President Joe Biden will announce a plan Wednesday to help important ports on the West Coast stay open around the clock in an effort to address supply chain bottlenecks plaguing the country.
Various major companies and the Port of Los Angeles are committing to expanding hours, senior administration officials said. Many of these companies, including the port, will be moving to 24/7 operations as the administration aims to ease U.S. supply chain problems that have sparked cost increases and shortages of goods.
The Port of Los Angeles joins the Port of Long Beach, which moved to 24/7 operations in September, according to one official. These two ports make up around 40% of shipping containers entering the country. “Port operators” will harbor the responsibility of paying employees and keeping the facilities open, according to officials.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union previously noted its workers would be available for the upcoming new shifts. (RELATED: ‘It’s Unprecedented’: Builders Running Out Of Key Construction Materials, Forced To Find Alternatives)
“This effort is part of the ongoing work of the Biden-Harris Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to continue to identify emerging bottlenecks to the economic recovery and take action to clear them to help families, workers, and businesses get the goods they need,” the White House said in a fact sheet laying out the news.
Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, will “significantly” increase night-time hours, according to the White House. UPS will be operating 24/7 and FedEx will also increase its night-time hours to help with the increase of containers at the ports. Home Depot is committed to moving up to 10% more containers every week during off-peak port hours at both California facilities, the officials explained.
The four companies will speak with Biden about their plans on Wednesday and officials estimated that around 3,500 extra containers will be moved at night through the end of 2021 because of the company’s – which also include commitments from Samsung and Target – efforts.
The global supply chain bottlenecks is just one issue the Biden administration is facing. The president is also grappling with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Democratic infighting over his Build Back Better agenda, a surge of migrants at the Southern Border, a looming debt ceiling crisis and more.
One official noted that for the supply chain problem, there’s not much the administration can do.
“The supply chain is, essentially, in the hands of the private sector, so we need the private sector to step up to help solve these problems,” the official explained, adding that “ordinary people and businesses are feeling the effects of these delays and bottlenecks.”