PHOTOS: 66 Cargo Ships Hover Near L.A., Long Beach Ports; UPDATE: 100 Ships
LOS ANGELES, California — Sixty-six cargo ships were at anchor off the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the busiest and second-busiest container ports in the United States, respectively, on Monday as an ongoing cargo crisis continued.
A ship enters the Port of Los Angeles, as seen from the hills of San Pedro, October 18, 2021 (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)
The ships, visible for miles from the shore, were anchored in formation, almost like a military fleet, as they hovered near the coast, waiting for a chance to dock and offload their cargo — and as more ships continued to arrive from across the ocean.
The two port facilities are adjacent to one another (see map). According to statistics provided by the Port of Los Angeles, there were 33 ships at anchor for each of the facilities on Monday, with an average time at anchor and berth of 17.5 days.
Panoramic view of ships at anchor off the coast of Long Beach, seen from Signal Hill, October 18, 2021 (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)
The backlog at the ports has been caused by a variety of factors: a rise in consumer demand as the pandemic recedes; a lack of dock workers to offload the ships; a lack of truckers to remove the containers; and a lack of space for containers in port.
The Vincent Thomas bridge spanning the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, October 18, 2021 (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)
Curious residents gathered at Lookout Park in San Pedro on Monday afternoon to see the unusual sight of an armada of cargo ships. One local resident who spoke to Breitbart News said he had never seen anything like the congestion in the port before.
Closer view of ships at anchor off the coast of Long Beach, with downtown Long Beach in foreground, seen from Signal Hill, October 18, 2021 (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)
The Biden administration has struggled to deal with the crisis. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg convened a meeting on the cargo issue in July, but took two months’ of paternity leave, unannounced, in mid-August and only recently returned.
Ships at anchor off the coast, as viewed from a road behind the Los Angeles and Long Beach port facilities, with containers in the foreground, October 18, 2021 (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)
The resulting supply chain shock has meant shortages for many consumer goods on the shelves of American stores, and delays in delivery of goods ordered for home delivery. That, in turn, has exacerbated concerns about rising inflation.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.