Biden to Unveil Plan to Ease Supply-Chain Problems

U.S. President Joe Biden.


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U.S. President Joe Biden will unveil a plan to ease the supply-chain problems that are weighing on the economic recovery and may threaten the holiday season, according to a senior White House official.

Biden will meet Wednesday afternoon with executives from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles as well as




Walmart

(ticker: WMT),




FedEx

(FDX),




UPS

(UPS),




Target

(TGT), and union representatives and industry lobbies.

The ports will run round-the-clock operations, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union has indicated that its members accept working extra shifts. The key delivery companies will also increase the number of hours they operate, according to the plan.

“By taking these steps, [the companies] are saying to the rest of the supply chain, you need to move too,” the White House aide said.

Some 40% of the shipping containers entering the U.S. go through Long Beach and Los Angeles.

Supply-chain bottlenecks around the world, due in large part to the speed of the postpandemic recovery, are lifting inflation in Western economies, and threaten to create shortages of many goods ahead of the coming holiday season.

Biden in June created a task force and named John Porcari as a ‘bottleneck’ czar, to incite private-sector companies to find ways to overcome the current supply problems.

The current shortages and supply-chain issues are hitting most economies and can be amplified by local developments, such as Brexit for the U.K. According to the Financial Times,




Maersk
,

(MAERSK-B. Denmark) the world’s largest shipping company, has to divert traffic from Felixstowe, the U.K.’s biggest port, because it is packed with containers that can’t be moved due of a shortage of truck drivers.

Traffic has to be rerouted to continental European ports to be loaded onto smaller vessels that can then access other U.K. ports, an executive from the Danish group told the newspaper.

Maersk CEO Søren Skou said last month he currently saw nothing in the data “suggesting that the situation will change this year.”

Write to Pierre Briançon at [email protected]

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