You Might Wan’t to Start Your Holiday Shopping Early This Year

Miles Yui, Staff

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach process 20% of the United States cargo. Recently there has been a backup in these central locations, stranding many ships at sea. The blockage reflects a combination of Covid-19 related safety measures, a labor shortage, the New York Post Stated (Connely, 2021). These problems have not only caused an issue for businesses but have also aroused a concern that there might not be many presents under the tree this year.

Businesses are waiting on many cargo containers to arrive. Sailors driving these ships are waiting, unable to see their families. According to BBC, “On Saturday, a record 73 ships were stuck outside – almost twice as many as at the same time in August”(Thomas, 2021). This evidence shows that numerous boats cannot move in a line of vessels as far as the eye can see. These congested ports have led to items taking months after their estimated time of arrival. According to the Insider, “Transit times from Shanghai to Chicago had more than doubled to 73 days from 35 days…voyages are now taking 30 days longer than in previous years”(Towey, Kay, and Cain, 2021). The backup has caused issues for businesses that do not have enough supplies.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 20: (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

With so many vessels stuck in the port, the issue arises a health concern. According to the Grist, “Container vessels near Los Angeles and Long Beach caused a sharp increase in emissions of cancer-causing particulate matter and smog-forming nitrogen oxides, which can damage people’s lungs and trigger asthma symptoms…Officials say they are investigating whether a ship’s anchor struck a crude oil pipeline late last week, resulting in a 126,000-gallon leak that’s smothering beaches and wildlife” (Galluci, 2021). This evidence shows that this backup is not only damaging Los Angeles and Long Beach’s citizens but is hurting wildlife and the environment.

Students at Diegueno were interviewed on the topic. Diego Deleissegues says that he has experienced long delays on shipping orders from out of the country. “It takes a long time to get here,” he said. He also stated that he has already started his holiday shopping. Dawson Mowry was also interviewed on the subject. He said he has also experienced delays from out of the country. Though he is not worried about it affecting his Christmas. 

President Biden has announced that the Port of Los Angeles will be open 24/7 to help ease the cargo bottleneck. But this has done little to ease the bottleneck. With so many vessels and few workers, this problem will continue and may affect the holidays this year.