By Craig Monger
The American supply chain, something that most people spend little time contemplating, is facing challenges.
Ships can be seen lingering in the Los Angeles harbor while they wait to be unloaded. With the harbor teeming with multiple ships waiting to be unloaded, the port authorities are experiencing a backlog.
Although there is a delay in the unloading of cargo ships, there really is no lack of goods sitting on American soil. Once ships are unloaded, the goods must be carried to their eventual destination, and that requires trucks. The goods that are not waiting at shipyards are in warehouses, storage facilities, and distribution centers across the country. There is a dire shortage of trucks and truck drivers needed to transport goods across the nation.
Chris Spear, President and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, told CNN that the nation would need 80,000 drivers to address the current lack of drivers.
The White House has issued a statement regarding the supply chain issues in the nation. Among the solutions proposed by the White House, addressing the lack of truck drivers was not mentioned. The nation is growing more and more concerned about issues challenging the supply chain, fearing a lack of goods for the holiday season, or even a lack of affordable groceries.
The White House listed a number of steps it has taken, via executive order, to address the supply chain breakdown.
“There has been a noticed effort of the White House to address the issues regarding the lack of distribution,” according to the statement. “The Administration’s COVID-19 Response Team has drastically expanded the manufacture of vaccines and other essential supplies, enabling more than 137 million Americans to get fully vaccinated.”
The manufacturing of semiconductor chips, the mining of rare earth elements, and the strengthening of cyber-security were also mentioned in the statement.
Future plans of the Biden administration include increasing the domestic production of medicines, batteries, and critical minerals; as well as combatting “unfair foreign trade practices.”
Furthering the production of electric vehicles is also a priority for the Biden administration. “[We will] provide funding and financial incentives to spur consumer adoption of EVs and other EV incentives: We recommend Congress authorize new and expanded incentives to spur consumer adoption of U.S.-made electric vehicles. In addition, we recommend Congress support $5 billion in investments to electrify the federal fleet with U.S.-made EVs, and $15 billion in infrastructure investment to build out a national charging infrastructure to facilitate the adoptions of EVs.”
The Biden Administration also proposed plans for strengthening domestic food production and distribution.
“USDA will commit more than $4 billion in a new, robust suite of Build Back Better initiatives focused on rebuilding the U.S. food system and strengthening and diversifying supply chains for food production, food processing, food distribution and aggregation, and markets and consumers,” the White House statement continued. “Build Back Better efforts by USDA will seek to provide improved access to nutritious food, address racial equity and justice as well as climate change, make markets fair and competitive, provide ongoing support for producers and workers, and create greater resilience in the food supply chain.”
The Port of Los Angeles is now operating overnight, and several big-box stores, including Walmart and Home Depot, have expanded hours for transporting goods.