Shipping delays traced back to Los Angeles

Cristian Hernandez, Staff Writer

With the continued outbreak of COVID, there have been many effects and chain reactions in all parts of life, one of them being issues with shipments. 

Many companies have been shipping packages late due to a number of factors: COVID precautions and lack of drivers, among others. Despite these issues, the state of California and federal statutes require online orders to be shipped within 30 days. Companies have been seeing the ramifications for this, such as Ye’s, more commonly known as Kanye West’s “Yeezy” clothing brand, which has seen costly results ranging around $950,000 according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on Nov. 8. This was for alleged delays in shipments to people who paid a premium for expedited shipping.

But what happens to these packages? 40 percent of all US imports come through Los Angeles, and many of these shipments remain stuck on container ships and rail cars that are idle. This has led to some companies, such as Walmart, Amazon and Costco, to resort to chartering boats for their shipments. As a result, retailers have stated that shelves will be more empty for the holiday seasons, along with higher prices and fewer employees in stores. 

Not only are there shipment delays, but warehouse workers are struggling as well. The warehouses used to store all these containers are packed to their maximum capacity, with very few workers to unload and move containers. 

Along with warehouse workers, truck drivers are also in short supply. Due to this shortage, people in the industry have proposed making trucking laws more relaxed by allowing truck drivers to use cannabis outside of the job in legal states, since most truckers who have lost their commercial drivers licenses did so after testing positive for cannabis. Another proposal has to do with drivers under 21, who are currently ineligible to cross state lines with commercial vehicles. The proposed change would allow people aged 18-20 to apply for an apprenticeship to be able to work freely between states, which would help move products faster.

Some believe that it is a vital thing that companies work together as a collective to unclog the ports and railroads in Los Angeles seeing as this has been a really burdensome time for customers of these companies, especially with time sensitive orders. 

The Wolf received a comment from Uziel Mayares about his recent experiences with online orders through amazon. 

“I ordered two things that came in a pack from Amazon. It was ordered with Amazon Prime and they were sent in two different packages. One of them took a week to be delivered, while the second package arrived three days later. It bothers me because I’m already paying a premium for shipping and packages are late.” 

This isn’t the first time or last time that supply chain issues will arise in the United States, especially in a city as big as Los Angeles. This issue will likely not be resolved anytime soon due to COVID and lack of workers.