Nearly 24 cargo ships and oil tankers are stuck at sea miles off the south shore of Long Island, New York, because of a spike in demand for consumer goods and short-staffed ports.
Ships are stuck waiting to dock off the coastline that stretches from Long Beach in the west to Lido Beach and Jones Beach Island in the east, The Daily Mail reported.
The ships have reportedly been stuck in place since at least Saturday evening, it added.
The main cause is believed to be pandemic-induced shopping sprees ahead of the holiday season, coupled with a national labor shortage.
The Port of New York and New Jersey, which serves the world's major ocean carriers and global alliances, appears to be beset by the same congestion caused by the surge in imports.
Vessels also wait to dock at two of the country’s largest ports on the West Coast too. More than 60 container ships were stuck at anchor or in drift areas off of Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, according to Insider.
“We are in the midst of an historic surge in cargo, and our terminal operators and other supply chain partners are giving their all to keep it all moving,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said in a statement.
The West Coast ports have experienced traffic since August, when a then record-breaking 44 container ships were stuck off the coast because of similar disruptions.
This comes as the country’s economy has been hit with a supply chain crunch exacerbated by a shortage of truck drivers.
Meanwhile, retailers are being forced to use creative ways to overcome shortages and price increases.
John Catsimatidis, the owner of the Gristedes grocery chain, says that his stores have experienced shortages in Coca-Cola products.
“We have shortages in our New York stores because Coca-Cola, they can't get truck drivers to deliver into New York City,” he told Fox Business. “And it's a serious problem.”
According to Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti, transportation issues this year are causing delays in deliveries to stores despite suppliers having plenty of stock.
“A year ago there was a shortage of merchandise,” Galanti said. “Now they've got plenty of merchandise but there's two- or three-week delays on getting it delivered because there's a limit on short-term changes to trucking and delivery needs of the suppliers, so it really is all over the board.”