a record number of cargo ships they are waiting to be unloaded off the coast of California. The vessels have been in a ‘bottleneck’ for more than a week in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which work like pthe main maritime gateway to the United States. For what is this?
En this moment, the global supply chain is not working due to a number of factors: pandemic, increased consumer demand, the storms, the shortage of cargo ships and containers, as well as the lack of people willing to drive trucks and unload ships for the salaries offered.
This led to different assumptions, such as a publication spread on social networks on September 19 where it said that there were more than a thousand ships waiting to be unloaded off the coast of California and that “everyone had to prepare for a serious shortage.” The claim is inaccurate. Although there are a record number of cargo ships off the California coast, the number is not even close to a thousand.
In fact, until September 21 there were 153 ships of all kinds in both ports. Of these, 64 were at the loading or unloading dock, 60 were anchored and 29 drifting off the coastKip Louttit, CEO of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, told USA Today.
So why are they there?
The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles they are the main maritime gateway to the United States. Last year, the two ports handled the equivalent of 8.8 million imported containers, more than double the 3.9 million loaded boxes that reached the next busiest port in the country in New York and New Jersey.
More than 70 container ships are stacked up outside of California’s Long Beach port waiting to unload. Talk about a supply chain problem! Take a look.pic.twitter.com/VMfmYEAU4B
– Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) September 28, 2021
But the labor shortage on land delays operations at sea even when ports implemented 24-hour schedules to speed up operations.
Before the pandemic it was unusual for more than one ship to wait for a berth in the country’s great ports. These delays have two causes: first, there is a need for trucks and drivers to collect the goods. And later, Americans are buying more as the economy recovers.
“The buying force of americans it is so strong that we cannot absorb all this load in the national supply chain, ”said Port of Los Angeles Director Gene Seroka.
The increase in demand for goods and the labor shortage in the United States they leave shipping companies with few options to restore their supply chains that were functioning normally before the pandemic.
What does it have to do with the pandemic?
These delays occur in the middle of the relaxation of pandemic restrictions and the increase in consumer spending that has triggered the demand for household products, mainly.
During the most difficult months of the pandemic, the global supply network struggled to supply continuing orders around the world, and today they are looking to replenish stocks as they economies continue to recover from the pandemic.
While this is happening, The United States faces a labor shortage aggravated by variants of covid-19, because infected people must comply with a recovery period.
Local consumption and advance purchases, specialists recommend
The end of year partys are characterized by an increase in last minute purchases. But the delays in deliveries they could last until then, complicating consumer purchases.
Specialists recommend strategies such as start Christmas shopping early (the sooner the better) and above all, give preference to local products. Other options are make your own gifts, or just be prepared to wait a little longer for your orders.