With the support of the Executive Directors of The Port of Los Angeles (“Port of L.A.”) and the Port of Long Beach, and the President of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, President Biden announced on Wednesday October 13, 2021, after week of negotiations, that the Port of L.A. has agreed to begin operating 24/7. The Port of L.A. will join the Port of Long Beach, which has been running 24/7 for the past several weeks. Together, 40% of the containers imported to the United States go through these two ports.
With the Holiday buying season already in full swing, the Biden Administration hopes this move will alleviate bottlenecks in the supply chain, allowing it to catch up with the immense backlog of containers sitting at ports. The move to 24/7 operations will allow for movement of goods during off-peak times such as nights and weekends. The Biden Administration believes that this will increase not only the efficiency of loading and unloading of shipping containers, but also the efficient distribution of goods moving by truck and rail.
Notably, Wal-Mart, the United States’ largest retail company, has committed to operating all of its supply chain on a 24/7 basis. Additionally, UPS and FedEx have committed to significantly increasing the movement of their goods at night. Target, Home Depot, and Samsung have also promised more movement of goods during off-peak hours.
In Biden’s press conference on Wednesday, he announced that this plan additionally has the backing of unions, including: the Longshore and Warehouse Union, the Teamsters Union, the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, International Association of Machinists, the Train Dispatchers Association and members of the SMART Union (Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation workers).
While this adjustment will keep the supply chain at selected ports moving on a 24/7 basis, it also depends on other supply chain challenges being solved including: truck driver shortages, chassis and other equipment shortages, and railyard back log.
Husch Blackwell is closely following this matter. Should you have any questions regarding this announcement, please contact Husch Blackwell’s International Trade & Supply Chain team.