NBC News reports that the White House is saying that "three of the largest U.S. goods carriers, Walmart, FedEx and UPS, will up their efforts to address supply chain issues, after retailers have already begun warning that some products may not make on shelves before the holidays … The carriers 'will make commitments towards moving to 24/7 working during off-peak hours' at key ports in Southern California, senior administration officials said on a call Tuesday evening."
Federal officials called it a "90-day sprint" to address the supply chain issues.
"The federal government will be a strong and willing partner in this effort in the near term but also in rebuilding a better system for the 21st century," federal officials tell NBC News. "We'll be working with stakeholders across the supply chain for a 90-day sprint to the end of the year to troubleshoot and alleviate many of the bottlenecks we can quickly address."
The story notes that "logistical backups at shipping ports, driven in part by worker shortages and Covid outbreaks, have doubled the time it takes for some products to make their way from Asia to the U.S. The delays, which have persisted for months, have sent retailers scrambling to address the bottlenecks, including by chartering their own private cargo vessels to get around the congestion, before the holiday shopping season."
- KC's View:
The New York Times points out that there are both economic and political components to the initiative:
"Consumer prices jumped more than expected last month, with rent, food and furniture costs surging as a limited supply of housing and a shortage of goods stemming from supply chain troubles combined to fuel rapid inflation.
"The Consumer Price Index climbed 5.4 percent in September from a year earlier, faster than its 5.3 percent increase through August and above economists’ forecasts. Monthly price gains also exceeded predictions, with the index rising 0.4 percent from August to September.
"The figures raise the stakes for both the Federal Reserve and the White House, which are facing a longer period of rapid inflation than they had expected and may soon come under pressure to act to ensure the price gains don’t become a permanent fixture."