining table have led to historically debilitating problems moving cargo through 29 seaports from Southern California to Seattle.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez has now flown to San Francisco in hopes of resolving the stalemate.

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"All we can do is pray" that an agreement is reached, Khubani said.

He said his company lost $5 million in business over the Christmas season because of the dispute.

"Our Pocket Hose, for example, [is] a seasonal product that has to be on the store shelves next month and they're sitting at the port. We can't get them out," Khubani said.

Turning to air freight won't solve his problem either, he said, since it costs $2 per unit to do so, compared with 10 cents per unit by sea.

With a product that retails for about $15, "that's most of our profit," he noted.

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As for rerouting to the East Coast, that would cost about $3,000 more per container right now.

"The cost of containers to the East Coast has gone up because of supply and demand. There's much more demand to ship containers to the East Coast," Khubani said.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.