Biden steps up efforts to ease US supply chain bottlenecks


US President Joe Biden has announced the White House will work with American companies and ports on a “90-day sprint” to alleviate supply chain disruption.

Biden announced that the Port of Los Angeles will expand to 24/7 operations, following the example of the Port of Long Beach, also in California.

About 40 per cent of shipping containers imported to the US come through the two ports, which are among the world’s busiest but typically operate five days a week.

The change will see the Port of Los Angeles add more than 60 hours of operation a week, almost double its total earlier this year.

Around the world, ports are congested dealing with demand for commodities and goods as much of the global economy has recovered from the pandemic. Shipping costs have soared, and container and ocean freight space are at a premium.

“Today’s announcement has the potential to be a game changer,” Biden says.

“All of these goods won’t move by themselves. For the positive impact to be felt all across the country and by all of you at home, we need major retailers who ordered the goods and the freight movers who take the goods from the ships to factories and stores to step up as well.”

Biden’s words follow the supply chain disruption task force he set up in June this year.

“This is not called a supply chain for nothing,” he says. “If federal support is needed, I will direct all appropriate action. Now, if the private sector doesn’t step up, we’re going to call them out and ask them to act because our goal is not only to get through this immediate bottleneck but to address the longstanding weaknesses in our transportation supply chain that this pandemic has exposed.”

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