L.A. Cargo Crisis Ends as U.S. Imports Crash

cargo ship
Getty Images/AvigatorPhotographer

The cargo crisis that saw a record-breaking 109 ships waiting to dock at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach earlier this year has ended, with only four ships waiting this week, thanks to a drop in imports as the U.S. economy contracts, suggesting recession.

As Breitbart News reported throughout last fall and winter, the number of cargo ships waiting offshore skyrocketed last summer — as Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg took unannounced paternity leave for two months — partly due to pent-up demand in the wake of the pandemic. President Joe Biden promised to move the ports to 24/7 shifts, though that did not happen because of a lack of truck drivers. Other methods, such as penalizing shipping companies for containers left on the dock, were only modestly successful.

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)

Shipping companies moved more of their ships to other ports, though that simply shifted congestion to the East Coast; the cargo crisis continued, as the number of ships awaiting docking overall hit a new record in August. But an easing has begun in earnest, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited a rapid decline in U.S. import volumes as the economy contracts as the reason:

Bottlenecks continue to delay cargo at other major U.S. seaports and at inland freight hubs, but the end of the backup at the big ports in California signals broader supply-chain tangles that have been troubling retailers and manufacturers are unwinding.


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