- Forty-four container ships are stuck outside California ports, worsening shipping delays and costs.
- This tops the previous pandemic record, set in February, of 40 ships.
- The ports account for about one-third of US imports, serving as a main source of trade with China.
Forty-four freight ships are stuck awaiting entry into California’s two largest ports, the highest number recorded since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Marine Exchange of Southern California reported on Saturday.
The queue is a result of the labor shortage, COVID-19-related disruptions, and holiday-buying surges. Port of Los Angeles data indicated that the ships’ average wait time had increased to 7.6 days.
“The normal number of container ships at anchor is between zero and one,” Kip Louttit, the executive director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, told Insider in July.