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Cargo freight backlog causing rippling effects at Central Coast stores

SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- A sea of frustration is rising for American consumers during the pandemic.

The port backlog at the Los Angeles Port is causing a ripple effect all the way up to the Central Coast as items are being taken off the shelf.

Currently, dozens of container ships sit idle off the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach waiting to be unloaded.

"There's just too much volume coming into the port that the workers and the cranes have been unable to handle that level of throughput," said Flex Port CEO Ryan Peterson.

A shortage of trucks and truck drivers to deliver the imported goods is also adding to the growing backlog.

"It's very difficult to find a place to park, and the trucks are just stacked up everywhere," said Lora Spencer, a truck driver.

The backup has impacted the supply chain for a broad range of consumer products going into the holiday shopping season. Items from new cars and clothing to electronics and toys are being on hold at sea.

Shoppers are beginning to get worried with fewer and fewer items showing on shelves.

"The shelves are pretty much empty, especially with toys, I'm buying for my grandchildren and the toys are starting to disappear," said shopper Linda Troeger.

Most retailers are trying to keep the shelves stocked but they are not sure how much longer it could be possible.

"We still have everything you can possibly need for PlayStations, PCs, switch off and other stuff," assured Gamestop worker Steven Reynolds.

Analysts expect the cargo and freight backlog to continue well into next year.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County

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Keith Carls

Keith Carls is a reporter at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Keith, click here.


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