Washington, Oct 13 (EFE) .- The president of the United States, Joe Biden, assured this Wednesday that he hopes to fix the current congestion in the national supply chain by keeping the most important ports in the country open at all hours, from Monday to Sunday.
Biden received today at the White House the leaders of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, both in California and through which 40% of containers enter the United States, as well as representatives of the longshoremen’s unions, warehouse porters and companies multinationals.
“After weeks of negotiating and working with my team and the major freight forwarder unions, the Port of Los Angeles announced today that it will begin operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Biden said in a speech after the meeting.
“CHANGE THE RULES OF THE GAME”
The decision of those responsible for the port of Los Angeles, agreed with the US Executive, follows that of its neighboring dock, Long Beach, which already adopted this measure a few weeks ago.
Both ports have suffered a congestion situation for months caused by an increase in electronic commerce and personnel problems.
In front of these two ports, about 60 freighters anchor waiting to be able to dock and unload their goods, which has caused problems in the national supply chain.
Faced with this situation, Biden defined the extension of the schedule as a “key step” to match the capacities of these ports to those of other leading countries in trade, which “already operate at these hours.”
Until now, the regulation in those US ports was to work on weekdays, and close at night and on weekends.
The president explained that this modification means that the port of Los Angeles will open more than 60 overtime hours a week and that it will operate at night, a “very important” point because the roads in California are less crowded then.
“Today’s announcement has the potential to change the rules of the game,” said the US president.
REQUEST SUPPORT FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR
Despite considering that this change is “a great first step” to solve the current problem, Biden stressed that the US needs the rest of the private sector chain to “take a step forward.”
The meeting on Wednesday at the White House was also attended by representatives of large companies, such as the supermarket chain Walmart, the courier company UPS and the technology Samsung, among others.
Biden said that Walmart, UPS and FedEx – the latter another of the largest courier firms in the US – will also extend their delivery hours to help alleviate bottlenecks in the supply chain.
Thanks to this strategy, the president is confident that the US will “never again” run out of the materials needed to make products.
NO WARRANTIES FOR CHRISTMAS
The reality is that the White House is beginning to fear that American consumers will not be able to access all the goods they would like to purchase by Christmas due to bottlenecks in supply chains.
Asked about this issue, the spokeswoman for the presidential office, Jen Psaki, lamented in her daily press conference that the Biden Administration cannot “guarantee” that Americans receive all the gifts at Christmas time.
“We can’t guarantee that, what we can do is use all the resources available to the federal government to reduce delays and make sure we are addressing bottlenecks” in the supply chain, Psaki said.
The decision announced this Wednesday comes after the White House created in June a task force to tackle the problems in global distribution chains, and in August even appointed a “czar” in charge of alleviating congestion in the ports, John Porcari.