How did the backlog supply chain delays at the ports start and can it be fixed? : Planet Money We take a trip to ports on the east and west coasts to ask what's on everyone's mind: why are they so clogged? And how can we fix it? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

Of boats and boxes

Of boats and boxes

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1056299014/1056631387" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Photo of Chassis at the Port of Hueneme. Erika Beras/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Erika Beras/NPR

Photo of Chassis at the Port of Hueneme.

Erika Beras/NPR

More than a third of the goods that the United States imports comes through the Ports of LA and Long Beach. So what happens when shipping backlogs mean that ships have to idle just outside those ports? And what can be done to solve the problem?

On today's episode of Planet Money, we take a trip to three ports around the U.S. to investigate what broke the global supply chain and how the ports are working to clear the bottlenecks.

Music: "Under the Scorching Sun" and "Little Angel" and "Strolling in the Snow"

Find us: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / TikTok

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify; and NPR One.

Want economics stories from the comfort of home? Subscribe to Planet Money's weekly newsletter.