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.
Number of ships waiting to unload at Ports of LA/Long Beach:
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) October 21, 2022
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.
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.