Biden announces commitment to work 24 hours from one of the nation’s busiest ports to deliver goods to stores ahead of the holiday season
According to the White House, expanded operations at the Port of Los Angeles, which declined to comment before the announcement, will take about two hours for the cargo to move. It said the additional shifts have been agreed to by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents dock workers.
The US supply chain has struggled to adapt to the crush of imports as consumers have shifted from services to home goods, including electronics, and as businesses race to restore pandemic-battered inventories. Tens of thousands of containers are stuck at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, West Coast gateways that move more than a quarter of all US imports. Dozens of ships are lined up to dock, with waiting times of up to three weeks.
and United Parcel Service Inc.
Biden is among the companies that have stepped up operations at ports, according to a senior administration official, with hopes that other companies will follow the same cycle. The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
“By taking these steps, they are saying to the rest of the supply chain, ‘You also need to move on, let’s step this up,'” the official said.
To avoid delays, some retailers like Walmart, Home Depot Inc.
and costco wholesale Corporation
are paying for their own chartered vessels as part of wider plans to minimize disruptions.
President Biden is scheduled to meet Target on Wednesday afternoon with port directors, union officials, CEOs. Corporation
and Samsung Electronics Co.
, as well as trucking and rail unions. The White House said Mr Biden is expected to provide remarks “about how to ease supply chain bottlenecks”.
The administration has faced a range of supply chain problems, affecting everything from wood to semiconductors, and it is looking for ways to partner with private industry to reduce the backlog. Biden administration officials said they were trying to help states expedite licensing for truck drivers, among other measures.
There have been disagreements over 24/7 operations and finger-pointing among key players in the supply chain, including port workers, truck drivers, warehouse operators, railways and retailers. In addition, there is a shortage of staff.
When the Port of Long Beach initially introduced its extended hours, it failed to attract more trucks, with operators saying the process was cumbersome.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen acknowledged in an interview with CBS Evening News on Tuesday that there will be some shortages in the coming months.
“But there is an ample supply of goods,” she said. “And I think there’s no reason for consumers to panic over the absence of the goods they want to get at Christmas.”
Alex Leary at [email protected]