Port of Los Angeles backlog: Biden to expand operations

A surfer waits for waves at Huntington Beach, California on Setember 25, 2021 as container ships wait offshore. Photo: Frederic Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Posted on October 14, 2021

The Biden administration is working with private companies, port officials and unions to keep the Port of Los Angeles running 24/7 in order to reduce the backlog of cargo ships floating in the Pacific, according to administration officials.

Why it matters: With the International Monetary Fund citing supply chain problems as a major factor in cutting global growth projections, the White House is scrambling to address some of the sources of the problem at U.S. ports.

  • The delays caused by shipping logjams could leave holiday shelves bare, with disruptions affecting everything from retail, to remodeling to rental cars.

Driving the news: The White House is on Wednesday convening business and union leaders, as well as port officials, to discuss the delays at ports and the congestion across the transportation systems.

  • President Biden will meet with leaders from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union to discuss how they address the challenges in Southern California.
  • They will announce public and private commitments to improve operations at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which together are the point of entry for 40 percent of containers to the U.S.

What to watch: The goal is to accelerate the shipments of goods throughout the country.

  • Walmart, UPS, FedEx, Samsung, The Home Depot and Target will all be part of the effort.

Between the lines: The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has agreed to have its members work those extra shift to expand capacity.

  • The Port of Los Angeles will expand to 24/7 operations following the Port of Long Beach last month.

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