Issues & Insights

Epic Fail: L.A. Ports Are More Clogged Now Than Before Biden’s Supply Chain ‘Fix’

President Joe Biden says he’s been addressing supply chain problems “since Day One,” but that’s consisted mainly of appointing task forces and holding summits. His latest bold “action” was to beg G-20 leaders to “help address global supply chain issues.”

The one concrete step Biden has taken was, he said, to get the Los Angeles ports to stay open 24/7, which he announced on Oct. 13. Biden said this has the “potential to be a gamechanger.” A White House fact sheet declared that it “will speed up shipments of goods throughout the country.”

Except, that’s not what’s happened.

In fact, things have gotten worse at those ports, not better, since Biden’s “game changer.”

On Oct. 10, three days before the president’s announcement, there were 60 container ships waiting offshore to get into the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and 27 were at berths unloading or loading cargo, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California.

This Tuesday, there were 77 container ships waiting, while 25 were berthed.

In other words, the number of container ships waiting in line has increased 28% since Biden bragged about his action to “speed up shipments.” And two fewer were loading or unloading cargo than a month ago.

Setting up task forces and convening a bunch of “world leaders” to flap their gums about the need to work together might count as action to a guy who’s been a politician for 48 years, but it isn’t going to change the situation in Los Angeles.

The truth is that Biden doesn’t seem to have any idea how to deal with this problem, other than blaming the private sector, most likely because his own policies are at least partly responsible.

Critics of the $1.9 trillion partisan “rescue plan” Biden signed in March said that it contained too many disincentives for workers to rejoin the labor market. Lo and behold, there are chronic shortages of workers, particularly truckers, which is contributing to supply chain problems across the country. Biden’s vaccine mandate will only make worker shortages worse.

There’s also the fact that, as Heritage Foundation research fellow Elizabeth Hanke notes, “union contracts and labor practices play a large and detrimental role in the nation’s supply-chain problem.” She notes that “when the two (Los Angeles) ports are actually working, their productivity is astonishingly slow compared to ports in China.”

Does anyone think that Biden would be willing to take on his union pals to speed up shipments?

As a matter of fact, Democrats are trying to protect these unions from efforts to increase productivity. The spending plan they are trying to ram through contains no funding for productivity enhancements at ports, and “expressly prohibits the use of these funds for the purchase of fully automated cargo-handling equipment that is desperately needed to boost port efficiency,” Hanke says.

Then there’s this: Biden has apparently not bothered to work with the Republican governors in Texas and Florida to leverage their ports to relieve bottlenecks in Los Angeles, leaving it to Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis to talk them up.

Texas governor Abbott recently tweeted “Texas ports are open & ready to help fix America’s supply chain backlog. We can get goods out faster & at a lower cost than California due to our centralized location. Choose Texas.” Florida’s DeSantis in mid-October said that “We’re here. We have capacity,” referring to the state’s 15 ports.

Why isn’t Biden saying this? Has he even talked to these governors? There’s no indication he has, as far as we can find, possibly because Biden’s too busy attacking Abbott and DeSantis for not bending the knee to his COVID mandates.

This inaction left has left some officials scratching their heads.

As Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis put it, “I don’t know why the president doesn’t just flex some muscles, offer up some other ports to do the jobs, and not take a chance of ruining Christmas.”

We don’t either. Maybe some brave reporter will one day ask Biden why.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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  • All going according to plan. All consistent with the Communist International playbook, as formulated by Lenin in 1917. Biden plays the Bolshevik game, whether he knows it or not. Make problems worse at the port, and you create a rationale for more federal power and interventions. Port chaos and failure is a perfect pretense for more mandates and perhaps moving in troops, once the purges of conservatives and free thinkers is complete (under the guise of a vaxx mandate). Stalin never flinched despite millions of deaths from starving Ukraine into submission in the 1930s (and liberal media like the New York Times covered his back by not publishing the truth from correspondents like Harrison Salisbury). The Communist beast has not changed, and career politician Biden is their puppet.

  • this is NOT a fail
    the stated goal is to help
    the ;true goal is the destruction of America
    stupid/incompetent is not an excuse any longer
    if this was true we would get an occasional correct answer by sheer chance
    this is deliberate malice


  • One thing the media is silent on is that only “green trucks/tractor trailers”are allowed to operate in CA, gasoline and diesel powered trucks are banned. By green assume this means electric which are few and far between.

    • i have heard less than ten and less than three years old
      truck has a useful life far longer than that, meaning yet another hike in transport costs as productive trucks are taken out of service

  • Great point on Biden’s bill prohibiting productivity enhancements. What an idiot. At this point do we really need to ask why he hasn’t done anything to fix the problem?

    I’d also like to point out that he has been prohibiting US oil exploration & US pipelines. When we need to import more oil from overseas and can’t use pipelines, how does that oil get here? Right, it takes up space on ships, and then on trains & trucks, which makes all of our supply chain problems worse. As a terrible president once said, “Never underestimate Joe’s ability to F things up.”

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