Business & Economy

Ships idle off LA as port problems cause backlog

Port Pilot Brett McDaniel gets onto large cargo ships like the Hyundai Faith to direct them into The Port of Los Angeles.
Port Pilot Brett McDaniel gets onto large cargo ships like the Hyundai Faith to direct them into The Port of Los Angeles.
Mae Ryan/KPCC

Cargo ships are idling off Los Angeles as problems on the docks slow the movement of goods in advance of the holidays.

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that the biggest shipping crisis in a decade is due to a surge in goods and a shortage of truck trailers.

Retailers say delays of a week to 10 days are inflating their costs and they are looking to reroute goods away from the Long Beach and San Pedro ports.

A port executive says the shortage of truck trailers is the root cause, but ports are also dealing with massive ships that carry more cargo.

Problems at the twin ports are worse because they handle 40 percent of the nation's imports.

There were seven ships anchored offshore on Friday.