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California Port Congestion Slowly Shrinking, But Still Risks Christmas Goods Delays

© REUTERS / MIKE BLAKEShips are shown offshore at the port of Long Beach as supply chain problem continue from Long Beach, California, U.S. November 22, 2021
Ships are shown offshore at the port of Long Beach as supply chain problem continue from Long Beach, California, U.S. November 22, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.12.2021
As the world continues to weather the global supply chain crisis, major American ports are clogged with an unprecedented number of inbound vessels. Particularly, the ports of southern California saw a peak of 86 ships in mid-November.
Holiday goods that are sitting on board container ships waiting off the coast of Los Angeles and Long Beach may not make it in time for Christmas, Axios reported.
Despite the number of vessels clogged in California ports decreasing from a record 86 to 35 as of Monday, according to Marine Exchange of Southern California data cited by the outlet, there are still plenty of ships still there.
In order to reduce emissions and ensure maritime safety, a new queuing system has been introduced for container vessels in four major ports, putting the awaiting ships further off-coast. Still, the big picture has not changed significantly, with 59 “loitering or slow-speed-steaming” container ships remaining outside the new Safety and Air Quality Area (SAQA), and a total of 94 ships backed up, as estimated by Axios.
As some of the holiday goods may not arrive in time, many companies that ordered more products as a response to the supply chain crisis may face inventory gluts in January, as there are certain items that will not be sold for full price after Christmas. Therefore, this might cause oversupply in some companies.

"Nobody wants to write down inventory after Christmas", Jaime Katz, a senior equity analyst for the Morningstar business analytics company, told Axios.

The news adds to concerns that Americans may be celebrating the upcoming holidays with high prices and empty shelves.
Former US President Donald Trump has already put the blame for the supply chain crisis and high inflation on his successor Joe Biden, estimating the US economy to be in a "very dangerous" situation. Trump's "Save America" PAC has posted a short clip on its Twitter account, claiming that "Joe Biden stole Christmas" and "broke our beautiful economy".
California's ports have suffered congestion problems since mid-2020, when the supply chain crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic escalated. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the two largest in the country, and it is estimated that every home in the US has items that were delivered through these ports.
Among the goods shipped through the two California ports are raw materials and parts needed by US factories for domestic production, including automobiles, planes, and appliances. The containers that arrive in these ports are also loaded with furniture, clothes, shoes, household goods, toys, and many other important products.
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