Cargo ships anchor in Bellingham Bay during port labor dispute

Four large cargo ships remained in Bellingham Bay on Tuesday morning, Feb. 17, after West Coast ports were mostly shut down over the holiday weekend in a labor dispute.

The ports reopened Tuesday, but ships are backed up in the Puget Sound, awaiting room at the ports to unload or load cargo.

Bellingham Bay is an ideal spot for those ships coming from Canada to drop anchor and wait for space to unload in Seattle or Tacoma.

These cargo ships were in Bellingham Bay on Tuesday morning, according to marinetraffic.com:

• Italia Usodimare, a 935-foot ship flying the flag of Italy. It’s been in the bay the longest and has “Italia” painted on its side.

• Ever Eagle, a 984-foot ship flying the flag of the United Kingdom. It came from Vancouver, B.C., and has “Evergreen” painted on its side.

• Cosco Tianjin, a 915-foot ship flying the flag of Panama. Its most recent stop was in Vancouver, B.C.

• Hyundai Courage, a 1,115-foot ship also flying the Panama flag.

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez plans to meet Tuesday in San Francisco with negotiators for both the dockworkers' union and the maritime association, which represents shipping lines that carry cargo and port terminal operators that handle it once the ships dock, according to the Associated Press.

The labor dispute has paralyzed 29 ports from Seattle to Southern California.