Over the course of 2021, there were logistical challenges that many ports across the world were facing as the reaction to the pandemic took a turn for the worse. Predictably, this led to a problem many freight companies had to tackle even as ports were nearing capacity. Now, as of mid-October 2021, there is a problem with the Port of Los Angeles. 

As described by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) from their video titled What America’s Supply-Chain Backlog Looks Like Up Close, the following quote depicts a reality that needs to be addressed in the freight industry, “As many as 73 container ships have been waiting to unload goods at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles this week (week of October 22, 2021).” It’s apparent that there is an urgent need to develop fail-safe methods to help divert excess freight unto usable land near Los Angeles’ many different ports.

More importantly, the White Houses’ “Briefing Room” has released an article online addressing this very issue of freight problems in the Port of Los Angeles. In their article, they describe the various ways that the port officials and companies are reducing high delay times. These include decreasing dwell time via assessing congestion fees while also waiving fees on night and weekend truck drivers to the port. As shared by the White Houses’ article, these efforts being implemented by the officials of the Port of Los Angeles have reduced the wait-times of cargo from nine days to just over seven days. 

However, as the WSJ has also stated in What America’s Supply-Chain Backlog Looks Like Up Close, however, the issues are still compounding: “Port tarmacs normally operate at 60-80% capacity…Now, officials estimate they’re at 90% of capacity.” Regarding delays in the movement of cargo in the Port of Los Angeles, WSJ goes on to state that “It’s currently taking six to seven days, according to officials.” With conflicting statements being received from both the White House and the Port of Los Angeles officials, it’s clear that there is no concrete answer for the haphazard situation. 

However, what else is clear, is that both Port of Los Angeles officials and the White House are agreeing on temporarily extending the hours of operation for the port to be 24/7 in order to reduce the large loads coming in. As we’re all familiar with this time of the year, these larger loads are tied to increased seasonal peaks in demand for goods tied to the holiday seasons. 

In fact, many are weighing in on this problem. One of many potential solutions was shared by Twitter user Ryan Petersen (@typesfast). He had countless details and information on the freight issue in the Port of Los Angeles. In fact, he shared his thoughts on the serious matter the very same day WSJ uploaded their video on October 22nd. One of Ryan’s many informed suggestions included such tactics as temporarily executing an executive order to allow more than 2 empty containers to be stacked in the Port of Los Angeles. Another suggestion Petersen makes is “creating a temporary container yard at a large (need 500+ acres) piece of government land adjacent to an inland railhead within 100 miles of the port complex.” This could certainly help to alleviate the backlog of container ships that are still waiting to berth.

Even with the backlog of cargo, port officials are doing everything in their power to remedy this situation with various solutions. If you want to hear more about the issue developing in the Port of Los Angeles, we at Elder Logistics highly recommend that you view WSJ’s video on the issue.

If you have any doubts or questions, we’re also here to help out wherever it’s needed for your business’ freight and logistics needs. In this unique period, we are more than ready to help reduce delivery times and continue to provide you with tailored customer service. Reach out to our customer service team here on our contact page, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


Petersen, Ryan. “Yesterday I Rented a Boat and Took the Leader of One of Flexport’s Partners in Long Beach on a 3 Hour of the Port Complex. Here’s a Thread about What I Learned.” Twitter.com, Twitter, Inc., 22 Oct. 2021, https://twitter.com/typesfast/status/1451543776992845834. Accessed 2 Dec. 2021. 

“Recent Progress and Actions on Port Congestion.” The White House, The United States Government, 10 Nov. 2021, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/blog/2021/11/10/recent-progress-and-actions-on-port-congestion/

Wall Street Journal. “What America’s Supply-Chain Backlog Looks Like Up Close.” The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, 22 Oct. 2021, https://www.wsj.com/video/series/on-the-news/what-america-supply-chain-backlog-looks-like-up-close/388D6F02-5BCD-43AD-A3EE-B945F7373983.