For those who want to deep dive into a global supply chain crisis, here is what happened at the ports of Southern California this week. The port complex of Los Angeles (LA) and Long Beach (LB), according to Guardian, at one point had over 100 vessels that were waiting to unload. It was an all-time high. For a complex that is accustomed to 20 ships at anchor in the pre-pandemic phase, the traffic wave now is staggering.
However, this is not something unusual for the port complex that has been experiencing a record-breaking streak over months now. For instance, back in June 2021, the LA port was Western Hemisphere’s first to receive 10 million container units within just 12 months.
On the other hand, LA port encountered the busiest September ever this year. Meanwhile, there are expectations with the LB port to process over nine million container units in 2021. If it manages to do so, it would be the highest in its history. Mario Cordero, executive director of LB port, suggested shopping early as these bottlenecks will continue until year-end.
CNBC reports suggest that all experts do not want consumers, retailers, or manufacturers to support Cordero’s advice. Manufacturers and retailers have been ordering way too early or overordering during the ongoing crisis. It is worsening the issue.
Biden administration is trying to come up with a resolution. The struggle remains with the shortage of drivers, warehouse workers, and trucks at the ports. Some of the initiatives have included boosting the capacities at the LA and LB ports by going for a 24/7 schedule and getting three of the nation’s largest goods carriers— UPS, Walmart, and FedEx—to operate on the schedule. The administration is further considering deploying the National Guard to ease the ongoing crisis.
Higher prices teamed with longer waiting times are bad, but the shipping crises and supply chain are the worse that could be for our planet. Vessels setting to unload cargo releases pollutants when anchored. With a significant number of ships at anchorage, the maritime industry is now responsible for about 2.2% of carbon emissions globally. An estimate affirmed that a huge container vessel exudes the same level of pollution almost 50 million cars would be generating.
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