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Biden Appoints a New Shipping Czar to Improve Traffic at Congested ports

The "Biden-Harris" Administration announces a new Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force and an even newer Port Shipping Czar.
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Record Port Logjams

New Port Envoy

Please note White House Announces John D. Porcari as Port Envoy to the Biden-⁠Harris Administration Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force.

Envoy Porcari will work closely with Secretary Buttigieg and his team at the Department of Transportation as well as the National Economic Council to address the congestion at U.S. ports. 

Disruptions in global shipping and rapid shifts in demand have led the cost of shipping containers between China and the West Coast to grow more than 90% compared to 2019. This congestion is being felt particularly acutely at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which together handle the largest share of containerized cargo moving through U.S. ports. Port workers and terminals have handled containerized cargo volumes that rose 40% in the first half of this year compared to the same time last year. 

Envoy Porcari will work with these stakeholder and others at the ports to address the backlog and associated delivery delays and product shortages being experienced by American consumers and businesses.

Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to Address Short-Term Supply Chain Discontinuities

In case you missed it, a June 8 White House Fact Sheet notes Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to Address Short-Term Supply Chain Discontinuities

The actions the Biden-Harris Administration announced today are the first step in a whole-of-government effort to strengthen domestic competitiveness and supply chain resilience. To address vulnerabilities in the supply chains of the four critical products identified by E.O. 14017, the Biden-Harris Administration will immediately:

  1. Support domestic production of critical medicines
  2. Secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries
  3. Invest in sustainable domestic and international production and processing of critical minerals
  4. Partner with industry, allies, and partners to address semiconductor shortages
  5. Support American workers and innovation
  6. Invest in sustainable supply chains at home and abroad
  7. Combat unfair trade practices
  8. Establish a whole-of-government effort to monitor and address transitory supply chain challenges

Questions of the Day

  • What's with this "Biden-Harris Administration" crap all over the place?
  • And what the hell is Harris doing other than being in every announcement? 

Port of Los Angeles Cranes

Charter Rates 

Jammed Until Deep Into 2022

The WSJ reports U.S. Ports See Shipping Logjams Likely Extending Far Into 2022

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Ports are already swamped by record numbers of containers reaching U.S. shores during this year’s peak shipping season, and the number of vessels waiting for berth space at Southern California’s gateways is growing as logjams stretch into warehouses and distribution networks across the country.

Griff Lynch, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, which operates one of the nation’s largest ocean gateways at the Port of Savannah, said: “We think at least midway through 2022 or the entire 2022 could be very strong.”

Bob Biesterfield, chief executive of C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. the largest freight broker in North America, said shortages of truck drivers and warehouse workers are making shipping delays worse as the need to replenish inventories is at an all-time high. “I don’t think that’s something that just gets fixed in the next four to five months in accordance with the Lunar New Year,” he said.

Congestion has been worst at the neighboring ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which account for more than a third of all U.S. seaborne imports. Forty or more ships have been waiting at anchor off the coast there on any given day in recent weeks, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California, a pandemic-era record. Before the pandemic, a single ship at anchor was unusual.

Kamala Harris: The absentee VP by design

To answer one of the questions I asked above, note that Kamala Harris is the Absentee VP by Design.

She was supposed to be a major player in the Biden administration after being lauded as a historic, consequential figure in her role as America’s first female vice president.

“Please be sure to reference the current administration as the ‘Biden-Harris Administration’ in official public communications,” a March directive read, emphasizing Biden-Harris in boldface. 

Foreign policy credentials? Nope. Business experience? None. A track record of working with Republicans to pass important legislation? Not even close. In fact, an analysis by the nonpartisan GovTrack showed that she was the most liberal member of the Senate, even further to the left than democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Last week Harris was sent to Vietnam and Singapore amid the chaos in Afghanistan. When that trip was over, she stopped off in Hawaii to visit Pearl Harbor. Any Americans who wanted to hear why Harris supported the decision to pull U.S. forces out of Afghanistan last spring would have to wait, because the press was blocked from the event. 

Since Harris took office, she has yet to hold even one formal solo press conference. Not one. 

If the White House thinks its strategy of keeping Harris out of sight, out of mind is working, they should think again. Because we haven’t seen vice presidential approval numbers this low so early in an administration since Dan Quayle under George H.W. Bush. 

Hey, I found Her  

Kamala Harris will campaign with Gavin Newsom in final stretch before California recall election.

Overheating Economy

Hello Fed, please take a look at the overheating economy you helped create.

Stepping back, let's look at the broader perspective: We have an overheating economy but a new Biden-Harris port czar. 

Color me skeptical. But I rather doubt that fixes things.

However, this might: GDPNow Q3 Forecast Plunges, Real Final Sales Stall.

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