COVID restrictions and a shortage of dock workers have contributed to a backlog of cargo ships waiting to offload at U.S. ports. As of the end of September dozens of ships are at anchor or are adrift waiting to enter New York City, New Jersey ports, Long Beach and Los Angeles ports. The backlog is causing supply chain shortages of goods across the country and is impacting the upcoming holiday shopping season.

A possible remedy might be the use of National Guard and other military personnel to help unload the ships. There are equipment operators in units within the U.S.

After a Navy enlistment and graduation from college, in June 1963 I was a new Ensign in the Navy aboard the USS Tanner out of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I was assigned as the officer in charge of a Navy detail designated to offload mail from a ship docked in NYC. The dock workers were on strike so we were temporarily tasked to offload the mail.

With any needed training we should utilize our available military personnel to help alleviate labor shortages in emergency situations whenever it is within the law and feasible to utilize them. 

Donald Moskowitz

Londonderry, NH