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January 31, 2022

The Morning Rant: Los Angeles Ports Are Now Handling Less Volume Than Before Biden Announced His Fix

Do you remember three short months ago when President Biden boldly announced a White House plan to fix the bottleneck at Los Angeles County’s two big ports. You’ll never believe what happened next. (Teaser: It got worse.)

White House plan aims to help key West Coast ports stay open 24/7 to ease supply chain bottlenecks (CNBC – 10/13/2021)

As supply chain bottlenecks around the world threaten to hobble the U.S. holiday shopping season, President Joe Biden will unveil a plan Wednesday to try to ease West Coast delays at the ports of Long Beach, California, and Los Angeles by expanding round-the-clock operations.

So what happened in subsequent months?

Port of Los Angeles Confirms Cargo Dip in November 2021

No. Way.

I won’t bore you with all the links, but I’ve put together this little table showing how many TEUs* were handled by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in October 2021, the month when Biden unveiled his plan to fix the bottleneck, and in the two months that followed. (*TEU is an acronym for “Twenty Foot Equivalent,” or one standard 20-foot container.)

Ports of LA County.JPG

• Unit volume for the Port of Los Angeles was 902,644 TEUs in October 2021. November 2021 TEUs of 811,460 and December 2021 TEUs of 786,589 were both significantly lower than in October 2021.

• Unit volume for the Port of Long Beach was 789,716 TEUs in October 2021. November 2021 TEUs of 745,488 and December 2021 TEUs of 754,314 were both lower than in October 2021.

Not only has unit volume in November and December 2021 decreased from October 2021, but year-over-year volume also declined.

November and December 2021 TEUs at both ports were down significantly from the volume recorded one year prior in November and December 2020.

Inexplicably, after President Biden unveiled his plan last October, the situation got worse. Almost as inexplicably, the same media that heaped slobbering praise on Biden for “fixing” the backlog has suddenly stopped reporting on the worsening situation at these ports.

The supply chain problems go much deeper than the mess at the ports of Los Angeles County, but the fact that Biden’s plan to fix those problems only made them worse bodes poorly for us all.

[buck.throckmorton at protonmail dot com]

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posted by Buck Throckmorton at 11:00 AM

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