President Biden’s decision to keep the Port of Los Angeles open “24 hours a day, seven days a week” has not made a dent in supply chain bottlenecks troubling businesses and consumers across the country.
During an October meeting attended by shipping officials, union bosses, and various business groups, Biden promised a “90-day sprint” to clear a path for cargo stranded in California ports. However, trucking and warehousing companies have not taken advantage of the move.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
One terminal at the Port of Long Beach flung open its gates around the clock for truckers in mid-September, from Monday to Thursday. But no trucks showed up, prompting the terminal to tighten the rules. In late September, it said it would open during overnight hours only if 25 trucks made appointments. Since then, those criteria were met only one night, and only five big rigs showed up.
Giles Broom, a spokesman for the terminal operated by Total Terminals International LLC, said it cost on average almost $10,000 to remain open during overnight hours. Trucking companies that make appointments but don’t show up face no penalties … Today, TTI is the only one of the port complex’s 13 terminals offering 24-hour operations …
Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said terminal operators are reluctant to move to 24/7 operations because truckers and warehouses don’t work those hours.
The supply chain bottlenecks are lowering the availability of inputs for American businesses and the availability of final goods for American consumers. Along with other Biden administration officials, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has repeatedly argued that the crisis is due to Biden “successfully” handling the economy.
“If you think about those images of ships, for example, waiting at anchor on the West Coast, you know, every one of those ships is full of record amounts of goods that Americans are buying, because demand is up, because income is up, because the president has successfully guided this economy out of the teeth of a terrifying recession,” Buttigieg told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “Now the issue is, even though our ports are handling more than they ever have, record amounts of goods coming through, our supply chains can’t keep up. And, of course, our supply chains, that’s a complicated system that is mostly in private hands, and rightly so.”
Various conservatives blasted Buttigieg for his position.
“I can’t get over this,” said Omri Ceren, who serves as national security adviser for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). “The most comforting explanation is that Biden officials are — brazenly, unblinkingly, with full confidence journalists will let them get away with it — lying about their grip on high school economics. Because the alternatives are really grim.”
“‘All this terrible s*** is happening because of the president’s huge success’ is bold enough to make Trump blush,” added Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Ingersoll.
For several weeks of the supply chain crisis, Buttigieg was accepting paid paternity leave after adopting twins. “He has been ramping up activities since then,” a spokesperson told Politico, adding that Buttigieg will “continue to take some time over the coming weeks to support his husband and take care of his new children.”