How The Global Shipping Industry Came To A Grinding Halt : Planet Money : The Indicator from Planet Money Residents of a small town in Washington state are troubled by something big... container ships. Why are they there? What does this say about the state of the global shipping industry?

Traffic Jam: Cargo Style

Traffic Jam: Cargo Style

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HANDOUT/Suez Canal Authority via AFP/Get
(Photo by Suez Canal Authority/Handout/AFP via Getty Images)
HANDOUT/Suez Canal Authority via AFP/Get

Residents of Whidbey Island in Washington state enjoy the peace of the Puget Sound, but not lately. Dozens of container ships are anchored off the shores. That's because currently, container ships are in traffic jams all across the West Coast.

Maritime industry expert Lars Jensen and California Coast Guard traffic director Bob Blomerth have never seen such a debacle in the shipping industry. At the beginning of the pandemic, shipping companies cut their supply capacity. However, consumer demands bounced back quickly and the shipping industry was caught off guard. Not only are the ports clogged, so are the railroads and warehouses. Experts are worried about the implications of this massive traffic jam.

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