Due to COVID-19, there were labor shortages for unloading cargo ships in California, where 56 cargo ships were stationed off the coast of Long Beach.
As of September 14, 2021, 140 ships were queuing at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, with 80 at anchor or drift areas and 60 at berths. There were 87 container ships, including 56 cargo ships at anchor or in drift regions and 31 at berth.
Business Insider reports that according to the data from the port of Los Angeles, the average waiting time of ships has increased to approximately 8.5 days which was earlier zero to one. In California, Long Beach (LB) and Los Angeles (LA) are responsible for almost one-third of all U.S. imports. Despite a record number of ships in the anchor, the LB and LA Marine Transportation Systems continue to be reliable, safe, and environmentally friendly.
Kip Louttit, the executive director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, said, "Part of the problem is the ships are double or triple the size of the ships we were seeing 10 or 15 years ago," Louttit said. "They take longer to unload. You need more trucks, more trains, more warehouses to put the cargo."
Reuters reported that a port executive on September 15 said 60 container vessels were waiting at San Pedro Bay to be unloaded at LA/LB seaports, and another 20 were on their way to reach the area shortly.