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Biden supply chain mess: Will holiday shopping still work?

President Biden wants to save Christmas – but he may not be able to.

He announced Wednesday that the Port of Los Angeles will operate 24 hours a day, deactivating dozens of container ships off the coast of California and making Americans wait longer to produce overseas.

Long Coast Guards work through the night and promise bigger retailers and shippers than the changes made to speed up the influx of toys, electronics and other gift items into American gates during the holidays.

“Publicity today has the potential to change the game,” Biden acknowledged that “people are worried about everything from toasters to bicycles to bedroom furniture.”

The plan, however, addresses only one link in a global supply chain that is largely out of Biden’s control, which means he faces a possible setback from unsatisfied shopkeepers and a lack of energy to fix the mess.

Biden cannot influence foreign factories to put out products. He cannot hire more truck drivers to carry the goods when they arrive. He cannot stop the epidemic that continues to disrupt operations around the world.

The bottom line is: Americans want what they want, and there is very little that Biden can do to get it.

Matthew Sherwood, a global economist at the Economist Intelligence Unit in London, described the actions of the White House as “somewhat limited.”

“I think the administration is doing what they can, but the reality is that they can’t do anything beyond what they are announcing,” he said.

Container ships became inactive while waiting to unload goods off the coast of California.

Container ships are stranded off the coast of California as they wait to unload cargo into ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach.

(Mario Tama / Getty Images)

Nick Vyas, Executive Director of USC Marshall’s Kendrick Global Supply Chain Company, Appreciated Biden’s efforts to bring different teams together, and said he needed to focus more on his private sector companies to speed up operations if they wanted to solve the problem.

“If all of this is clicked, I think we can get some results in the next two to three months,” he said.

Whether or not supply chain problems are Biden’s fault may not matter to voters who turn to expressing their displeasure at the person responsible.

Biden faces a similar challenge with the coronary virus. His administration has vaccinated every American enough, but millions are still reluctant to take their shots, prolonging the deadly COVID-19 epidemic — reducing presidential votes.

White House Press Secretary Jen Zaki recently said that public outcry “reflects that people are sick and tired of Covid disease,” but that the president understands that “Buck will stay with him.”

Speaking about the influx of goods around the world, Saki warned on Wednesday when asked if the administration could guarantee that holiday packages would arrive on time.

“We are not a postal service, UPS or FedEx,” she said. “We can not guarantee.”

Zaki was also wary of promising Americans that things would get better soon, especially at a time when analysts are suggesting problems could arise next year.

“I do not want to make a prediction because it is not a single issue,” she said.

Jeremy Rosner, a Democrat, described the supply chain problems as more troublesome than a crisis at the moment, suggesting that any political breakdown could be limited.

“It’s not because of shortcomings that people are unable to put food on the table, drive or work,” he said.

However, Rosner acknowledged that the holiday season was in full swing, including controversy over its withdrawal from Afghanistan and unhappiness over its protracted epidemic.

The current grid reflects a collection of challenges. Over the years, supply chains have become increasingly disrupted due to the narrowing of time for production sources and transportation and the acceleration of companies.

The plague boosted the global economy, plunging the world into a recession, and there was a huge demand for some goods.

Jeffrey Sonnfeld, a professor of management at Yale University, said Biden’s announcement, which he regularly meets and reviews with top corporate executives, was welcomed in the corner offices. Until recently, he said, major retailers and transport companies believed that supply chain problems could be solved on their own.

“It is only now that the private sector has accepted defeat. They ask for help and get it. It is a big step forward in a symbolic and important way, ”he said.

The biggest economic threat is rising inflation due to supply chain disruptions and various deficits. Inflation soared last Wednesday, with consumers paying 5.4% more than a year earlier for goods and services, the highest level in more than a decade.

White House economists and policy makers at the Federal Reserve recently considered the recent rise in consumer prices to be temporary, but since spring inflation has been rising well above the Federal Reserve’s comfort level. Continued high inflation could complicate the central bank’s interest rate policy and affect consumer spending and wage growth. Analysts have sharpened economic growth for the second half of this year, and 2022 is likely to bring a slower pace.

The supply chain bill provides another opportunity to advance his infrastructure plan, which has been halted halfway through Capitol Hill, to see how much Democrats want to spend on expanded security network programs. The law, which was passed by the Senate but is awaiting a House vote, includes $ 17 billion to modernize and expand port facilities.

Biden described the law as “the largest port investment in our history.”

“We have to think big and bold,” he said Wednesday.

But even if the move comes to the table to get the president’s signature, it will take years to reap its full benefits.

Phil Levy, chief economist at Flexport, a San Francisco-based freight and customs brokerage firm, said: “There are infrastructure investments that can expand system capacity in the long run, but it’s not a quick fix.

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