Failing to unload cargo ships in a timely manner is causing extensive supply chain problems across America. Joe Biden’s administration hopes to alleviate backlogs through lifting port capacity.
The White House will increase capacity at major California ports, and Walmart, FedEx, UPS plus other large goods carriers ahead of the busy Christmas shopping season. Ports envoy John Porcari has been appointed to administer the process.
The Port of Los Angeles agreed to unload goods 24 hours a day, a strategy the Port of Long Beach has already adopted, according to the National Public Radio.
Walmart, FedEx and UPS are considering whether to extend rosters to 24 hours a day. International Longshore and Warehouse Union members similarly agreed to add extra shifts in response to increased demand and global logistics challenges.
However, there are still domestic supply chain concerns about delivering products to end consumers. This has caused unprecedented congestion.
Los Angeles rail facility general manager Steven Trombley admits his employer is overwhelmed, and must redouble efforts to keep up with the growing influx of products with fewer workers.
Containers destined for rail often sit on facility docks for weeks compared to before the pandemic. Such delays prompted a coalition of unions, representing shipping workers around the world, to blame pandemic restrictions for causing global shipping chaos.
“We are witnessing unprecedented disruptions and global delays and shortages on essential goods including electronics, food, fuel and medical supplies,” they previously said in an open letter.
The Port of Los Angeles reported 146 ships waited to be unloaded, 84 were anchored or drifting and 62 were at berths.
American schools have been forced to change student menus due to delayed food deliveries.
“I have never seen the supply chain in this much chaos, and I have been doing this for 30 years,” Dallas (Texas) Independent School District executive director for food and child nutrition services Michael Rosenberger previously said.
Global transport chiefs have called on world leaders to end travel bans and other restrictions imposed since the pandemic began.
The International Chamber of Shipping, International Road Transport Union, International Air Transport Association and International Transport Workers’s Federation sent a joint open letter to United Nations General Assembly delegates on Sept. 29.
They made an “urgent plea” to remove restrictions that “hinder the free movement of transport workers, and ensure and facilitate their free and safe movement.”