There is a supply-chain problem, and President Biden says he has the answers. It is just that his answers don’t seem to work.
Take the announcement that top ports in LA and Long Beach would operate 24/7, something Joe Biden said in his speech on October 13 as a possible “game-changer.”
The message he sent was clear: He and the Democrats would not be the grinches that stole Christmas. They were doing everything they could — and they would brokered an agreement that would reverse the record bottlenecks at two of the nation’s biggest ports.
Except, as NBC News‘ Lester Holt said last week, “not much had changed” at the ports and they are still at a “crisis level.”
In his segment, Holt spoke to an LA crane operator who told him that “workers were on the job throughout the pandemic and were ready to move cargo around the clock.”
“Union leaders are stressing that dock workers are available around the clock, but it is not up to them when they are called to work,” Holt said.
“Is it frustrating to you that so much focus is coming here to the ports?” Holt asked Frank Ponce de Leon, a union leader.
“This is not a Long Beach or LA problem,” de Leon said. “This is bigger than that. Other parts in the supply chain must be in tune to work 24/7.”
Those parts of the supply chain are the trucks and trains getting the goods out of the port — and they are having problems too.
For example, one truck driver told Holt that he spends whole days waiting for goods to haul.
“Six to eight hours per day, just waiting and sitting in line,” he said.
And then there is the fact that warehouses are filled, meaning drivers are now parking their trucks on city streets.
Of course, Biden also says he can solve the trucking part of the shipping problem. During a CNN town hall, he said he would use the National Guard to help ease those bottlenecks.
“The answer is yes, if we cannot move — increase the amount of truckers, which we are in the process of doing,” Biden said, according to WSJ.
Bill Sullivan, with the American Trucking Associations, made the point that if a National Guard member had a CDL license, he or she would possibly already be driving a truck.
“And the freight network is not public, so which company’s products would the National Guard move?” Sullivan said in a comment.
Author: Blake Ambrose