WASHINGTON DC – The Port of Los Angeles, in California, will begin to operate without interruption to speed up the congestion of freighters that anchor in front of the city and alleviate the supply problems that this causes, as announced this Wednesday by the government of President Joe Biden.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, where 40% of containers from the United States enter, have experienced congestion for months caused by an increase in electronic commerce and personnel problems.

In front of these two ports, about 60 freighters are waiting to be able to dock and unload their goods, also causing problems in the national supply chain.

For this reason, the Biden government agreed with the Port of Los Angeles, the main longshoremen’s union and a group of multinationals so that the operation becomes uninterrupted, as well as that of Long Beach since September.

The port agrees not to close, the International Union of Longshoremen and Warehouses to take over all shifts and companies such as Walmart, UPS, FedEx, Samsung, The Home Depot or Target to send more trucks to streamline ship traffic.

“Unlike the main ports in the world, US ports have not been able to take advantage of all the possibilities offered by the operation during nights and weekends,” the White House told reporters in a document.

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All the sectors involved – port, union and companies – met this Wednesday at the White House with Biden.

“Addressing (cargo) backlogs in ports could help us deal with what we see in many industries across the country,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at her daily press conference.

In June, the White House created a task force to tackle problems in global supply chains, and in August it even appointed a czar in charge of alleviating congestion at ports, John Porcari.

The White House is beginning to fear that American consumers may not be able to access all the products they would like to buy for Christmas, due to bottlenecks in supply chains.

EMPLOYMENT OF PEOPLE AND OVERTIME

Where does the additional staffing come from? And who will pay the bill?

The International Longshore Workers’ Union (ILWU) is committed to being staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The port operators, the terminal operators in the port, pay for that labor. It is up to the terminal operators to open those hours and reserve cargo movements during free hours.

The jobs of 1,800 Southern California dockworkers were disrupted due to COVID-19 earlier this year.
The Chinese ports of Yantian (Shenzhen) and Ningbo Zhoushan, two of the 5 largest ports in the world, experienced partial multi-week terminal closures aimed at curbing COVID-19 outbreaks, slowing global supply chains due to increased stay times and cancellation of trips.

In September, hundreds of factories closed under lockdown restrictions in Vietnam, halting production that supports thousands of retailers.
all over the world. They have slowly reopened in early October but have yet to deal with mounting supply chain problems.

These disruptions have made the transportation supply chain more
unstable and difficult to predict.

The president launched the supply chain disruption working group in June, which included focusing on transportation and logistics bottlenecks for the US economic recovery.

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