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  • Eli Richardson

Southern California Still Struggling with Supply Chain Backup

Eli Richardson

January 16, 2022

The world is struggling with supply chain backups and it is unlikely to get better any time soon. The Omicron variant has resulted in 1 in 10 dockworkers being unavailable to work in the Long Beach and Los Angles ports in Southern California. These ports are some of the busiest in the world and currently have a backlog of near 100 container ships that the short staff workforce is trying to clear.

The Pacific Maritime Association reports that cases for their west coast dockworkers have increased in the past few weeks. The ports being short-staffed means that last week two ships received fewer than the requested amount of dockworkers and 13 ships did not receive any workers. These shortages have effectively led to a halt of the port with 102 ships waiting for entry to the port. It is believed that the rise in cases, as well as a decrease in productivity from the holiday season, has accounted for the new record high of vessels waiting for access to the port.

The Southern California ports where these shortages are taking place account for about 40% of container cargo from Asia and are vital to importing and exporting goods for the United States. Imports were on the rise last year as businesses looked to stock to pre-covid inventory levels which is a contributing factor in the backlog. Due to the importance of these ports and White House has taken steps with limited success to move operations to 24 hours a day.

With how large the backlog of cargo currently is, do not expect the supply chain backups to resolve any time soon.



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