As if COVID-19 hasn’t affected life enough already over the past year, the latest news out of Los Angeles is that there is a huge backlog of cargo ships stuck offshore. Nearly 700 stevedores are either sick or out of work due to COVID-19 infections and quarantines, so there simply aren’t enough people to process all of the cargo ships that come into the port. On top of that, everyone stuck at home during COVID-19 this year has been ordering things to help keep themselves occupied (including surfboards!), so more ships and more cargo are coming into the port than normal. The Los Angeles Port normally handles 10-20 ships per day, but lately they have been receiving upwards of 30!
This influx of cargo and lack of employees to process it has created a huge maritime traffic jam and huge amounts of cargo that is not getting unloaded and shipped to retailers, with dozens of ships stuck off shore in line, waiting to come into the port and unload. In mid-February, there were ships that had been waiting over two weeks to get unloaded! Obviously this is wreaking havoc with the retail market, with virtually every industry seeing shortages in stock. Even our shop has been getting hit by the slowdown. We have a number of surfboard orders that have been stuck on cargo ships for weeks, just waiting to get unloaded so they can get forwarded here to Hawaii and to our customers.
Hopefully we will be through this COVID-19 crisis soon—both so that we can all get back to normal life without worrying about loved ones dying, and so that we here at Hawaiian South Shore can get new boards into the hands of our customers! In the meantime, please join us in being patient. The stoke is coming soon!
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