About 70 cargo ships are queuing outside two of the largest ports in the United States due to the growing demand for imported goods.
Ships carrying thousands of containers are forced to wait for a place to dock at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in California, which together operate about 40% of all cargo ships entering the United States.
The disruption has been blamed on a shortage of trucks and drivers to collect goods amid rising import demand as the US economy continues to open.
Some economic analysts said they fear the problems for cargo ships entering ports will continue into 2022.
About 60 ships were waiting on the California coast last week, but that record jumped to 73 on the weekend with other ports also unable to help eliminate the backlog due to a lack of capacity.
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have announced measures to try to accelerate « unprecedented growth » in cargo volumes.
Both ports will expand the hours during which trucks can collect and return containers as part of an effort to « maximize » night operations.
Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach, said they will continue to take « bold and immediate action to help the supply chain move record freight volumes. »
“These steps, in addition to what has been previously recommended, demonstrate that the Port of Los Angeles will continue to innovate in order to manage this historic rise in shipping,” Port of Los Angeles CEO Jane Siroca added.
Los Angeles is the busiest container port in North America, a position it has held for more than two decades.
The The global freight network has struggled to keep up with this pace With the continued rise in orders by retailers and manufacturers looking to replenish stocks as economies continue to make some recovery from their continuation COVID-19 pandemic.
Shortages of pet food, wood and clothing have been reported amid a surge in orders throughout the coronavirus crisis.
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