President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that his administration brokered an agreement with the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, so that they will remain operational around the clock in an effort to relieve the global supply chain crisis.
In a speech at the White House, Biden explained that in order to get the supply chain back to pre-pandemic levels, the nation’s busiest ports must remain open and operational 24-hours a day, seven days a week for the foreseeable future.
“This is the first key step for moving our entire freight transportation and logistical supply chain nationwide to a 24/7 system,” Biden said.
According to the Associated Press, both the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports handle 40% of all shipping containers entering the U.S.
As a part of this new agreement, some of the nation’s most prominent companies have also signed on to address the supply chain bottleneck.
“Never again should our country and our economy be unable to make critical products we need because we don’t have access to materials to make that product,” said Biden. “Never again should we have to rely too heavily on one company or one country or one person in the world, particularly when countries don’t share our values when it comes to labor and environmental standards.”
According to NBC News, Walmart, FedEx, and UPS have agreed to extend their shipping operating hours, to help relieve the congestion at the ports in California.
In June, the White House established a task force to address the supply chain bottleneck, once it became clear it was having economic impacts on the country. According to Reuters, the supply chain backup has caused numerous shortages of certain commodities, as well as the rise in consumer prices as retailers head into the holiday season.
Biden said he hopes this new approach will begin impacting everyday Americans within just a few weeks.