LOS ANGELES - The number of container ships waiting to dock and unload off the coast of Southern California reached new records this week.
A total of 111 container ships were waiting to anchor at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, according to data from the Marine Exchange. The previous record of 108 vessels was reported on Oct. 21.
While the backlog of ships continues to slow the supply chain operations, more containers are being moved through the ports than ever before, officials said.
The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have moved 17% more containers between January and mid-October than they did in 2018, which held the previous record.
"All of us are finding randomly that the things we could buy at the store and just regular supplies are missing. I’m trying to order things for my family for Christmas now because I hear about these issues," a resident told FOX 11.
Locals like Redondo Beach resident Sue Hungate are noticing the impact of the supply chain issues.
"Sometimes things arrive overnight and sometimes things arrive a week or two later. I think all of us are noticing there is definitely a change in availability in things we need for daily living," said Hungate.
In an effort to improve efficiency, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) workers announced a shift towards 24/7 operations.
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In just one week, the number of containers sitting on the docks for at least nine days has fallen over 20%, according to data provided by the ports.
Terminal operators have also been considering changing the "Pier Pass" system to create a financial incentive for truck drivers to use night and weekend hours. Currently, truck drivers pay a fee to enter the ports to pick up cargo.
The proposal being considered would waive the current fee during nights and weekends during the remainder of the shipping high season. It would allow trucks to move containers off the docks more efficiently and produce fewer emissions in the surrounding communities.
The average number of days a shipping container remains on the docks has gone up this year, to around six days in September of 2021 from under three days pre-pandemic.
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