Amazon, Target Play ‘Oversized Role’ in LA Port Congestion: Study


  • According to a new study, Amazon and Target play an “oversized role” in congestion and pollution in California’s ports.
  • 95% of US imports from Target come into west coast ports, the coalition Ship It Zero found.
  • The residue in container ships has contributed to high levels of pollutants, as research shows.

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According to a study published Monday by the Ship It Zero coalition, Amazon and Target played an “oversized role” in the congestion in the California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The report breaks down the shipping routes and carriers used by Amazon, Target, Ikea and Walmart to estimate the greenhouse gas emissions released by cargo ships. Ship It Zero is an association of environmental and health advocates, scientists and shipping experts who work for companies to “achieve emission-free shipping by 2030”.

Compared to Ikea and Walmart, Amazon and Target prefer ports on the west coast over ports on the east coast, with 95% of US imports from Target going to Seattle, Long Beach and Los Angeles, according to the study. According to the report, Amazon’s main shipping route is from Shenzhen, China, to Los Angeles.

Ikea has increasingly favored rail travel within its shipping routes, while Walmart imports flow primarily through ports on the east coast and the Gulf, according to Ship It Zero.

Target and Walmart did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Shipping routes from Amazon, Ikea, Target, Walmart

Of all the companies examined, Target is the largest polluter in the west coast ports.

Ship It Zero Coalition



The four companies’ US imports were an estimated 20 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, the study found, a number equivalent to the annual emissions of five coal-fired power plants. The study listed Walmart, the largest importer of goods in the United States, as the number one polluter.

Walmart’s main ocean carrier, CMA CGM, was the top polluter among all airlines on the report.

In 2019, Ikea announced an ambitious plan for the company to become “climate positive” by 2030 – that is, it would reduce more pollution than it causes.

“Emissions from shipping are an important issue for us at Ikea and we agree that more attention is needed,” an Ikea spokesman told Insider via email. “We are a big transport buyer and we have a great responsibility to positively influence the maritime transport industry.”

Last year, Walmart announced it would eliminate its carbon footprint by 2040. This goal does not cover Walmart’s entire supply chain and therefore does not calculate the emissions released by shipping overseas. Target’s sustainability goals take the entire supply chain into account – the company also aims to be net zero by 2040.

Amazon is committed to being carbon-free in all of its business, including shipping emissions, by 2040, a company spokesperson told Insider. The tech giant also helped found the First Movers Coalition to scale up emerging technologies that are essential to transitioning the global economy to net zero carbon emissions.

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