A growing number of shipments is on stuck at sea due to supply chain issues leading to growing concerns that vacation packages may not arrive on time. Container ships populate ports from New York to Los Angeles, where 250,000 containers float offshore waiting to be unloaded.

“There is no room for this cargo. Our docks are full. People have to come and collect their cargo, ”said Gene Seroka, General Manager of the Port of Los Angeles. “Only half of the truck drivers registered here visit us at least once a week. We need more drivers at work. ”

But trucker George Anaya said the port needs to move faster. Anaya had an appointment at 7 p.m. to pick up a cargo, but could not leave the terminal until 2 a.m. Before that year, he said he could pick up about 20 loads a week. It’s down to about six now, he said.

The Port of Los Angeles has already extended its opening hours, but is not open around the clock like ports in other parts of the world. President Biden said he wanted the ports to be open 24/7.

“There are so many nodes in the supply chain that have to follow the same schedule. If we can open the camps around the clock, that would be important to us, ”said Seroka.

The delays affect business owners like The Game Chest toy store owner Maryam al-Hammami, who said almost all of the toys she has in stock are already on the shelves. “I have nothing to replace it with,” she said.

About 40% of al-Hammami’s business depends on Christmas shopping. “It’s tough as a consumer because I celebrate Christmas too, and it’s tough as a business owner,” she said.

Larger companies, including Walmart, have chartered entire ships to deliver goods to less congested ports. The enormous cost makes it out of reach for small businesses.

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