• Dozens of cargo ships waiting at US ports face weeks of delays to unload, The Daily Mail reported.
  • The delay comes amid surging demand for goods and the continuing fallout from the labor shortage. 
  • Congested ports have raised concerns about shortages in the months ahead of Christmas. 

Dozens of cargo ships anchored off the Los Angeles and New York coasts could be waiting up to four weeks before they can dock, The Daily Mail reported.

The backlog comes during a period of port staff shortages, which have been blamed on the national labor crunch. Increased demand for consumer goods has also played a significant role. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has also put additional strain on supply chains. This is partly because social distancing and mandatory quarantines have hampered the ability of port staff to carry out their jobs, Insider previously reported

Last week, around 24 cargo ships and oil tankers were reported to be stuck waiting to dock off the coast of Long Island, New York. Insider previously reported that 56 container ships were stuck at anchor or in drift areas off of Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.

With record numbers of huge cargo ships stuck at key ports, consumers could face a shortage of items, including clothing, electronics, toys, and furniture, according to The Daily Mail.

“Global infrastructure was not designed to handle goods at such a rate,” a logistics expert who spoke anonymously, told the outlet. 

Supply chains are the artery that feeds our entire ecosystem, the expert said. “The government needs to intervene to stop this crisis immediately, or face increased inflation and unemployment, and economic breakdown — or face an end to global trade,” they added. 

As a result of ongoing delays, many retailers are being forced to find creative ways to overcome shortages and price hikes.

The news comes amid concern from most Americans, who believe the ongoing supply chain crisis will upset their life plans, according to a study from Oracle, which was reported on by Insider’s Grace Kay.

According to The Daily Mail, bottlenecks at ports are beginning to spark concern that there could be a shortage of goods in the run-up to Christmas.