The White House said Wednesday it has helped broker an agreement for the Port of Los Angeles to become a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week operation, part of an effort to relieve supply chain bottlenecks and move stranded container ships that are driving prices higher for U.S. consumers.
Watch the event in the player above.
President Joe Biden planned to discuss the agreement during an afternoon speech about supply chain issues that have hampered the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The supply chain problem is tightly linked with the broader challenge of inflation confronting Biden, as higher prices are creating both economic and political risks.
Ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, account for 40 percent 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, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California.
Commitments by the Los Angeles port’s operator, longshoremen and several of the country’s largest retail and shipping companies are expected to help relieve the backlog.
Walmart, FedEx and UPS made commitments to unload during off-peak hours, making it easier for the Los Angeles port to operate nonstop and reduce the backlog.
The Long Beach port has been operating 24 hours daily for seven days for roughly the past three weeks.
Biden 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 groups, before his speech.