President Biden spoke on Wednesday about the problems in ports, factories and shipping routes that have contributed to shortages, long delivery times and rapid price increases for food, televisions, cars and more.
The resulting inflation has cooled consumer confidence and weighed on Mr Biden’s approval ratings. On Wednesday, the Labor Department announced that the consumer price index, a key reading of monthly inflation, rose 5.4 percent in September from the previous year, raising the stakes for the White House and the Federal Reserve.
Mr Biden was expected to announce that the Port of Los Angeles will begin operating around the clock as his administration struggles to clear the growing backlogs in the global supply chains supplying critical goods to the United States.
Government officials say they’ve struck a deal to move the Port of Los Angeles to 24/7 operations, joining Long Beach, which already operates around the clock, and are encouraging states to extend the permits of more speed up truck drivers. UPS, Walmart and FedEx will also announce more off-peak hours.
The team of mr. Biden, including a supply chain task force he established earlier this year, is working to make tangible progress in unblocking the flow of goods and helping retailers return to a prepandemic normal.
But it’s unclear how much the White House’s efforts can realistically help. The blockades span supply chains, from foreign ports to U.S. rail yards and warehouses. Companies exacerbate the situation by rushing to obtain products and inflating their own prices. Analysts say some of these problems could last until late next year or even 2023.