On January 20th, US time, nearly 700 dockers at the two ports of Los Angeles LA, and Long Beach were infected with the COVID-19. Hundreds of people are still in isolation. The logistics economy of the two ports is very high. This may result in a severe slowdown. In particular, a large number of goods shipped from China to the USA will face delays.


With the spread of the virus in California, the infection rate of coastal workers is also increasing, which has exacerbated the chaos in the port, which is also triggered by the surge in imports of general merchandise caused by the epidemic.


Port executives, union leaders, and elected officials are launching an emergency campaign to help start the vaccination of dockworkers, who fear that labor shortages may cause the dock to close.

“We have more cargo than skilled workers,” said Eugene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. At present, 1,800 workers are unable to go to work because of the virus, including those who have been infected, are in isolation, are waiting for testing, and some are afraid. In addition, some employees continue to work even when they are sick.


Entire Southern California is facing the threat of the virus, and companies and warehouses are struggling to survive amidst the wavering sanitation ban. As the epidemic worsens, it becomes more difficult to control the virus, especially for medical staff, supermarket employees, and dock workers.


Moreover, those importers who spend high sea freight charges and import their goods from China to the United States hope that their goods can be cleared as soon as possible. The delays in the terminals and the decline in the efficiency of delivery will be very bad for them.


In the second half of 2020, the container throughput of Los Angeles and Long Beach increased by nearly 50%. This has led to a backlog of cargo in the port, a large increase in the number of containers, and a shortage of manpower at the terminals. As of January 19, a total of 45 ships berthed outside these two ports waiting for unloading. This is the rarest months-long delay in the last six years. The port congestion in Los Angeles has become very serious.

Judging from the import data of Chinese goods arriving in the United States, the Port of Los Angeles in the United States, as the largest container cargo handling port in the United States and the gateway for many Chinese goods, in November 2020, the throughput reached a 114-year high.


Bestforworld believes that there are two main reasons for the surge in China’s total exports to the United States in 2020. They are the substantial increase in exports of epidemic prevention materials and the substitution effect of China’s exports to the United States.


Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan wrote in a letter to health officials in California and Los Angeles counties on January 15: “If action is not taken immediately, the largest port in the United States may be closed. This is very dangerous. This is not only for Southern California. It is catastrophic. The United States is very dependent on the flow of goods in ports.”


Two lawmakers said that the port is the country’s key infrastructure and an important logistics channel for anti-epidemic medical supplies. Anti-epidemic equipment imported from Asia, including masks, disinfectants, and ventilators, must enter the United States from the two ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.


Since December last year, logistics companies, freight forwarding companies, port supervisors, and officials from the International Terminal and Warehouse Alliance have been “doing their best” to help dockworkers perform testing and vaccinations.



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