The White House will work with businesses and ports on a “90-day sprint” to ease bottlenecks, according to a senior administration official. Some will start working 24/7 to clear the backlog.
The Port of Los Angeles will transition to 24/7 service, bringing it in line with the operations of the Port of Long Beach, which already operates on a 24/7 schedule, the official said. These two ports handle 40% of container traffic in the United States.
Ports around the world are congested due to the rapid rebound in demand for commodities and goods as much of the global economy has recovered from the pandemic. Shipping costs have skyrocketed and businesses looking to move goods are struggling because there simply aren’t enough ships or containers available. Meanwhile, prices are rising for consumers.
“To be clear, no matter what we do in the short term, at the end of the day we have a problem with the capacity of our ports, rail freight, roads and bridges. Simply put, much of the transport and freight infrastructure has been built over decades, if not generations. there are, and Americans import and [exporting] much more than at the time, ”said the official.
President Joe Biden will meet with senior officials and stakeholders to discuss collective efforts to address global transportation bottlenecks, and then deliver remarks on Wednesday. Port operators, associations of truckers, unions and management Walmart (, )FedEx (, )UPS ( and )Target (will attend the talks. )
“The supply chain is primarily owned by the private sector, so we need the private sector to step up to help address these issues,” the senior official said, previewing the announcements.
“By taking these steps, they are telling the rest of the supply chain, you have to move on as well. Let’s step up, ”the official said, adding that the White House hopes these companies will motivate other companies to follow suit. up to their operations.
Officials also said the federal government is working with state motor vehicle departments. to help increase the issuance of commercial driver’s licenses with the aim of increasing the number of truck drivers in the country. They added that the White House hopes to see the trucking and rail freight industries increase hours as well.
A shortage of truck drivers has added to the constraints of the supply chain, making the delivery of goods to consumers even more expensive and slow.
“If we can stabilize the pandemic, we know it will have a positive impact on global supply chains for a beneficial economy,” the senior administration official said.
– CNN’s Jason Hoffman and Matt Egan contributed to this report