Biden recently gave a speech assuring Americans that he will implement measures to help soften the blow of the supply chain crisis. On Tuesday, Oct. 19, the number of vessels backed up off the coast of southern California hit record highs.
To put it in perspective, a single container ship can hold thousands of shipping containers, which means that the U.S. is talking about a backlog that could take many months to work through. Despite Biden's attempts to improve the state of the supply chain crisis the backlog continues to get worse, leading him to consider using the National Guard on an emergency basis.
In recent weeks, government officials have explored whether or not the National Guard could be deployed to help with the supply chain backlog. If deployed, the National Guard could help move cargo off the backlogged ships in ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach through bottlenecks at warehouses and railroads, as well as drive trucks to deliver the goods.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the administration has not taken the option off the table. Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg similarly said that the possibility of using the National Guard has not been ruled out as a potential solution. "I think that any opportunity to make a difference will be looked at," he said.
The White House's willingness to explore the option of deploying the National Guard proves how serious it is about the issue. The supply chain crisis is leaving store shelves empty and creating record backlogs all throughout.
Whether or not the Biden administration will choose to use the National Guard to address the supply chain crisis will likely depend on the success of the president's plan to extend hours for backlogged ports in Southern California as well as longer hours for major companies like Walmart, FedEx and UPS, which are helping with the transportation of products. (Related: Walmart, UPS and FedEx commit to working more shifts to deal with global supply disruptions... but will it matter?)
Logistics experts are skeptical about whether or not Biden's plan will have a real impact, considering that it is failing to address issues outside the port delays, such as shortage of space and the number of workers at warehouses and railroads – not to mention the ongoing shortage of truck drivers.
"In order to be globally competitive, we need to improve our capacity to make things here in America while also moving finished products across the country and around the world," Biden said during his speech in Los Angeles, where he spoke about the need to make deliveries and cut down on supply shortages.
The White House addressed concerns over whether or not stores will be stocked in time for the holiday season, but the problem of how to get the goods to the suppliers remains. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg warned that there may not be enough truck drivers available to make the deliveries, and servicemembers may make up for the labor shortfall.
The supply-and-demand imbalance in the economy is contributing to rising inflation. However, the Federal Reserve suggests that the inflation will be temporary and may ease up in the next year if there is an effective loosening of bottlenecks.
Learn more about the supply chain crisis and more at MarketCrash.news.