According to the Biden administration, they have solved the supply chain crisis by improving traffic at the West Coast ports. However, while some improvements have been made, the issues are still pretty bad.
On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed that President Joe Biden's supply chain task force has “saved Christmas."
"Good news. We’ve saved Christmas. And that is because President Biden recognized this challenge early, acted as an honest broker to bring key stakeholders together, and focused on addressing practical problems across the global supply chain," she told reporters.
"Here are just a few key points of progress: The number of containers sitting on the docks at the Ports of LA and Long Beach for over eight days have fallen by nearly 50 percent. The average amount of time containers sit on docks has fallen by a week. The price of shipping a container between Asia and the West Coast has fallen by more than 25 percent since its peak in September," Psaki continued. "And as the President also referenced, the stocks on shelves is at about 90 percent — retail stocks on shelves — at about 90 percent inventory. It’s about — it was about 91 percent pre-pandemic, just to give you a sense."
She added, "So, people can go purchase — purchase present even — even at this point if they haven’t done their shopping."
So what about the backlog go shipping at the ports? While the administration's proposed fee of $100 per day per container in the docks has succeeded in keeping the docks cleared, there are still large numbers of cargo ships backed up and waiting to offload at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.
The Seatrade Maritime News reports:
The two ports said they had seen a combined 46% drop in aging cargo on the docks since the planned fee was announced on 25 October. As result the ports would be holding off $100 per container, per day dwell fee until 27 December.
While the dwell times for containers have reduce the queues of ships to dock at LA/LB terminals remain as long as ever.
As of Friday 19 December some 95 containerships were queued to enter the two ports according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California. This number includes 23 containerships anchored or loitering within 40 miles of LA and LB, plus 72 container ships loitering outside the Safety and Air Quality Area (SAQA).
Last week, the Wall Street Journal also reported a record of 1010 container ships just waiting to dock and unload. last week that the backlog had reached a record of 101 container ships waiting to dock.
Despite what the White House may think, they did not "save" Christmas because Christmas is not something that can be bought with gifts. It is the time we celebrate the birth of our savior. While gifts are fun, they are not the reason for the season.
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