The White House will work with businesses and ports on a “90-day sprint” to remove bottlenecks, according to a senior administration official. Some will work around the clock to clean up the residue.
In a speech on Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced that the Port of Los Angeles would be moving to a 24/7 service to bring it in line with operations in the Port of Long Beach, which is already operating on a 24/7 basis. Schedule is working. These two ports handle 40% of container traffic in the United States.
Around the world, ports are congested due to the rapid recovery in demand for raw materials and goods as much of the global economy has recovered from the pandemic. Shipping costs have skyrocketed and companies that want to move goods are struggling with insufficient ships or containers. Meanwhile, prices for consumers are rising.
“Today’s announcement has the potential to be a game changer,” Biden said in a White House statement.
He said the extra port hours will increase container ship unloading time by 60 hours per week, doubling the hours the ports of Los Angeles and the neighboring port of Long Beach operated earlier this year.
He said that Walmart, the country’s largest retailer, has committed to a 50% increase in off-peak goods transport. The president said FedEx and UPS will also increase their nightly operations.
“All of these goods don’t move on their own,” said Biden. “In order for the positive effect to be felt throughout the country and in all of you at home, we also need large retailers who have ordered the goods and the carriers who bring the goods from the ships to the factories and shops.”
Officials also said the federal government is working with state motor vehicle departments to increase the issuance of commercial driving licenses to increase the number of truck drivers in the country. They added that the White House is hoping the truck and rail freight industries will also expand opening hours.
– CNN’s Chris Isidore, Jason Hoffman and Matt Egan contributed to this report