Calls for state of emergency to be declared in California over shipping crisis

California’s ports in Long Beach and Los Angeles move 40 per cent of container imports in the US

Jade Bremner
Friday 22 October 2021 15:21
Comments
Leer en Español

The head of the California Trucking Association has said that a state of emergency should be declared in California over the chaos at the ports.

"I think we are in a situation in California where a state of emergency related to the ports is certainly something that should be considered," Shawn Yadon, the CEO of the California Trucking Association told Fox News.

The clogged ports are being caused by global supply issues, a surge in demand for goods for the holiday season, and local labour shortages of dockworkers and truck drivers.

The trucking industry is in need of an estimated 80,000 drivers, Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Association, told CNN. Pre-pandemic the industry was already operating on reduced staff numbers, with a shortage of 61,500 truckers.

California’s ports in Long Beach and Los Angeles move 40 per cent of container imports in the US. The Biden administration announced last week that the port of Los Angeles would follow the example of Long Beach and move to 24/7 operations to reduce the blockages. President Biden called for all areas of the supply chain to step up their operations in the coming weeks

“For the positive impact to be felt all across the country and by all of you at home, we need major retailers who ordered the goods and the freight movers who take the goods from the ships to factories and to stores to step up as well,” he said.

Other ports around the US are suffering similar problems, in Savannah around 70 cargo ships could be seen lining up to get into port this week, with tourists arriving to see the unusual sight of giant vessels in a queue.

There have been warnings of toy shortages, clothes and food shortages over the Christmas period, plus soaring prices for goods. Consumers are being advised to plan ahead for the holidays.

Freight-tracking company Freightos has said that container costs between China and the US have jumped to $20,000 in the past year, compared with only $4,000 a year ago, with prices between countries jumping 500 per cent year on year.

“I half-jokingly tell people ‘order your Christmas presents now because otherwise on Christmas day, there may just be a picture of something that’s not coming until February or March,’” said Scott Price, president of UPS, told AP in September.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill has earmarked funds to address national transport issues. A state of emergency is usually used to protect citizens, and focus resources on a problem immediately. California recently declared a state of emergency in response to an oil spill near Huntington Beach. “The state is moving to cut red tape and mobilise all available resources to protect public health and the environment," Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement at the beginning of October.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in