By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff
President Joe Biden announced that the Port of Los Angeles will begin operating around the clock as part of an effort to help speed up shipping delays arising from global supply-chain backlogs. Issues up and down the supply chain, from ships waiting days longer than usual to come to port, to goods waiting at the dock to be picked up, and truckers being unable to unload at warehouses, have created massive delays and concerns about inflation and the coming rush of Christmas shopping.
The Port of Long Beach, which along with the Port of Los Angeles handles 40% of shipping containers entering the U.S., began 24/7 operations last month. However, shortages of available truckers and warehouse operators stalled much of the progress expected from the extended hours.
President Biden created a Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force in June to identify transportation bottlenecks across the nation and identify solutions. The Task Force has been meeting with business and union leaders to help coordinate actions by the many private firms that control the country’s transportation and logistics supply chain.
To help address the problem, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union announced its members are willing to work the extra shifts created by the extended hours of operations at the Ports of LA and Long Beach. Large shippers and retailers such as UPS, FedEx, Walmart and Target have made commitments to use the extended hours of operation to unload cargo, which will allow ships to dock quicker. Additional measures across the country will be pursued in the coming weeks to address transportation congestion and delays.
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