The administration declared that the Port of Los Angeles, mired in delays and backlogs, will start working on a 24/7 basis in an effort to have products move from overseas into the nation more quickly. Many companies like FedEx and UPS likewise declared they would scale up operations as the holiday season approaches.
Bobby Harris, the founder and CEO of BlueGrace Logistics, explained to the Washington Examiner throughout a Thursday interview that while the nation's supply chains could "directionally" improve by the end of the year as a result of the actions, they "won't sufficiently improve by that time."
"It's virtually impossible," Harris stated.
The White House itself has acknowledged not all packages and gifts people have ordered will arrive by Christmas.
"There will be things that people can't get," a senior White House official told Reuters. "At the same time, a lot of these goods are hopefully substitutable by other things … I don't think there's any real reason to be panicked, but we all feel the frustration, and there's a certain need for patience to help get through a relatively short period of time."
Some of the concessions the White House obtained include Samsung working 24/7 for the next 90 days, Walmart increasing off-hours operations, and Home Depot committing to move 10% additional containers per week on the Port of LA's new off-hour schedule, among other commitments.
Harris announced that while those actions are marginal compared to the massive backlogs and delays at U.S. ports and shipping facilities, "when it comes to supply chains, sometimes it takes just something marginal to make a difference."
The Port of LA and the Port of Long Beach account for approximately 40% of U.S. imports. While the Port of Long Beach was already 24/7, opening the Port of LA to ongoing operations will help fix the current situation, according to Angeli Gianchandani, a professor of brand marketing at the University of New Haven.
"It's [Biden's] effort to keep things moving, and it will help at least prevent some of the surges in pricing and force on inflation," she stated. "But I do think we will still have an impact on retail because I think once you get around to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, supplies will be limited due to the supply chain challenges."
Gianchandani said that despite customers being keen to shop amid pent-up pandemic demand, U.S. consumers have to expect fewer deals and discounts than in the past because of the supply chain constraints.