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Boatloads of Cargo Off Los Angeles Grind Gears of World Economy

  • Record imports are clogging America’s main trade gateways
  • In the U.S., federal regulators are probing port congestion
Cargo ships anchored in the Pacific Ocean off the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles on Nov. 20.

Cargo ships anchored in the Pacific Ocean off the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles on Nov. 20.

Photographer: Bing Guan/Bloomberg

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A flotilla of almost a dozen cargo vessels sits anchored just south of Los Angeles this weekend, waiting for berth space. Around the twin ports of L.A. and Long Beach, shipping containers are already stacked five and six high -- the maximum the fire department will allow.