White House hails ‘serious progress’ on supply chains despite record backlog at California ports

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157 ships waiting at ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday lauded the “serious progress” made in the days following President Biden’s efforts to keep ports in California operating 24 hours a day in an effort to remove record bottlenecks in the supply chain.

Psaki said during a White House briefing on Tuesday that he has “some good news on the supply chain front,” announcing that the Union Pacific Railroad will serve the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and will be available 24 hours, seven days. will also operate. One week, to help move the backlog of containers.

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Record backlog of ships at California ports amid supply chain crisis

“We have already cut in half the amount of cargo that has been on dock for 13 days or more,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Jean Cerocca. “This is serious progress, and this commitment from Railroad is the latest step toward a 24/7 supply chain, and the result of a significant partnership between trade, labor and port leadership.”

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Last week, the White House announced that the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach would be available 24/7 with commitments from Walmart, FedEx and UPS — the largest carriers of goods — as part of the Biden administration’s efforts to relieve the supply chain 24/7. Operations will be made. bottlenecks, strengthening supply chain resilience and easing shipping backlogs.

But the number of ships waiting to enter those ports hit a record high on Monday, with a total of 157 vessels waiting at ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, data from the Maritime Exchange showed. As of Monday, 100 ships were at anchor and 57 were at berth.

Still, Psaki said Tuesday that President Biden is “satisfied that progress continues.”

“And one of the reasons there’s been a lot of traffic in these ports is because more goods are being ordered by people across the country,” Psaki said, touting the economy under the Biden administration. “People have more money, spendable resources, their wages have gone up, more people are working than they were a year ago.”

Saki said, however, that “federal support” was needed “with direct, appropriate action” to help the situation.

“We will continue to evaluate the steps we can take to move to a 24/7 global supply chain,” Saki said. , individuals operating these ports,” and private sector companies to “make progress” and “accelerate the movement of goods”.

Asked why the president did not act quickly to address supply chain challenges, Saki defended his actions, saying he set up a task force in his administration to review the matter.

“What we know from global supply chain issues is that they are multifaceted right now,” said Saki, noting that the administration is focusing on issues at ports right now. “But there are other issues that have impacted the global supply chain that we have been working to address through our task force from the very beginning.”

Buttigieg says supply chain crisis ‘will continue next year’

Saki cited “the fact that manufacturing sites around the world have closed due to COVID,” as well as “the lack of drivers we’ve seen.”

Saki said the administration is “working with unions to help address the labor shortage, whether at ports or the ones they drive, or other components that affect the supply chain.”

but as Backlog grows in California ports With a record number of container ships waiting at sea, the port of Savannah is also beginning to see crowds as about two dozen ships wait off the Georgia coast.

Retailers and the White House issued a stern warning to consumers regarding holiday shopping, urging them to buy gifts early as the shipping crisis hits production.

“I think the important thing to understand here is that there are many issues that are affecting the supply chain, and some of them are that as the economy got back on, more people had disposable income, Wages to buy more stuff – More people are buying more stuff,” she said, adding that consumers are “buying more things online than going to stores.”

“It’s also affecting the volume,” Saki said.

Supply chain issues are a source of growing concern as global economies attempt to meet rising demand and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lack of basic household goods such as toilet paper, raw materials needed for manufacturing and critical technical components such as semiconductors have contributed to the rise in prices for consumers.

The issues prompted Biden to create a Supply Chain Disruption Task Force to identify and eliminate bottlenecks in US supply chains.

During this, transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Sunday that disruptions in America’s supply chain are expected to continue into the next year, also claiming that the disruption has been partially driven, in part, by the unprecedented amounts brought on by Biden’s economic recovery.

During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union”, Buttigieg was asked by host Jake Tapper whether Americans should prepare themselves for it. Economic Issues like supply chain disruptions and inflation will get worse before they get better.

The ‘joke’ about the supply chain before Christmas

“Certainly the challenges we face this year will continue next year,” Buttigieg replied. “Look, what’s happening isn’t just the supply side, it’s the demand side. Demand is off the charts. Retail sales are through the roof. And if you think about those images of ships, for example So, waiting at anchor on the West Coast—every one of those ships is filled with record amounts of goods that Americans are buying because demand is rising because incomes are rising as the president pushed this economy out of the teeth of a terrible recession. successfully directed.

“Our supply chain cannot continue,” he continued. “And of course, our supply chain, it is a complex system that is mostly in private hands, and rightly so. Our role is to be an honest broker, bringing all the different players together, securing commitments. And getting solutions that are going to make it easier.”

Granthshala Business’ Alicia Warren contributed to this report.


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