The White House is pushing for 24-hour service to alleviate US port congestion.
Senior Biden administration officials said Wednesday that the Port of Los Angeles and its longshoreman union will provide 24-hour service to reduce backlogs that have aggravated global supply chain concerns.
At a meeting with the executives of the massive West Coast port and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden planned to announce the promises.
Officials claimed the White House has also gotten agreements from firms like Walmart, FedEx, and UPS to work longer hours and move some operations to 24 hours a day.
While offering round-the-clock service is more expensive in terms of overtime compensation, there are advantages to doing so. Truckers working overnight, for example, will face less traffic, according to an administration official.
The developments came as a slew of supply chain and logistics issues complicate the global economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic’s deadliest months.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cautioned on Tuesday that supply chain interruptions are driving price hikes as it lowered its growth forecast in a global recovery that is becoming increasingly uneven.
Despite growing costs and shortages of some items, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Americans not to panic, stating that price hikes are unlikely to endure.
Factory outages in nations that have imposed lockdowns due to Covid-19, unexpected demand surges for specific commodities as behavior altered throughout the pandemic, and a nationwide labor constraint are all contributing to the current shortages of crucial raw materials and finished goods afflicting retailers.
However, the backlog at US ports has been a big contributor to the situation, with 60 or more vessels unable to dock off the coasts of Los Angeles and Long Beach at times. The ports of California serve as a major entry point for Asian commodities.
Long Beach had already switched to 24-hour service, and Los Angeles was about to do the same, according to officials.
Officials from the administration said they were aware that the private sector controls nearly all of the supply chain, and that they hoped that 24-hour promises or aspirational pledges would motivate more private-sector actors to take up.