Supply Chain Live Updates: LA Mayor Says He's Answering Biden's Call to Lead U.S. Out of Economic Crisis

Live Updates

President Joe Biden announced a new plan to begin 24-hour operations at the Port of Los Angeles to ease the bottleneck of cargo ships amid the growing supply chain crisis.

"Today we have some good news. We're going to help speed up the delivery of goods, all across America," Biden said.

The Port of L.A. will increase its operation hours by 60 hours a week by staying open at night and over the weekend.

Ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California account for 40 percent of all shipping containers entering the United States.

Today I’m announcing that the Port of LA will begin operating around the clock 24/7 to make sure Americans can get the goods they need.

My Administration is working around the clock to move more goods faster and strengthen the resiliency of our supply chains.

— President Biden (@POTUS) October 13, 2021

Companies like Walmart, Target, Home Depot, FedEx and UPS have committed to expanding their night hours to increase operations.

"Because all of these goods won't move by themselves. For the positive impact to be felt all across the country and by all of you at home, we need major retailers who ordered the goods and the freight movers who take the goods from the ships to factories and stores to step up as well," Biden said.

American consumers have faced an increase in product shortages, particularly for items ordered online, and rapidly escalating prices. The supply chain disruptions, which the administration has attributed largely to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, have also hit the ground freight industry.

The live updates for this blog have ended.

Port of Los Angeles
President Joe Biden is set to announce a new plan to run 24 hour operations at the Port of Los Angeles in an effort to ease supply chain bottlenecks. Above, the Evergreen cargo ship "Ever Liberal" filled with containers is seen at the Port of Los Angeles on October 6, 2021 in San Pedro, California. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

LA Mayor says he is "deeply grateful' for Biden's effort to ease congestion at ports

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he is "deeply grateful" for President Biden's efforts to ease the supply chain at the Port of L.A.

"The Port of Los Angeles drives the U.S. economy forward and supports hundreds of thousands of American jobs," Garcetti said in a statement. "President Biden has called on us to help lead the nation out of this economic crisis, and we are answering that call by committing to operate our port 24 hours a day."

Garcetti said he is "deeply grateful to the President and his team for working alongside us as we tackle the global supply chain issues impacting our port, and for bringing the country together to get goods moving more quickly to families and businesses."

"And I am proud of L.A.'s longshore workers, who are putting in long, difficult hours every day to keep our economy moving" he added.

Port of LA director says 24/7 operation plan is a "call to action" for others

In a statement, the Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said the details on the shift to 24/7 operations are being discussed with supply chain stakeholders.

"The significance of today's announcement is the commitment from industry leaders responsible for moving goods on behalf of American consumers and businesses to open up the capacity needed to deliver. It's a call to action for others to follow," he said.

Seroka called the Port of L.A. "America's Port" because the cargo it handles "reaches every corner of the country."

"In the days ahead, we are committed to continuing to be the convener to ensure the supply chain delivers for the American people," he said.

Statement from Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka on 24/7 operations:

"Operational details are being discussed and worked out with the supply chain stakeholders. (1/4)

— Port of Los Angeles (@PortofLA) October 13, 2021

Biden plugs infrastructure bill during supply chain remarks

President Biden plugged his infrastructure bill during his remarks on the supply chain dilemma.

"In order to be globally competitive, we need to improve our capacity to make things here in America, while also moving finished products across the country and around the world. We need to think big and bold. That's why I'm pushing for a once-in-a-generation investment in our infrastructure and our people," he said.

Biden said the bill will make investments in our supply chain and manufacturing and "strengthen our ability to make more goods from the beginning to end right here in America."

Biden calls on private businesses to extend operation hours

During his remarks Wednesday, President Biden said that several private companies, including Walmart, FedEx, UPS, Target, Samsung and Home Depot, are "going all-in" on the push to extend operation hours.

According to Biden, Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, has committed to increasing the use of night-hours that could increase throughput by as much as 50 percent.

UPS and FedEx will also increase their night hours to ensure "businesses of all sizes will get their supplies in time."

The president urged other businesses in the private sector, including retailers, trucking companies and railways to join his efforts.

"If the private sector doesn't step up, we're going to call them out and ask them to act," he said.

Port of LA agrees to stay open 24/7, Biden says

President Biden said that the Port of Los Angeles has agreed to stay open overnight and during the weekend to extend operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

With this change, Biden said the Port of L.A., along with the Port of Long Branch, will add over 60 hours of work, doubling the number of hours the ports are open to business.

Vice President Harris met with business, labor leaders to discuss supply chain solutions

Vice President Kamala Harris, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese met with business, port and labor leaders to discuss solutions to the congestion at the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports.

"Labor leaders made clear their support for this effort, and business leaders announced new commitments to move their cargo during the newly available night time and weekend hours. Participants discussed how the movement of cargo during less congested times will allow trucks to move more quickly on highways during less crowded night time hours, and truckers at the ports can drop off and pick up loads more quickly," a White House readout said.

Harris also "raised the historic and global nature" of the supply chain challenges including "disruptions due to the delta variant shutting down port operations in key trading partners such as in Southeast Asia, causing backups and delays throughout the world's ports," the statement said.

Some of the solutions discussed included temporary expansion of warehousing and rail service, improving data tools and data sharing at the ports and increasing the recruitment of truck drivers while improving the quality of trucking jobs.

Biden administration can't make promises about supply chain fixes, Psaki says

During a press briefing Wednesday, White House Press secretary Jen Psaki said the supply chain backup issues are "multifaceted."

"We can't overpromise here and I'm not going to do that because we know there are a lot of issues in the global supply chain," Psaki said, adding that administration has "been attacking those issues one by one."

When asked if the Biden administration can guarantee holiday packages will arrive on time, Psaki said she can't make any promises.

"We are not the postal service, or UPS, or FedEx. We cannot guarantee," Psaki said. "What we can do is use every lever at the federal government's disposal to reduce delays, to ensure that we are addressing bottlenecks in the systems."

This includes opening ports longer hours and continuing to press workers, unions and companies to take steps to reduce delays, she said.

Biden is coordinating with business, port and labor union leaders to increased port operations

The Biden administration is meeting with business leaders, port leaders and union leaders to discuss congestion at U.S. ports and supply chain delays.

As the Port of Los Angeles begins expanding to 24-hour operations, the White House says the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) said its members are "Willing to work those extra shifts."

Large businesses Walmart, FedEx, Target, Home Depot, UPS and Samsung have agreed to increase their operations.

"Across these six companies over 3,500 additional containers per week will move at night through the end of the year," the White House said in a statement.