On October 13, President Biden issued a Fact Sheet entitled Biden Administration Efforts to Address Bottlenecks at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Moving Goods from Ship to Shelf to help address the “delays and congestion” across the transportation supply chain. As has been widely reported in recent weeks and months, the global supply chain has been hard hit by large increases in e-commerce and delays and shutdowns implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19. The release confirms public and private commitments to move goods more quickly and to secure the resiliency of American and global supply chains. To do so, the Biden Administration is focusing on the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which act as the ports of entry to the United States for 40% of containers received. The President, together with leadership from these ports, are undertaking a series of public and private commitments as noted below.
On the public side, the Biden Administration has taken numerous steps in the past several months to secure the supply chain and ensure that goods are delivered. In June, the White House launched the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, and, in August, announced John Porcari as the White House Envoy to the Task Force. Last week, the White House issued a release summarizing additional actions taken by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Commerce to address increased grocery store prices and the global semiconductor chip shortage respectively. The October 13 Fact Sheet also promises to continue to work with industry shareholders to move the American supply chain toward 24/7 operations. For its part, the Port of Los Angeles will expand its hours of operation to 24/7 with new off-peak night and weekend shifts.
On the private side, the union that provides labor for the Port of Los Angeles, and large retailers and delivery companies have agreed to maximize night and weekend hours to ease some of the backlog. For example, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union has announced that its members are willing to work those additional shifts at the Port of Los Angeles. In addition, large retailers have committed to increasing the use of night-time and weekend hours, and large delivery companies will increase the volume of containers that they move from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Ultimately, the commitments announced yesterday are expected to move 3,500 additional containers per week at night through the end of 2021.
The Fact Sheet demonstrates the attention the Biden Administration is giving to supply chain issues and their resolution. Crowell & Moring LLP will continue to track these developments.