On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden asked the private sector to assist supply chain congestion that is threatening to disrupt the holiday season in the United States, and said the White House is planning a countrywide reform of the congested system.
Biden said the Port of Los Angeles, together with the Port of Long Beach, will extend round-the-clock operations to offload an estimated 500,000 containers sitting on cargo ships offshore.
US faces supply chain delays
Walmart, Target, and other major retailers would also boost nighttime operations at ports to fulfill shipping demands, according to Biden. It's a "big first step" in revamping supply chains in the United States, the world's largest consumer market, according to Biden, who added that the government will play a key role.
The pandemic's stop-and-start nature has tangled global supply networks that are designed to transport products just-in-time, as per SCMP.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the supply chain crisis, since sales of consumer durables have increased due to labor shortages and transport hub delays. Part of the problem is a scarcity of warehouse personnel and truck drivers who can pick up products.
Lower-than-expected, Christmas sales may damage US companies and put Biden's presidency in jeopardy, as he already faces a slew of domestic issues in his first year in office. According to the latest Reuters/Ipsos survey, the economy remains the most significant topic for both Democrats and Republicans.
President Joe Biden said in a speech on Wednesday that the Port of Los Angeles will switch to a 24/7 schedule, putting it in line with the Port of Long Beach, which already operates on a 24/7 schedule. These two ports handle 40% of all container traffic in the United States.
As most of the global economy recovers from the pandemic, ports throughout the world are crowded as a result of the quick increase in demand for commodities and goods. Shipping rates have risen, and businesses looking to transport products are finding it difficult to do so, since there aren't enough ships or containers available. Consumer prices are rising at the same time.
White House unsure if Christmas presents will arrive on time
He claims that the increased port hours would increase the amount of time spent unloading container ships by 60 hours each week, more than tripling the amount of time the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach were open earlier this year.
Biden met with top officials and stakeholders on Tuesday to explore collaborative efforts to overcome global transportation constraints before giving a speech on Wednesday. The talks were attended by port owners, truckers' organizations, labor unions, and officials from Walmart, FedEx, UPS, and Target.
Biden said that Walmart, the country's largest retailer, has committed to a 50 percent increase in off-peak goods movement, KITV reported. FedEx and UPS will also expand their nighttime operations, according to the President.
Biden praised his supply chain disruption team's efforts, even as White House press secretary Jen Psaki conceded that the government can't ensure that Christmas presents would arrive on time due to global supply chain delays and congested US ports.
Per Fox News, Psaki claimed the White House "cannot guarantee" that Christmas presents would arrive on time at another news briefing on Wednesday. Despite the administration's attempts - which might include loosening trucker restrictions - the supply chain Grinch could take some of the most eagerly awaited Christmas gifts.