As of writing there are approximately 111 ships fully loaded with cargo that are still floating in the harbor and waiting to get unloaded in the ports in California.
Over the past few months, a bevy of cargo ships carrying a vast number of consumer goods from various Asian markets has sat waiting out in the Pacific Ocean as the United States looks down the barrel of major labor shortages, which has created major bottlenecks across important California ports.
Despite supposed action from the administration of Old Uncle Joe, more of these much-needed goods still remain stranded at sea. A report from Business Insider put forth this past Wednesday stated:
According to data from the Marine Exchange, a total of 111 container ships are bobbing at sea around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, waiting to dock and unload. That breaks the previous record of 108 vessels reported on October 21.
The two ports remain clogged despite efforts to speed up the processing of containers amid a surge in consumer demand for goods. The White House announced a shift to an around-the-clock schedule in October and a new looming threat of fines for leaving containers on the docks for several days.
Experts and analysts have stated that this crisis will continue on for the foreseeable future. As part of a recent poll of economists from the Wall Street Journal, almost half stated that the supply chain bottlenecks were “the biggest threat to economic growth in the next twelve to eighteen months.” Additionally, 45% also estimate that the bottlenecks will be sticking around until at least the third quarter of 2022.
Despite all of this, Biden has put extreme emphasis on the idea that the supply chain issues are just coming from increased demand from consumers in the wake of COVID-19 and the lockdown-induced recession. Pete Buttigieg, the Biden administration’s Transportation Secretary, stated to CNN during an interview that the to exactly how “successfully” Biden has managed to run the economy.
“Well, certainly, a lot of the challenges that we have been experiencing this year will continue into next year,” explained the secretary. “But there are both short-term and long-term steps that we can take to do something about it. Look, part of what’s happening isn’t just the supply side. It’s the demand side. Demand is off the charts. Retail sales are through the roof.”
“And if you think about those images of ships, for example, waiting at anchor on the West Coast, you know, every one of those ships is full of record amounts of goods that Americans are buying, because demand is up, because income is up, because the president has successfully guided this economy out of the teeth of a terrifying recession,” stated Buttigieg. “Now the issue is, even though our ports are handling more than they ever have, record amounts of goods coming through, our supply chains can’t keep up. And, of course, our supply chains, that’s a complicated system that is mostly in private hands, and rightly so.”
In the days previous, however, Politico unveiled that Buttigieg had been on a paid leave for the past few months after adopting twins: “While U.S. ports faced anchor-to-anchor traffic and Congress nearly melted down over the president’s infrastructure bill in recent weeks, the usually omnipresent Transportation secretary was lying low.”