The White House announced Wednesday, that ports of Los Angeles would begin to operate 24 hours a day in an effort to ease supply chain “bottlenecks.”
Businesses across the U.S. saw product shortages and empty shelves, as 81 ships were stranded at sea, waiting to dock and unload at L.A. and Long Beach ports.
The executive directors of the ports of L.A. and Long Beach met with U.S. President Joe Biden, as they discussed how to approach the backlogs at the ports.
“Today we’ve got some good news that’s going to help speed up the delivery of goods, all across America” President Joe Biden said Wednesday. “After weeks of negotiation and working with my team… the port of Los Angeles announced today, that it’s going to begin operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) said its members were willing to work the extra shifts needed to operate at a 24/7 capacity, a move that the White House called “an important first step.”
The port of Long Beach agreed to a similar 24/7 operational strategy nearly three weeks ago in an attempt to clear its own backlogs. Together, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles make up the point of entry for 40% of U.S. containers.
The Biden administration added that major retailers and supply chain management companies such as Walmart, UPS, FedEx, Samsung, Home Depot and Target have agreed to move goods on off-hours as the holidays approach.
“Just UPS and FedEx alone, combined, shipped 40 percent of American packages by volume in 2020,” the White House wrote in a press briefing. “By taking these steps, they’re saying to the rest of the supply chain, ‘You need to move, too. Let’s step it up.’”
This move will allow more than 3,500 additional containers to be moved through the off-peak hours, every week.