President Biden statement on efforts to address global transportation supply chain bottlenecks

Oct. 14, 2021

After weeks of negotiation and working with the major union and retailers and freight movers, the Ports of Los Angeles will begin operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These measures are already in place for much of the developed world.  The targeted ports are among the largest in the world where 40 percent of imported shipping containers to the U.S. are unloaded and distributed.

This is the first key step toward moving our entire freight transportation and logistical supply chain, nationwide, to a 24/7 system, Biden said. He urged other American companies to step up, as well, including major retailers who ordered goods, and freight movers used to move those goods from ship to factory. Those private sector companies hire the trucks and railcars and move the goods.

FedEx and UPS, two of the nation’s biggest freight movers, have committed to significantly increasing the amount of goods moving at night.  Those companies ship to some of the country’s largest stores and to thousands of small businesses across the U.S.

Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, committed to go all in on moving this product, Biden said. The company has committed as much as a 50 percent increase in the use of off-peak hours over the next several weeks. Target, Home Depot and Samsung also have committed to ramping up to utilize off-peak hours at the ports.

The nation’s goal, Biden said, is not only to get through this immediate bottleneck, but to address  longstanding weaknesses in our transportation supply chain that the pandemic has exposed.

“The world has changed. Prior to the crisis, we cheered the focus on lean, efficient supply chains, leaving no buffer or margin for error when it comes to certain parts arriving just in time it’s needed to make a final product.”

Research suggests, Biden said, that a company can expect to lose more than 40 percent of one year’s earnings every 10 years due to supply-chain disruptions.

“A longer-term view means we invest in systems that have more time built in, and in our ability to produce, innovate, and partner with our allies,” Biden said. “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.”

Whitehouse briefing