Key ports in Southern California have hit a fourth record in less than three weeks, as shipping delays surge past early pandemic levels.
On Monday, 56 cargo ships were stuck at anchor or in drift areas off of Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. The ports are currently dealing with 140 total ship in the ports, including 87 freighters, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California.
In late August, the ports hit an all-time high not seen since February, when the onset of the pandemic and panic-buying wreaked havoc on global supply chains.
The queue is a result of COVID-19-related disruptions, and holiday-buying surges, paired with a national labor shortage. Port of Los Angeles data indicates that ships’ average wait times have increased to 8.5 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.
California ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach account for about one-third of US imports. These ports operate as a primary source of imports from China and have experienced heavy congestion throughout the pandemic.