The Port of Los Angeles and some of the country’s largest freight companies will begin operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week as part of a White House-led push to clear a massive backlog of unloaded ships in time for the Christmas shopping season.
According to a senior White House official, the Port of Los Angeles’ efforts are being stepped up with employees from FedEx, Wal-Mart and UPS who are also moving to 24-hour operations.
Additionally, the White House will look to other transportation providers to do the same to maximize capacity nationwide and avoid bottlenecks in the supply chain that many experts are warning of bottlenecks during one of the prime seasons for U.S. retailers.
The Port of Los Angeles is the largest port in all of North America, spanning 7,500 acres and including 25 separate cargo terminals. Long Beach’s 3,200-acre port is the second largest and has been in operation around the clock for several weeks. Together, the two ports will handle nearly half of all cargo entering the United States, including containers from America’s largest trading partners such as China, Japan and South Korea.
Both have seen record numbers of ships waiting to be unloaded in the past few days due to changes in labor supply and purchasing practices in the pandemic. White House officials hope the move to all-day and night-time operations across the supply chain will help remove shipping and delivery bottlenecks. Other companies joining the push to expand the business include Samsung, Target, and Home Depot.
“We need the private sector to step in and help resolve these issues,” said a White House official who briefed reporters on the announcement made Wednesday afternoon during a virtual roundtable with President Joe Biden and executives from across the shipping industry to be held .
The official said the White House hopes more shipping and logistics service providers will join those who have already committed to moving to non-stop operations, as such commitments are most effective “when every private company along the supply chain does does”. same thing “.
“We will try to move truck and freight traffic to extend the opening hours to help with bottlenecks,” said the official.
“We’ll be working along the supply chain in a 90-day sprint by the end of the year.”