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Cargo Ships Continue To Arrive, Just To End Up Waiting To Get Into Ports Of LA, Long Beach

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles is no stranger to traffic jams, but not necessarily those in the water.

cargo ships port LA 9-21
(credit: CBS)

The jam in the waters off the Port of Los Angeles continues to get worse, with a new record of 70 cargo ships waiting to get into the LA and Long Beach ports – up from 60 that were spotted last week.

The bottleneck at the port is due partly to the shortage of trucks and drivers to pick up goods. The ships are carrying everything from furniture to electronics to holiday toys.

Shipping traffic is up 50% from pre-pandemic levels, contributing to the bottleneck. The Ports of LA and Long Beach handle 40% of the nation's imports.

"The American's buying strength is so strong and epic, that we can't absorb all this cargo into the domestic supply chain," Port of LA Director Gene Seroka said. This could mean shoppers may not be able to find the items they want in the time they want, particularly when it comes to holiday shopping.

Economists fear the shipping logjam could continue until the end of 2022.

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