Maritime Transportation United States Sea Transport Supply Chain

Supply Chain News: White House Reports on Recent Progress and Actions on Port Congestion

Supply Chain News: White House Reports on Recent Progress and Actions on Port Congestion

November 10, 2021

Retailers have spent the past few months moving a record number of goods into the country with the help of longshore workers, truck drivers, railroad and warehouse workers. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach—which handle 40 percent of the country’s containerized imports—have moved 17 percent more containers between January and mid-October than they did in 2018, which held the previous record. Simply put, the transportation supply chain is going to move more goods this year than ever before, which has helped store shelves essentially recover to or even exceed their pre-pandemic states.

This historic throughput has led to challenges for importers and exporters including retailers as they work through their busiest season ever and farmers trying to get products to foreign markets.

Last month, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) workers joined together to commit to shift towards 24/7 operations, aimed at boosting both throughput and efficiency at our nation’s ports. Some of the countries’ largest companies joined in as well, committing to move more containers during off-peak hours. Both major railroads responsible for moving goods out of the ports, BNSF and Union Pacific, announced discounts to customers on each container moved by rail during the weekend and Union Pacific also decided to operate its station near the ports 24/7. Port Envoy Porcari has also been leading thrice weekly meetings with terminal operators, shipping lines, and other key stakeholders to identify operational problems and immediate solutions at the two ports.

Recent actions to facilitate practical problem solving and collaboration between each link in the goods movement chain is starting to show some early returns.


Click here for the White House blog: Recent Progress and Actions on Port Congestion.