Los Angeles In order to secure the pre-Christmas business this year, which is important for retailers, the US government is working flat out on solving the global supply bottlenecks. “Traditionally, our ports are only open during the week, from Monday to Friday, and are usually closed at night and on weekends,” said Biden on Wednesday.
After negotiations by his government with trade unions, operators and freight forwarders, this is now changing. “By opening seven days a week, night and weekends, the Port of Los Angeles will be open for more than 60 additional hours a week,” said Biden. The port of Long Beach, also in the US state of California, is already in continuous operation.
The two ports are the largest ports in the United States. The delivery bottlenecks, for example due to traffic jams at ports and a lack of container capacity, are becoming increasingly noticeable. The backlog is to be reduced with the continuous operation of the two ports. “I know you hear a lot about what are called supply chains and how difficult it is to get a range of things – from toasters to sneakers to bicycles and bedroom furniture,” said Biden. He understands that this worries many people.
Biden calls on private market participants to act
The US retailer Walmart, Home Depot and Target as well as the US parcel services UPS and Fedex have also agreed to work outside of their peak hours to unload or transport the goods. Electronics giant Samsung have also announced longer working hours. “The commitments made today are a sign of great progress and that goods are getting from manufacturers to your stores or to your home,” said Biden. “We are not the post office or UPS or Fedex, we cannot guarantee anything,” said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki when asked whether, for example, Christmas parcels will arrive on time. “What we can do is use whatever means the government has available to reduce delays and make sure we remove bottlenecks in the system.”
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“We’re working around the clock to move more goods faster and strengthen our supply chains,” said Biden. The extension of working hours and the ramping up of capacities at ports are a first step. Other private market participants would now have to follow suit. “It’s called the supply chain for a reason.”
Government officials had previously warned US consumers of rising prices and empty shelves in the pre-Christmas season. In front of the ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, ships with around 500,000 containers are waiting for permission to enter.
The government in Great Britain, however, considers concerns about supply shortages during the Christmas season to be unfounded. The British Conservative Party Secretary General Oliver Dowden was convinced that the gifts would arrive in time for the festival. “I’m confident that people will get their toys for Christmas,” he told Sky TV. The situation is increasingly easing in the port of Felixtowe, through which 36 percent of the country’s container freight is handled. The shortage of truck drivers is global and not a problem in Great Britain alone.
Maersk, the largest container shipping company in the world, has diverted some ships from the port of Felixstowe in the east of England because there were problems with the removal of goods in the port due to the acute shortage of truck drivers. Great Britain has been fighting supply bottlenecks for weeks. Johnson had admitted that Britain’s exit from the EU had created tension in the supply chain and the workforce.
More: The delivery bottlenecks are also endangering German growth