Biden official says port traffic is improving


Biden official says port traffic is improving

An official with the Biden administration says there are fewer problems now at America’s ports.

John Porcari is the port envoy for Biden’s Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force and says goods are moving in and out now better than they were even a few weeks ago.  He tells Brownfield the task force is also doing what it can to make sure containers are full when they leave the U.S. “What we’re trying to push hard on are agricultural exports at the same time. A lot of today’s agricultural exports from the United States go out by container. We want to make sure those containers come in, they’re filled with agricultural goods before they go back out.”

Porcari tells Brownfield the task force is aware of shipping companies rushing to get empty containers back to Asia without taking U.S. products. “Some of that has been happening. That is unacceptable. We’ve been talking to the ocean carriers that have to carry the cargoes to and from other countries and pushing hard against that. They know that we’re on the job, we’re watching, and we’re not going to let them get away with that.”

Porcari says the pandemic threw a curveball at the supply chain, and U.S. purchases are 21% above 2018 pre-pandemic levels, leading to higher shipping demand. “Part of the congestion is we’re buying a lot more, all of us, and we’re also buying differently. More online that’s delivered through ports. That’s led to some snarls at the ports in the entire goods movement chain.”

Porcari says the one large port complex at Los Angeles and Long Beach California accounts for 40% of U.S. imports, and 41% of the congestion problem.

John Porcari discusses port issues with Brownfield’s Larry Lee