White House Tapped Private Companies to Help Alleviate LA Port Backlog

FedEx, UPS, and Walmart committed to 24/7 work hours at the port of Los Angeles, amid mounting delays in shipping that threaten the supply chain, leading into the Christmas rush.

White House did not guarantee the dwindling numbers of supplies would be addressed promptly

On Wednesday, the White House announced companies such as FedEx, UPS, and Walmart committed to extending their operating hours to alleviate the worsening conditions at the LA port.

According to a recent report, around 100 massive containers are idle at the coastline of Los Angeles, waiting to discharge their goods.

In relation to this, White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed on Wednesday the extension of operating hours will move more supplies faster; included among them were toys and other Christmas items. 

Despite claiming the help will assist in the movement of products, the White House press secretary did not guarantee the escalating problems would be addressed quickly. During her daily press briefing, Psaki was asked whether the Biden administration could guarantee the holiday gifts and packages would arrive on time.

Psaki sarcastically said they are not FedEx, Postal Service, or UPS when asked whether they could guarantee the arrival of packages

Psaki responded sarcastically, stating the White House is not FedEx, Postal Service, or UPS. She added they cannot guarantee packages would arrive on time. What they can only do is utilize every tool the government has in reducing these types of delays. 

Another member of the press pushed back against this, asking Psaki a question about inflation, which created a spike in the prices of consumer goods. The reporter asked if the administration’s portrayal of inflation as temporary could be misleading the public that does not know “transitory” could probably lead to a year or longer.

Psaki then claimed she does not have an assessment on how many people know what “transitory” means or what it means to the people. She then quoted the Wall Street economists and Federal Reserve, stating they are projecting inflation will go down next year. 

A rise in demand for goods after the end of COVID-19 lockdowns contributed to the spike in the inflation rate. The traffic jam of international shipping containers at the U.S. ports added even more to the problem. 

On top of this, the rise in demand for goods also coincides with the record high number of individuals quitting their jobs, increasing shortages of goods, including furniture, clothing, tech items, and (as the holidays near), toys.  

Meanwhile, critics of the Biden administration state the generous stimulus programs distributed by the White House are somewhat to blame for the economic distress. Likewise, once the goods reach the docks, other problems remain, such as a current shortage of truck drivers.