Port of Los Angeles, Major Retailers Operating 24/7 to Clear Backlog of Thousands of Shipping Containers

Dozens of container ships off the coast of Los Angeles are waiting their turn to unload. Containers are stacking up on the dock as retailers face labor shortages. President Biden met with shipping companies and port executives Wednesday.

President Joe Biden met with shipping companies and port executives Wednesday to try to improve the bottleneck at sea that's led to massive supply shortages and higher prices.

Dozens of container ships off the coast of Los Angeles are waiting their turn to unload their cargo, and there are concerns the delays may continue through the holidays. 

The cranes are running non-stop to get thousands of containers onto the dock. It takes as many as three days to offload a ship, with each carrying about 20,000 containers. 

On the dock, the towers of containers are rising higher and higher. Big-box stores like Walmart, Home Depot, Target and thousands of small businesses all have containers waiting to be picked up.

They're filled with toys, appliances, furniture, and clothing  — shipped from factories in Asia.

Each container must be picked up by a truck, and there are simply not enough truck drivers to get the job done faster.

With the supply issues come increased prices. Diaper prices are up nearly 9%, clothes are up 4.2% and new cars are up 7.6%. Meat prices are up nearly 9% and eggs are up nearly 10% from a year ago.

On Wednesday, the port of Los Angeles and the nation's major retailers agreed to operate 24/7 to get the nation's supply chain moving.

“The commitments being made today are a sign of major progress in moving goods to manufacturers to your store and your front door,” Biden said.

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