PHOTOS: Massive Cargo Ship Buildup Outside L.A., Long Beach Ports as Imports Resume

Surfer cargo ship (Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty)
Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty

Massive supply chain disruptions are being felt across the United States as imports resume from pandemic lows — and as the country’s busiest ports, at Los Angeles and Long Beach, are unable to handle the volume of container ships, many of which await offshore.

Part of the problem, the Wall Street Journal noted Sunday, is that “the busiest U.S. port complex shuts its gates for hours on most days and remains closed on Sundays.” As a result, “[t]ens of thousands of containers are stuck … [and m]ore than 60 ships are lined up to dock, with waiting times stretching to three weeks.” The ships are visible from the shore, for miles:

Container ships (Mario Tama / Getty)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 20: In an aerial view, container ships are anchored by the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles as they wait to offload on September 20, 2021 near Los Angeles, California. Amid a record-high demand for imported goods and a shortage of shipping containers and truckers, the twin ports are currently seeing unprecedented congestion. On September 17, there were a record total of 147 ships, 95 of which were container ships, in the twin ports, which move about 40 percent of all cargo containers entering the U.S. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Container ships LA (Mario Tama / Getty)

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Ships lined up (Mario Tama / Getty)

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Surfer container ships (Frederic J. Brown / Getty)

A surfer waits for waves at Huntington Beach, California on Setember 25, 2021 as container ships wait offshore. – A record number of cargo ships have been stuck waiting outside the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to have cargo unloaded, amid backups in America’s two busiest ports. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Surfing dog ships (Ringo H.W. Chiu / Associated Press)

A container ship in the background as a dog competes in the annual Surf City Surf Dog event, at Dog Beach in Huntington Beach, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

The Journal notes that the supply chain is beset by a variety of problems, all of which contribute to the shipping delays: limited interest among workers in performing night shifts; scarce warehouse capacity; empty containers taking up space in port; a shortage of equipment on the docks; and limited trucking capacity, which has barely expanded to meet the increase in demand.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times advises: “Get your holiday shopping done — right now.”

The last shipping crisis on the West Coast was in 2015, when a strike among dock workers delayed imports and exports.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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