The number of container ships stuck off the coast of Southern California reached new records this week.

 

According to data from the Marine Exchange, a total of 111 container ships are bobbing at sea around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, waiting to dock and unload. That breaks the previous record of 108 vessels reported on October 21.

 

The two ports remain clogged despite efforts to speed up the processing of containers amid a surge in consumer demand for goods. The White House announced a shift to an around-the-clock schedule in October and a new looming threat of fines for leaving containers on the docks for several days.

 

The size of the logjam is unprecedented. There has never been a backlog greater than 17 ships in past years.

 

Last month, the two ports said they would begin fining shipping companies $100 a day for every container left on the docks. The ports will begin charging the companies on November 15. Shipping firms have three days to move containers if their next step is by rail, or nine days if the next step is by truck.

Experts say these fees will do little to resolve the port jams.

 

“The issue isn’t about a lack of desire to move boxes, but a lack of physical space,” Corey Bertsch, VP Solutions Consulting at Slync.io, a global logistics company, told Insider’s Grace Kay.

 

Those fines will “simply get passed onto beneficial cargo owners who will begrudgingly accept that their rates have gone up. It’s a combination of warehouses, truck, and labor issues.”

 

According to data reported by trade publication American Shipper, at the start of this month, there were nearly 60,000 containers on these ports that had been there for more than nine days and would, therefore, be eligible for fines

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