Officials warn of potential shipping delays amid mainland port backlog, USPS changes

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 9:16 AM HST|Updated: Oct. 14, 2021 at 9:36 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Ahead of the holiday season, officials are warning of possible shipping delays as ports on the mainland deal with a backlog and the U.S. Postal Service undergoes change.

One of the country’s largest ports will start operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week to catch up with a massive shipping backlog.

Ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California account for 40% of all shipping containers entering the U.S.

The port at Long Beach has been operating 24/7 for the past three weeks. Now that the Port of Los Angeles will do the same, it will nearly double its unloading hours.

The backlog will still likely affect your holiday shopping and shipping.

One of the biggest contributing factors to the massive backlog at ports: economies around the world are coming back on line and consumer demand is skyrocketing.

Many retailers are frantically working to restock their shelves and even earlier this spring there were supply chain shortages with things like plastics and semiconductors.

On Wednesday, companies like Walmart, UPS, FedEx, Samsung, The Home Depot and Target agreed to boost their nighttime operations at the port of LA. That could help clear 3,500 extra containers a week.

Local Hawaii retailers like City Mill recommend buying items like holiday decorations and Christmas trees as early as you can this year.

On top of that, changes are happening with the U.S. Postal Service — implementing new standards for first-class mail.

For first-class mail sent within the continental United States, delivery times will expand from the current one to three days to one to five days.

Though, officially, the Postal Service says the change will not affect first-class mail delivery within Hawaii. A spokesperson clarified that first-class mail wont be affected if sent from one Hawaii address to another.

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