Ever Wondered What All of Those Container Ships Stacked Up at Port Look Like?

On a recent flight home to Southern California, we flew over the Port of Long Beach, one of the busiest ports in the country. We’ve seen the blinking lights of the container ships lined up out in the harbor at night. And, at sunset, I’ve seen their hulking forms silhouetted against Catalina Island. But to see them from the air adds a whole new element to the picture.

We’ve all experienced the delays in receiving shipments during the last year and a half, but I thought it was rather sobering to actually see all of this inventory, still tucked away in its containers, out to sea.

Last summer, when my dishwasher died, it took a full three months for the new one to show up. And the wine fridge my husband ordered to organize his inventory — we’re still waiting for it, six months later!

And you might have heard about the horrendous Huntington Beach oil spill a month or so ago — caused by one of these ship’s anchors dragging over a pipeline. It was a heartbreaking mess.

I’ve read that a huge part of the issue is the surge in demand for products that Americans have ordered since the pandemic began. Apparently, we are shopping more since we haven’t been going out as much. And there have also been labor issues.

There’s no telling when this congestion will ease. So, for now, I’ve been trying to get my holiday shopping done early. Let’s just hope those Legos show up in time!


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