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Latest Threat in Supply Chain Nightmares Is Storm Season at Sea

  • Coast Guard issues winter advisory for ships off California
  • Cargo vessels wait time reaches 14 days at Port of Los Angeles
Container ships anchored off the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles on Oct. 9.

Container ships anchored off the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles on Oct. 9.

Photographer: Tim Rue/Bloomberg

Storm season is coming to the shores of Southern California, and that could make global supply-chain bottlenecks even worse.

Close to 160 vessels are waiting to enter the Long Beach and Los Angeles port complex -- some mega-sized container ships carrying as much as half a million tons of everything from consumer goods to factory inputs. The build-up of cargo outside the main U.S. gateway for Chinese exports is contributing to goods shortages and prices hikes ahead of the Christmas shopping season.