Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is stepping up to help ease the national supply chain crisis by offering the services of ports in his state as cargo ships line up by the dozens outside of facilities on both coasts waiting to be offloaded amid a bottleneck that has experts and the transport industry scrambling for solutions.
“We look at some of the supply issues happening in California…they can come here. We will cut the red tape. We will work with our ports,” DeSantis, a Republican, said on Friday.
The governor’s declaration comes after President Joe Biden announced last week that the Port of Los Angeles would begin operating a 24/7 schedule, the same as the nearby Port of Long Beach, in order to get additional ships offloaded.
More than 100 cargo vessels dropped anchor off those ports in recent weeks as dockworkers, truckers, and other supply chain personnel struggle to get ships offloaded and goods distributed throughout the country.
Bob Nardelli, the former CEO of Home Depot and Chrysler, told “Fox & Friends” last week that the supply chain issue is turning into a national emergency, adding that “we need to be aggressive” in solving it by thinking outside the box.
“Many of my colleagues, both in the public and private sector, are getting increasingly frustrated that we keep reporting an increase in the number of vessels,” he said. “We keep talking about gas shortages. We keep talking about supply chain problems.
“We have one of the best militaries in the world. These are men and women who have the capability to unload cargo and transport cargo. I’m not a lawyer and for sure not a politician, but it seems to me if we declared some type of national emergency, we’d put these men and women on the ground and break this problem,” Nardelli added.
“It doesn’t solve the problem by telling people ‘buy early for Christmas.’ It doesn’t solve the problem to tell people to go buy a chest freezer and stock up on meat and poultry,” he continued. “We’re out now tin-cupping for oil when we had reached energy independence. It just challenges common sense. Natural gas is going to be short if we have a cold winter. So it just continues to perpetuate these problems.”
The administration announced earlier this month that it had formed a supply chain task force to deal with the issue, but other than announcing that the L.A. port facility would move to a 24-hour schedule, there haven’t been any additional major announcements outside of DeSantis last week.
“It’s like bringing 10 lanes of freeway traffic into five,” Gene Seroka, head of the Port of Los Angeles, told Fox News in an interview. “It’s more cargo than we’ve ever seen in our lifetime.”
“Folks have to rise to the occasion [and] flex capacity in their workforce just to move cargo out,” Seroka added.
During a press conference on Oct. 8, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki did not give reporters any specifics about what the administration is doing to address the problem. She did say that “there are a range of issues…the point is, we’re working to address them on several paths and on several fronts,” adding: “I can’t make a prediction of when it will be concluded. It’s just a top priority of the president’s.”
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