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Los Angeles port is open 24/7 to reduce shipping backlog

Los Angeles port is open 24/7 to reduce shipping backlog

The White House said Wednesday it has assisted in the negotiation of an agreement for the Port of Los Angeles to become a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week operation, as part of broader efforts to ease supply chain bottlenecks and move stranded container ships that are driving prices higher for U.S. consumers.

President Joe Biden said he will discuss the agreement in a speech on Wednesday afternoon on supply chain issues that have hindered the economic recovery from the coronavirus epidemic. The supply chain problem is closely linked to the larger inflation threat facing Biden.

According to the Marine Exchange of Southern California, Los Angeles and Long Beach, California account for 40% of all shipping containers entering the United States. As of Monday, there were 62 ships berthed at the two ports and 81 waiting to dock and unload.

Commitments from the Los Angeles ports operator, longshoremen, and several of the nation's largest retail and shipping firms are expected to help ease the backlog. Walmart, FedEx, and UPS made commitments to unload during off-peak hours, making it easier for the LA port to operate nonstop and reduce the backlog. For about three weeks, the Long Beach port has been operating 24 hours a day, seven days.

Before his speech, the Democratic presidential candidate was scheduled to hold a virtual roundtable with the heads of Walmart, FedEx Logistics, UPS, Target, Samsung Electronics North America, The Teamsters Union, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among other organizations.

Republicans have criticized Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package for pushing higher prices. Despite the political bafflement as housing and oil prices add to inflationary pressures, a recent report from the investment bank Goldman Sachs estimates that supply-constrained goods account for 80% of this years inflation overshoot.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has made inflation one of his main criticisms of Biden, a sign that getting prices under control may be critical for Democrats trying to secure congressional seats in the next election.

The Democrats' inflation is so bad that even though the average American worker has received a multiple-percentage-point pay raise over the last year, their actual purchasing power has been cut, McConnell said in he spoke on the Senate floor last week. "Even dollar stores are having to raise their prices. Ask any American family about their last few trips to the supermarket, the gas station, or the toy store. Heaven forbid, theyve had to compete in the housing market or the auto market in recent times."

The Biden administration has claimed that higher inflation is temporary. Nevertheless, supply chain problems have persisted months after the economy began to reopen and recover after vaccines reduced many of the risks from the epidemic.

Economists believe that Wednesdays consumer price report will show that prices have risen 5.3% from a year ago, significantly over the Federal Reserve 2% target. Raphael Bostic, the Atlanta Fed president, said in a Tuesday speech that he no longer calls inflation "transitory," saying 'he expects this current "episode" of inflation to last until 2022 or longer.

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