Uber Freight boss warns US is entering shipping ‘Armageddon’

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Supply chain bottlenecks that have become so disruptive as to attract the president’s attention are either a systemic problem that will require significant changes to the way the shipping industry operates or a political cuddle that has been pitted against the Biden administration and its legislative agenda. Weapons can be made.

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Which of these? It depends on whom you ask.

At the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, a combined 83 cargo ships await the opportunity to dock and offload nearly half a million standard-size shipping containers, according to the Maritime Exchange of Southern California.

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Experts say a large boat backlog is to blame for changes in American consumer habits, labor shortages due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, increased size of container ships and other pandemic-induced shipping problems. . Higher purchases of products shipped from overseas lead to higher demand for inventory, which requires more shipments, which must be unloaded at ports and transported to their destinations across the country.

According to a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s International Transport Forum, the average container ship size has doubled in the past decade. These so-called megaships take longshoremen to Los Angeles and Long Beach – of which more than 40 percent of container cargo enters the United States – an average of one day long.

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Yet Americans’ shopping habits and shipping practices have caused more and more ships to appear on the horizon as the economy picks up during 2021. And with fewer truck drivers on the roads due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, cargo continues to pile up while store shelves remain empty.

Lior Ron, Uber’s head of freight operations, calls the cumulative result of trucking shortages and shipping bottlenecks a “shipping armageddon.”

In an interview with CNBC, the Uber freight boss said that a shortage of drivers is the need to push the entire logistics sector.

“It really requires the entire industry as we are facing unprecedented times,” he said. “We are ordering more and more packages that we love to consume at our doorstep, but the supply chain is completely unbalanced… the whole network is isolated.”

Republican activists and office-holders, on the other hand, see the once-in-a-century delays caused by the pandemic’s impact on the global supply chain not as the result of a long chain of events, but as a crisis. By the policies of President Joe Biden, such as his administration’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate and the expansion of unemployment benefits under the American Rescue Plan Act, the Covid relief bill he signed in March.

Senator Marsha Blackburn, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, captured the news that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had taken time off from work to care for his newborn twin son and daughter, despite the fact that he was “sit at home”. was attacking him. Were at the White House on Wednesday when Mr Biden announced that several major shipping operators and the Port of Los Angeles would begin working 24 hours a day to clear up the container backlog.

‘We’re in the middle of a transportation crisis, and Pete Buttigieg is sitting at home. Meanwhile, cargo boats are unable to dock and shelves are sitting empty. Pete will either have to go back to work or leave the Department of Transportation. It’s time to put American families first,’ Ms Blackburn told “alt-right” news outlet Breitbart News.

Another GOP senator, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, said on Twitter that Mr Buttigieg, who was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 86-13, was “totally ineligible”. Mr. Cotton’s representatives did not respond to a question from Granthshala Regarding the qualifications of Mr Buttigieg’s deputy, the former Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy and former New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, who is handling the issue on a day-to-day basis.

Other Republicans, including Donald Trump Jr., the son of former President Trump, pinned the blame on Mr Biden via social media, where he was one of several MAGAworld influencers this week pushing the hashtag #EmptyShelvesJoe on Twitter.

For his part, Mr. Biden has responded to the so-called everything shortage by bringing together stakeholders such as port operators, retailers, and shipping companies to announce that FedEx, UPS, Wal-Mart, and other major logistics Players will join the ports. Los Angeles and Long Beach are moving into full day, all night operations.

Speaking at the White House on Wednesday, Mr Biden said such a commitment is “a sign of great progress in moving goods from manufacturers to stores or your front door”, but calls on other players in the supply chain to step up their game. asked for. Clear the backlog and ensure a successful holiday season for retailers and consumers.

“This is a big first step in accelerating the movement of materials and goods through our supply chain, but now we need to step up the rest of the private sector chain as well. It is not called supply chain for nothing,” he said.

“This means terminal operators, railways, trucking companies, shippers and other retailers as well,” the president continued. “Strengthening our supply chain will continue to be the focus of my team. If federal support is needed. I will direct all appropriate action, and if the private sector does not step up, we will call them out and ask them to take action, as we aim to not only remove this immediate bottleneck, but to address our transport supply. Long-standing vulnerabilities in the chain, which this pandemic has exposed”.

Yet despite Mr. Biden’s efforts to bring key stakeholders together for a solution, Republicans complain that Mr. Biden’s policies are to blame for issues – such as worker shortages that have contributed to current supply chain bottlenecks. Given – Not likely…

Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Los Angeles

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