In an effort to address the growing supply chain issues caused by the cargo ship bottleneck, President Joe Biden announced Wednesday a deal in which the Port of Los Angeles will begin operating 24 hours a day.
“Today, I’m announcing that the Port of LA will begin operating around the clock 24/7 to make sure Americans can get the goods they need,” Biden tweeted. “My Administration is working around the clock to move more goods faster and strengthen the resiliency of our supply chains.”
Today I’m announcing that the Port of LA will begin operating around the clock 24/7 to make sure Americans can get the goods they need.
My Administration is working around the clock to move more goods faster and strengthen the resiliency of our supply chains.
— President Biden (@POTUS) October 13, 2021
A similar plan will also move forward for the Port of Long Beach, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The two ports are responsible for nearly half of all imports into the U.S.
The Times reports that under the plan, the Port of L.A. will nearly double the number of hours that cargo is transferred from container ships to trucks. The goal is to process and unload 3,500 extra containers during the night each week.
As part of the deal, major shippers such as Walmart, FedEx, UPS, Samsung, Home Depot and Target have agreed to speed up operations to clear cargo out of the ports, the Times reports.
“Across these six companies, over 3,500 additional containers per week will move at night through the end of the year,” the White House said in a statement.
“Because all of these goods won’t move by themselves,” Biden said. “For the positive impact to be felt all across the country and by all of you at home, we need major retailers who ordered the goods and the freight movers who take the goods from the ships to factories and stores to step up as well.
While the plan addresses a short-term fix, the White House said a larger problem of ports, freight rail and roads lacking the capacity they need to move goods must also be addressed.
“Put simply, much of the shipping and freight infrastructure was built decades or even generations ago, and Americans are importing and exporting far more than we did back then,” the White House said.
Biden also called on Congress to pass his infrastructure plan to help ease the supply chain problems.
“In order to be globally competitive, we need to improve our capacity to make things here in America, while also moving finished products across the country and around the world,” Biden said Wednesday. “We need to think big and bold. That’s why I’m pushing for a once-in-a-generation investment in our infrastructure and our people.”