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MarketWatch 14 October, 2021 - 09:04am 2 views

Psaki opened Wednesday’s daily press briefing by noting that President Joe Biden had secured key commitments to ensure that shippers operated 24/7 in order to ease holiday backlogs. But there is still no guarantee that packages will arrive on time.

"We are not the Postal Service or UPS or FedEx," Psaki said. “We cannot guarantee. What we can do is use every lever at the federal government’s disposal to reduce delays."

"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," she continued.

Biden administration officials have been concerned that holiday season shortages will become the latest political headache for the president, who has been suffering from many.

"The stories that we are now hearing about the caution that if you want to have Christmas toys for your children, it might be the time to start buying them because the delay may be many, many months," Vice President Kamala Harris warned in August.

There is a massive freight backlog in Southern California. California's coronavirus precautions and labor shortages have left Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, which account for roughly 40% of all U.S. imports, operating at approximately 60% capacity.

The administration is also grappling with inflation concerns more broadly throughout the economy. Psaki called the price upticks “transitory” but acknowledged they were “an issue that has been impacting [the public] nearly every single day.”

Tags: News, White House, Joe Biden, Biden Administration, Jen Psaki, Supply chain, Kamala Harris

Original Author: W. James Antle III

Original Location: 'We are not the Postal Service': White House won't guarantee packages arrive on time for Christmas amid supply-chain issues

Nancy Pelosi and her top lieutenants aren't ruling out another reconciliation bill if it means fulfilling more of Biden's domestic agenda.

Tech employees denounce their companies' contract to sell cloud services to Israel, which they said would allow further surveillance of Palestinians.

A federal judge in Washington has repeatedly sentenced people who stormed the U.S. Capitol to more prison time than prosecutors sought, saying that even people who were not violent should face consequences for joining the unprecedented assault. In the past week, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan has imposed sentences ranging from 14 to 45 days on four people who pleaded guilty to unlawful parading and picketing inside the Capitol building on Jan. 6 — a misdemeanor offense. "There have to be consequences for participating in an attempted violent overthrow of the government, beyond sitting at home," Chutkan said at one of the hearings.

Since August 6, the Biden administration has released more than 70,000 illegal immigrants into the U.S.

The app, 2nd1st, used Trump's name, image, and likeness "for commercial purposes," Trump's attorney said in a cease-and-desist letter, per the Post.

Walker says GOP voters saw Trump was "somebody who was, maybe not out of central casting" but "was looking out for them."

The White House spun disappointing inflation numbers by saying consumer prices were on the way down while preparing the public for sticker shock to continue until next year.

A federal judge ordered United to temporarily pause its plan to put unvaccinated workers on leave if they requested a medical or religious exemption.

Wendy's is ready for battle with its new Hot & Cripsy Fry Guarantee.

Trump Organization controller Jeffrey McConney is CFO Allen Weisselberg's second-in-command and has worked at the company for decades.

A new CBS poll of Virginians shows that school curriculums will be a major factor in voters' decisions as they head to the polls to choose their next governor.

The school district responded Wednesday to a report that it covered up a sexual assault perpetrated by a "gender fluid" male student in the girls' bathroom.

The "Guardians of the Galaxy" star also shared his thoughts on gun control and social media.

The "Black Panther" actress, 27, insists she didn't didn't share anti-vax views on the set of the Marvel movie. "I honestly assert that this was completely untrue," she said.

Tom Brady took back roads, stretching his drive home from half an hour into over an hour, just to be safe.

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said the carrier's operations were "much improved" Tuesday, with the airline canceling only a small fraction of its flights for the day after suffering massive disruptions over the weekend. Data from aviation tracker FlightAware showed 91 canceled Southwest flights as of Tuesday afternoon , about 2% of its schedule. An additional 242 flights were delayed. The figures were far lower than Monday, when the airline canceled more than 10% of flights and more than 40%

via Facebook The random murder of a 46-year-old former horse trainer at a Minnesota resort last week shocked the tiny town of Nisswa with its senselessness, but police now say the victim was probably not even the real target.Bethany Bernatsky had only moved in at the Cozy Bay Resort a few weeks before she was gunned down last Thursday. But it seems the tranquil spot was dangerously close to a tense, domestic drama unraveling across the street.The accused gunman, 26-year-old Cameron J. Moser, had

Intensive care units are nearing capacity and health care workers are in short supply in Minnesota, as coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths all reach levels not seen since vaccines became widely available. All of the state’s counties are at high risk for community transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New daily cases have risen by 29% in the last two weeks and hospitalizations by 17%, according to a New York Times database. The state’s daily case av

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Supply Chain Too Snarled for Biden's Christmas Fix, Experts Say

gcaptain.com 14 October, 2021 - 10:51am

Shipping containers are unloaded from ships at a container terminal at the Port of Long Beach-Port of Los Angeles complex, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 7, 2021. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

By Nandita Bose and Lisa Baertlein

WASHINGTON, Oct 14 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden is pushing to ease supply shortages and tame rising prices in time for Christmas, but unsnarling U.S. supply lines could take far longer, experts told Reuters.

Biden brought together powerbrokers from ports, unions and big business on Wednesday to address shipping, labor and warehousing pain in the U.S. supply chain, and announced new around-the-clock port operations in Los Angeles.

As his Republican opposition seizes on possible Christmas shortages to connect Biden’s economic policies to inflation, and try to stall a multitrillion-dollar spending bill in Congress in coming weeks, the White House’s message Wednesday was that a solution is in sight.

“This is an across-the-board commitment to going to 24/7,” said Biden, a Democrat. The port opening, and a promise from retailers like Target and Walmart to move more goods at night are a “big first step,” he said. Now, he said, “we need the rest of the private sector chain to step us as well.”

While more cooperation among the often competing, secretive players in the U.S. supply chain business is a plus, the White House’s impact may be incremental at best, logistics experts, economists and labor unions warned.

“What the president’s doing isn’t going to really hurt. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t solve the problem,” said Steven Ricchiuto, U.S. chief economist at Mizuho Securities.

Americans, already by far the world’s biggest consumers, have simply been buying a lot more stuff during the pandemic, much of it imported. Couple that with labor shortages, equipment shortages and a lack of space to store that stuff, nationwide.

Players from ports to retail chains are already working full-tilt to handle the pandemic-fueled surge in imports and get holiday gifts onto shelves and e-commerce centers in time for the Nov. 26 Black Friday kickoff of the 2021 holiday season.

Imports at the Port of Los Angeles – the No. 1 gateway for ocean trade with China – are up 30% so far this year over last year’s record.

But that has left some 250,000 containers of goods stacked up on the docks due to delayed pickups, from chassis shortages and a lack of space in rail yards and warehouses. And that is causing dozens of ships to back up at anchor outside the port.

“The analogy would be the boa constrictor that ate the mouse. There’s a lump in it and the lump is the constraint in the throughput of the supply chain, and it moves along each time you solve for a constraint,” said Joe Dunlap global head of the supply chain advisory team at CBRE Group, a commercial real estate services firm.

Frank Ponce De Leon, International Longshore & Warehouse Union Coast Committeeman summarized the problem at U.S. ports, which the Commerce department estimates handle 76% of all trade, during comments last week.

“You don’t build a church for Christmas and Easter; you build it for a regular Sunday service,” he said. “With the unprecedented influx of cargo, it’s like Christmas and Easter on the docks every single day, with more ships coming in and the pews have been full for months, and there’s nowhere left to sit – or stand.”

Dockworkers remain available for 24-hour shifts to help clear the port backlogs, the longshore union said. But that is not true of the people who move goods from the ships or from ports, other unions say.

“One of the major problems with the current state of logistics is the shortage of port truck drivers. They are not paid a living wage,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa, who participated in the meeting with Biden.

The backup may be exacerbating that shortage, because many port drivers are not paid for the hours they spend waiting to pick up a container, making the job less appealing.

Still, there is no evidence experienced workers are sitting on the sidelines – U.S. transportation and warehousing are employing more people now then they did before the pandemic started, data https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-ECONOMY/COVID-JOBS/xmpjokbmdvr/chart.png from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show.

Like seaports, warehouses work best when they are moving products in and out quickly and predictably. Instead, port officials say, they are packed to the rafters and struggling with employee hiring and retention.

U.S. companies are leasing warehouse space at record levels to handle the large influx of goods for e-commerce.

The markets that serve Southern California ports include Los Angeles and the Inland Empire region nearby, which had second-quarter vacancy rates of 1.2% and 1.4%, respectively, according to CBRE data.

“Space is clearly tight,” Dunlap said.

It is not just that warehouses are at capacity, Steve DeHaan, CEO of the International Warehouse Logistics Association, said in a recent letter to John Porcari, port envoy for the White House Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force.

Warehouse owners, tenant and workforce employers can be different companies, which makes drawing up new contracts to pay round-the-clock workers difficult. “The warehouse cannot arbitrarily make this decision,” DeHaan said.

Moving a warehouse to 24/7 operations adds another layer of risk, he said.

“For example, receiving a container at 6 a.m. that was scheduled for 3 a.m. delivery disrupts operations for the entire day,” DeHaan said. “The goal of reducing container congestion over the next 90 days is ambitious.”

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington and Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Heather Timmons and William Mallard)

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