Cargo ships waiting to be unloaded in California are reaching the highest level of all time

An aerial image taken on October 15, 2021, shows freight containers in the port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, California.

An aerial image taken on October 15, 2021, shows freight containers in the port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, California.
Photography: Patrick T. Fallon / AFP (Getty Images)

If you want to know what a global supply chain crisis it seems like the worst, all you have to do is check what happened to usCalifornia ports this week.

Los Angeles and Long Beach State Harbor Complex at one point there were more than 100 ships waiting to unload their cargo in recent days, an all-time record, The Guardian logged in. For a complex accustomed to seeing less than 20 ships at anchor before a pandemic, the wave of traffic is staggering. Unfortunately, this is not something new for the port complex, which has been breaking records for months.

In June, for example, the port of Los Angeles became the first in the western hemisphere to receive 10 million container units in a period of 12 months, according to the agency. Just last month, the port of Los Angeles had the busiest September ever. Meanwhile, in Long Beach, some expect from the port this year it processes more than nine million container units, which would be the highest in the history of the port.

Mario Cordero, the executive director of the port of Long Beach, advised people on Thursday to buy holiday gifts earlier this year due to the crisis. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach — which are national first and second in size ports, ie they process 40% of container imports and 30% of exports to the USA

“Buy early, because these delays and bottlenecks will continue until the end of the year,” Cordero said. Bloomberg. “Let’s hope we have some strong mitigating factors.”

However, not all experts want consumers – or retailers and manufacturers, for that matter – to follow Corder’s advice. Sellers and manufacturers over-ordered or ordered too early during the crisis, which only exacerbates the problem, CNBC found.

“Because the problems are well known, orders for raw materials, components and finished goods are now being delivered earlier than usual, which prolongs the order, creating a vicious circle,” RBC Wealth Management said in a note in mid-October. , according to CNBC.

The Biden administration has struggled to reverse the crisis, which is also affected by a shortage of trucks, drivers and warehouse workers, in national ports. Some of his initiatives include increasing capacity at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach by switching to a 24/7 schedule and getting the three largest carriers in the country – Walmart, FedEx and UPS – to work on that schedule also. The administration is also reportedly considering deploying a National Guard to help alleviate the crisis, CNN reported.

Higher prices and longer waiting times for products are, of course, bad, but the supply and crisis of the supply chain is even worse news for the planet. Ships waiting to unload their cargo pollutants while anchored, and there are a lot of anchored ships these days. The shipment itself is responsible for 2.2% of global carbon emissions. One estimate showed that one giant container ship was emitting the same amount of pollution as 50 million cars.

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Naveen Kumar

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