President Joe Biden announced yesterday that the United States managed to avert a Christmas supply chain crisis. He announced this development ahead of a meeting between government officials and private sector firms.
Task Force Helped Address Supply Chain Crisis Heading Into The Holidays
Last June, the President formed a task force to tackle high prices of goods as well as address shortages. The pandemic forced the supply chain to its knees.
Meanwhile, product shortages, shipping issues, and worker disinterest added to supply woes.
The task force pushed for 24/7 port operations to help reduce the backlog. It also called on retailers such as Walmart and Target to help with the shipping. As a result, the White House said that these moves help make significant progress against delays.
Holiday Supply Chain Crisis Averted
As a result, Biden said that the crisis they feared didn’t materialize. “The much-predicted crisis didn't occur. Packages are moving, gifts are being delivered, shelves are not empty,” he said.
Currently, grocery and drugstore shelves are 90% stocked. In addition, delivery times are showing faster completion times.
In fact, record numbers of goods move faster in Southern California ports. Specifically, shipping container processing posted 50% reductions in wait times.
Meanwhile, FedEx CEO Fred Smith conceded that supply chain issues remain. However, Smith said that the improvements now ensure that holiday items will arrive on time.
In addition, consumers should expect inflation pressures to ease up. Once the logistics industry addresses its labor requirements, the supply chain crisis will abate even more. “We think the peak season is going to be a good one,” Smith said.
Extending Port Hours Helped Move Goods Faster
Last November, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said that extending port hours paid off in making the flow of goods faster.
Retailers adjusted the pullout of their holiday imports earlier than planned. They also launched Christmas promotions earlier to ease the pressure of overburdened ports.
As a result, thousands of import containers were able to clear the docks. However, the seaport complex of Los Angeles and Long Beach remains flooded with empty containers.
In addition, about a hundred container ships still remain stranded offshore waiting to unload their cargo.
Supply Chain Issues Remain
Despite the improvements, supply chain issues continue to hound many American industries. Retailers and farmers are still reeling from high prices, worker shortages, and delivery delays.
These factors are hurting their bottom lines. In contrast, corporations continue to collect record profits. Many S&P 500 companies reported beating third-quarter projections.
It didn’t help that demand for imports overwhelmed supply chains. As a result, logistics companies began charging more for shipping and deliveries.
Biden’s task force also started probes on whether these companies took advantage of the situation by charging excessive surcharges.
The President also sought explanations into the conduct of oil and gas markets. Despite the decline in gas prices over the past few weeks, Biden still thinks that fuel costs remain too high.
Wednesday’s Meeting To Resolve Supply Chain Issues
The meeting last Wednesday featured representatives from Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, and Transportation. It also invited National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and Port Envoy John Porcari.
Apart from FedEx’s Smith, chief executives of Gap, Yellow Corp, and the American Association of Port Authorities also attended.
Watch the Yahoo Finance video reporting that President Joe Biden said that significant progress made with supply chain issues:
What do you think of Biden’s declaration that the government solved the supply chain crisis? Do you feel that most goods have adequate supplies and that prices remain reasonable?
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