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The Wall Street Journal: After 2 years, container-ship backlog at Southern California ports is over


Officials declared an end to the backup of ships at Southern California’s ports more than two years after vessels began lining up in weekslong queues that became one of the most visible signs in the U.S. of the pandemic-driven turmoil in supply chains.

The Marine Exchange of Southern California said Tuesday the backup at the neighboring ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach that climbed to a high of 109 vessels in January had fallen to zero.

Kip Louttit, the marine exchange’s executive director, said both ports have enough labor to handle the current volume of ships while some ocean carriers are delaying vessel arrivals to better suit their own operations. 

It is “time to move into a different phase of operations and declare that the backup has ended,” Louttit said.

The backup began in October 2020 as manufacturers and retailers accelerated orders for imports to satisfy booming demand from Americans stuck in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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