Former Home Depot CEO warns supply chain back up needs to be treated as ‘national emergency’

Fox & Friends reported on the growing number of empty store shelves while cargo ships are backed up at U.S. ports waiting to offload, with a record-breaking number off the coast of California alone waiting for open port space, and while some “experts” say consumer spending shifting from services to goods during the pandemic is largely responsible, Fox News reported an “ongoing labor shortage in the U.S. is now leading to massive cargo delays and shortages within the supply chain.”

Bob Nardelli, the former CEO of Home Depot and Chrysler, appeared on the network’s morning show to warn the problem is becoming a national emergency. Stating that “we need to be aggressive,” Nardelli went so far as to suggest an emergency declaration that would allow the military to get involved in transporting cargo.

“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.”

“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,” the former CEO 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.”


Saying he was taught to “see the world the way it is, not the way you wanted to be,” Nardelli called himself a “realist.”

“Look at these situations. They are not getting better,” he said. “You talked about the airline just a moment ago. It’s not getting better. We need to be aggressive. We have the capabilities. We have the willpower. Somebody just has to make the decision to go fix these problems. Inflation is going to get worse.”

Pressing on the idea of using the military, which has the resources, Fox News co-host Brian Kilmeade suggested employing the National Guard.

“You are exactly right. Again, I don’t know the technicalities of the issue, but you are right. We declare a national emergency a lot of different times whether it’s a fire, a hurricane, a tornado,” the ex-business executive replied. “To me, this is just as severe and again, it’s going to impact a lot of people who don’t have the time or money to spend or buy things in advance. We can’t start hoarding paper products again like we did pre-Covid. You think about Home Depot, Target, Costco, bought their own vessels — doesn’t help when it’s still sitting in the port. We have to get the containers unloaded and transported to the areas of distribution centers to help solve the problem. We have to do it now. Now.”

Tom Tillison


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