On October 13th, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. announced that the Port of Los Angeles will commence 24/7 operations for the foreseeable future.
The news comes after the Port of Long Beach announced that they would be incurring 24/7 operations to help clear the backlog of ships and containers. The two ports, brothers to one another, handle a significant portion of American-Asian trade, and approximately 45 percent of all shipping containers in the USA eventually enter its boundaries.
Larger, foreign ports such as the one in Shanghai already operate 24/7, as shipping volume demands. Due to an estimated half-million containers needing to unload at the twin ports in Southern California, the expansion will add 60 hours each week to the schedule.
“During off-peak hours, cargo leaves the port at a 25 percent faster pace than the day shift,” said Biden, in a moment that was surprisingly lucid for him. “Today’s announcement has the potential to be a game changer. I say ‘potential’ because these goods won’t move themselves. For the positive impact, we need major retailers and freight movers who move the goods to step up as well.”
Biden is right in his formal statement. While this change has the potential to eliminate one bottleneck in the supply chain, it moves the goods to a new bottleneck: the truckers delivering the goods to their final destinations.
There are many factors impacting the shortage of truckers with which to haul these goods. There is the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, the potential for truckers to quit over a future vaccine mandate, and the cost of obtaining a truck rising to higher than ever due to a lack of supplies needed to build new big rigs.
With Christmas just around the corner and the country running out of everything from prescription bottles to onion rings, Americans will have to get creative to work around constraints until the economy is back in order.
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