14 thoughts on “Shipping

  1. lois

    Cranes fascinate me. We have so many for construction on one of our major bridges, as well as on the beach. These are wonderful, Chris. And the lighting with that little sparkle on the left….perfection.

  2. David P.

    … and container cranes like these offer a clue as to why there is a supply chain shortage. The daily news talks about inflation due to shortages of computer chips and manufactured goods.

    Well, if they turned their attention to Southern California, they would discover the rest of the story. Forty percent of America’s goods are unloaded and distributed through the ports at Los Angeles and Long Beach.

    Container ships are backed up like cars on the Jersey Turnpike. Cargo sits for days on ships out in the bay waiting to enter and be unloaded. At times, there are as many as 150 ships docked across the waterfront.

    The Department of Transportation has struck a deal with the longshoreman to operate the cranes at full capacity 24-hours per day, seven days a week. There is only so much warehouse capacity so truckers and railroads have agreed to carry the load.

    My neighbor waited a few weeks for an oven to be delivered, but it wasn’t because of supply shortages. The oven sat off the Port of Long Beach on a cargo ship from Asia.

    Traffic is only increasing as holiday shipments are arriving, but they will have to wait their turn off the coast of Southern California. It’s likely that some gifts will not arrive on store shelves until January.

    1. milfordstreet Post author

      Yes, I’ve followed the story in the news also. I hope they begin working around the clock. It will benefit all of us. My parents also waited a long time for some furniture last year and a new camera I want is on back order. I have amntal picture of a lone missing part on a container ship somewhere.

      1. David P.

        Update: The Los Angeles County Port District announced that the container ships will be backed up until June. Really? How much of this is due to COVID, or is our infrastructure so woefully inadequate that our ports can’t get the job done? Perhaps a greater question — why don’t we bring those jobs home and build things here?

  3. David P.

    I remember a day when America used to manufacture most everything. We didn’t have to wait for a product to be shipped across the ocean. When JFK was president, the United States manufactured over 90% of its consumer products.

    America was the world leader in industrial production.

    We were a net exporter with a positive trade surplus because the world demanded our products. Today, 60% of what we buy is made overseas. This trend began in the 70’s when the Nixon Administration decided to end the gold standard and float the dollar. This made other currencies competitive so that imported goods became cheaper than American-made. China took advantage of this and, coupled with unfair trade practices, has become the “world’s factory”.

    The United States, on the other hand, has become a service sector economy. We don’t even manufacture our own inventions not to mention critically essential products like medical supplies or penicillin which are also made in China.

    Americans were dying of COVID because there weren’t enough respirators — made in China — so companies like Ford had to retool their assembly plants to manufacture respirators.

    Half of the advanced electronics needed to maintain America’s defense are manufactured in China. How on earth did this happen — that we have become so dependent on a country that is not friendly to the U.S.?

    The current administration wants to implement a Ten Year Plan to restore American industry to its preeminent status. If nothing is done, the 21st century will belong to China, and America will simply fade away like all great nations before her.

    So the idle cranes really do tell — in the words of Paul Harvey — the rest of the story. And a picture is worth a thousand words … or at least a thought provoking comment.


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