It’s easy to lose sight of the entire scope of how much our daily lives have been negatively affected in the last two years by the COVID craze.
While it’s obvious how much our freedoms have been trampled on, it has also wrecked havoc on the economy.
Ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach are now facing a backlog of at least 70 cargo ships which are sitting off the coast.
This backlog is wrecking the economy, as these ports recieve 40% of America’s imports.
This has resulted in driving up the costs of everything from goods to services.
Experts are warning that this will likely heavily impact the holiday season.
Shipping traffic is up 50% from before the “pandemic,” and the ports can’t keep up with Americans’ strong buying strength.
Here’s the latest on the backlog of ships from the BBC:
Some 65 cargo ships have been forced to queue outside two of America’s biggest ports, in the latest sign of supply chain disruption hitting the US.
The ships are stuck outside the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, which handle 40% of all cargo containers entering the country.
Before Covid, it was unusual for more than one to wait for a berth.
The backlog is linked to surging demand for imports as the US economy has reopened.
Retailers and manufacturers have rushed to place orders and restock their inventories, but the global shipping system is struggling to keep up.
It’s contributed to shortages of children’s toys, timber, new clothes and pet food, while also pushing up consumer prices.
Gene Seroka, head of the Port of LA, last week warned that a “significant volume” of cargo was “headed our way throughout this year and into 2022”.
“We continue to monitor a host of variables; disruptions continue at every node in the supply chain,” he said.
Together, LA and Long Beach are the main seaborne gateway to the US, particularly for imports from China.
And on Saturday a record 73 ships were stuck outside – almost twice as many as at the same time in August.
Some cargo ships have been diverted because of the backlog, which is preventing thousands of containers from being unloaded.
Yahoo News with more on how this is affecting businesses:
“There are really on average about 16 available truckload shipments for every available truck to move product out of there,” said Bob Biesterfeld, the CEO of shipping logistics company C.H. Robinson.
He said major retailers are paying for planes to fly in goods from overseas and some are chartering entire container ships.
“That’s something that, frankly, we’ve just never seen before,” Biesterfeld said. “We expect there will be more bare shelves for the holiday season this year than people may be accustomed to.”
Tony Jabuka, owner of The Bike Palace in San Pedro, is still waiting on the 100 new bikes he ordered last year after buyers wiped out his inventory.
“I imagine some of them are on the ships right out here in San Pedro,” he said. “It is frustrating because you can look down into the harbor and see all the containers that are stacked five or six high.”
Americans can expect the holiday shopping season to be greatly affected.