Supply Chain Woes Continue as LA Ports Experience the Highest-Ever Number of Ships Waiting to Dock; Gene Seroka Shares
LOS ANGELES, CA - While it has only been a week since we reported that President Biden was holding a summit to address supply chain shortages, global woes are continuing as major California ports are reporting their worst unloading backlogs to date.
Los Angeles Port Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a recent statement that the growing vessel backlog could be seen as a good sign for the U.S. economy.
"The cargo surge we have experienced for more than a year continues. September volume at the Port of Los Angeles landed just shy of 900,000 TEU's (20ft Equivalent Unit)," he commented. "That's the best September in the Port's 140-year history, edging out last year's mark by a little shy of two percent. The surge continues to be driven by the American consumer, which is good news for our economy."
As of Tuesday, October 19, 100 container ships were stuck waiting to unload their cargo at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach, both of which have recently reached agreements to operate 24/7. According to an article from Newsweek, this is a record-breaking number of ships, with the previous record of 97 ships being set in September.
How does this number compare to pre-pandemic port activity? Before COVID-19, the same ports would typically see an average of 17 anchored ships at any given time, further amplifying the drastic increase in bottlenecks.
In addition to his recent summit, President Biden has also taken other measures to help the escalating the supply chain situation. This past June, he established a task force to tackle the challenge, and in August named a special port envoy.
As the issue persists, the president has also highlighted the importance of lasting improvements to infrastructure in the U.S., as backed by his Build Back Better Agenda, to ensure these challenges do not remain constant.
"We need to take a longer view and invest in building greater resiliency to withstand the kinds of shocks we've seen over and over, year in and year out, the risk of pandemic, extreme weather, climate change, cyberattacks, weather disruptions," President Biden explained.
As the produce industry continues to deal with the effects of these supply chain backlogs, AndNowUKnow will report the latest updates and proposed solutions to this ongoing hurdle.