Wednesday, 17 November 2021 11:00

Port of LA Officials Report Backlog Improvement Ahead of Holiday Season

Written by Madison Hirneisen, The Center Square


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Officials from the Port of Los Angeles said Nov. 16 they’d seen a “significant improvement” at the backlogged port in recent weeks, reporting a 25% drop in the number of import containers at the docks ahead of the holiday season.

In recent weeks, the number of import containers at the dock has dropped from 95,000 to about 71,000, Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said during a news conference Nov. 16. He also noted the amount of cargo sitting at the docks for nine or more days has dropped by 29%.


“A 29% reduction on that older cargo moving off the docks while three weeks worth of ships have come in and returned back to Asia is a good sign that we'll start moving at those anchored ships pretty quickly,” Seroka said.


While the pandemic-induced backlog at the port has caused major strains on the global supply chain and fueled concerns over a shortage of goods during the holiday season, Seroka said the ports “continue to deliver record amounts of cargo.” He noted the port expects to finish the year by moving 10.8 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) by the end of the year---a figure that will shatter the port’s previous record of 9.5 million in 2018.


Seroka was joined by Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who highlighted the Biden administration’s $17 billion investment in the nation’s ports and waterways. For the Port of Los Angeles, this investment will fund many “shovel-ready” projects that will create new rail and road connectors and expand land use, Seroka said.


During the press conference, Buttigieg also discussed the current conditions at the Port of Los Angeles, noting the decrease in the number of containers dwelling for more than nine days is an “early but very promising sign.” He noted, however, the best way to end the pandemic-induced backlog is to stamp out COVID-19 altogether.


“The single surest way to end pandemic-related disruptions is to end the pandemic, and that’s why the vaccine push of this administration is another tool in our toolkit to move goods efficiently across the U.S.,” Buttigieg said.


As of the morning of Nov. 16, about 84 container ships were waiting to get into the Port of Los Angeles, according to an operations report. In addressing this number, Seroka noted only about one-third of those anchored ships are...

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