Shipping containers piling up in Los Angeles neighborhoods due to driver shortage

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are now running 24/7 to unload a backlog of shipping containers that have sat at ports for weeks due partially to a worldwide shortage of truck drivers. But now that the port is working through the backlog, the empty shipping containers are being dumped in nearby neighborhoods, residents say.

The containers are being brought to UCTI Trucking Company on Anaheim Street, CBSLA reported. But the lot only has room for 65 containers at a time, so the extra containers, which are around 8 feet long, are being dropped off on neighborhood streets in front of people’s homes.

“It’s a bunch of neighbors that are very upset because it’s a non-stop situation,” resident Sonia Cervantes told reporters. “I would have to go in at 6:30 a.m. to go to work. There was a trailer already blocking my driveway so I couldn’t get out. With no driver in the trailer, so we would honk and honk, and it was just crazy.”

Cervantes said the containers sit in the street for around 15 or 20 minutes at a time and are sometimes left open. UCTI Trucking owner Frank Arrieran told CBSLA that the company is “stuck with the containers … and we only have so much space.”

“We ask the community to help us, because we’re only in the middle,” he said.

Arrieran said he is meeting with city officials to work on relocating the containers to a bigger lot. In the meantime, he’s asking for patience and understanding from the community.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told reporters that the Biden Administration is working on both short and long-term solutions after Biden announced last week that the Port of LA would be operating around the clock.

“There are so many pieces to the supply chain and most of them are in private hands,” Buttigieg said. “But what we found is that the administration can act as an honest broker and that’s what we’re doing, getting the different players together and securing commitments that are going to make a difference to get these goods flowing.

“There are $17 billion in port improvements in the President’s infrastructure bill and they’re urgently needed. This is one of the reasons why we’re eager to see congressional action, and I know my department is ready to put those dollars to work.”

Story courtesy of CBSLA.