Commissary Delays in Europe Caused by More Dock Problems

Protests near some ports caused delivery delays at commissaries in Europe. But officials say those delays are now over.

If you noticed things were a little more sparse than usual at your commissary in Europe here’s why: dock problems. Lots and lots of dock problems.

A pretty hefty percentage of food stocked in overseas commissaries is shipped by boat from the states. Other portions of it are airlifted.

That means that when there is a hold-up at any major port in any portion of the world service by the commissary, supplies at the stores are going to be impacted. The latest problem? Protests in France.

Who would’ve thought totally unrelated to you or any of your groceries political protests would keep you from buying food?

Protests near some ports caused delivery delays at commissaries in Europe. But officials say those delays are now over.

Protests near some ports caused delivery delays at commissaries in Europe. But officials say those delays are now over.

This round of protests has been going off and on for about a month. Commissary officials say the hold-ups resulted in some delays at their distribution centers, but that everything should be good now.

“To date, the port delays have had very minimal effect on the availability of products. The shipments that arrived late were immediately used to restock commissary shelves,” Kevin Robinson, a commissary spokesman told me in a statement last week. “There are no shortages at the current time. However, the situation is fluid. Right now, products are moving through the Eurotunnel and the ferry crossings at Calais with minimum delays.”

Robinson declined to speculate on how DeCA would deal with any real shortages in Europe if the protests were to get worse. However, we know that in Asia where it’s very difficult for the commissary to buy locally sourced fresh food that meets FDA standards (by which the commissary must abide) they ended up airlifting in goods. Local sourcing the UK, however, should be easier — and I bet they would find a solution that way.

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of’s spouse and family blog A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.
  • retin88

    Amy shame on you. The goods are shipped not by boat but buy ship. Since you are an Army Spouse I can understand your mistake. When stationed in Italy shopped the local markets including a suer sized market and had no trouble eating well. I say enjoy the local economy and be intergrated into it. It was nice to have a local green grocer, fish monger, bakery and even a butcher. SCPO USN Ret.

    • MAJ.D

      “Shame?” Bring it down a notch, chief. You’re supposed to relax a little in your retirement, not wind it up more. No one outside of the Navy cares what the difference is between a boat and a ship is.

      • ken badoian

        We are an Island Nation. A vast majority of our imports and exports come in ships, BIG ships not boats. Any everyone should worry that we have enough ships to control the sea lanes. Read Adm. Mahan – fleet in being, sea control. and power projection. Although written in the late 1800’s those ideas are just as true today. I have no shame at all. Instead I have great pride in my 23 plus years of naval service. I ASSume you are Maj either in Army or USAF. No US Marine would write would take offense with what I wrote. I’ll relax when the US Navy to project it’s power anywhere, anytime, on any body of water big enough. I have notched it up. Go to to my notches. SCPO (SW)(SS) USN Ret.

        • walkerny

          the point remains. “shaming” an Army spouse over a verbal slip? Besides being something a cranky old codger would do, it isn’t intellectually important to the story in question. May I suggest getting a hobby and some high fibre cereals…

        • walkerny

          The point remains, “shaming” an Army spouse over nautical terms? is that the extent of your importance in retirement? Intellectually, it has zero importance regarding the story in question. Time to get a hobby, and / or increase the fiber in your diet.

  • guest

    So why are we shipping all the commisary food from the states. Don’t the host and surrounding countries produce food stuffs?

    • walkerny

      yes and they have since a few years after WW2. Only an obtuse, obese thing as a government entity ships at great expense, food and goods to first world countries for dependents of soldiers (all of whom should not even be there) to walk past local shops crammed with goods to by the same goods in the commissary! any wonder why we are broke?

  • Guest

    Good thing I know how to shop at the local stores. The food in Germany is a better quality and usually cheaper. Stay calm. You can eat local food.

  • walkerny

    Time to get most of our troops and AL of our spouses, families, (and commissaries) out of Europe.