Satellite image shows more than 60 container ships wait to dock as log jam hits Port of LA
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The Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach currently has 62 cargo ships waiting to dock. The port normally moves 40 percent of containers in the U.S. but now there is a huge back log of ships waiting to dock

A satellite image has captured more than 60 container ships that are stuck waiting to dock outside the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as a massive supply chain crunch hits the United States.

The extraordinary sight of vessels unable to berth is due in part because of a massive backlog that has been caused by a sudden surge in American buying ahead of the holiday season.

The number of ships that are currently anchored outside the major ports, which moves 40 percent of containers in the United States, has tripled over the course of the past two months to 62. Lines are now at their longest since the start of the pandemic.

The backup at the country's busiest port complex has been brought on by a pandemic-induced buying boom, coupled with a labor shortage that has overwhelmed the port workforce, according to port officials say.

The shipping traffic jams come as the U.S. and some other economies are beginning to head towards normalcy and shows how messy the reopening of business is proving to be more than 18 months since the pandemic's onset. It also shows just how fragile supply chains remain.

The 62 container ships waiting to dock include 42 container ships physically at anchor and 20 in drift areas, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California, which tracks ship traffic in the area.

The Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach currently has 62 cargo ships waiting to dock

Pandemic-driven port congestion and labor shortages have forced retail chains including Costco to spend more on transportation. Cargo ships are pictured on September 20 waiting to dock at traffic-clogged Los Angeles ports

The west coast ports serve as the entry point for a third of imports to the US, and are the main import point for goods coming from China

In an aerial view, container ships are anchored by the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles as they wait to offload on September 20

Amid a record-high demand for imported goods and a shortage of shipping…
Snejana Farberov, James Gordon, By Snejana Farberov James Gordon For
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