Mariusz Bugno/Dreamstime
Container Ship Outside Newark, New Jersey © Mariusz Bugno Dreamstime
Container Ship Outside Newark, New Jersey © Mariusz Bugno Dreamstime
Container Ship Outside Newark, New Jersey © Mariusz Bugno Dreamstime
Container Ship Outside Newark, New Jersey © Mariusz Bugno Dreamstime
Container Ship Outside Newark, New Jersey © Mariusz Bugno Dreamstime

US Supply Chain Woes to Stretch into 2022, Biden Admin Warns

Oct. 18, 2021
Transportation Secretary Buttigieg said that congestion at ports and railways will likely continue into next year.

The U.S. transportation secretary on Sunday warned that America's supply chain woes including clogged ports will drag into next year, potentially cramping the upcoming holiday shopping season in the world's largest economy.

Pete Buttigieg did the rounds on U.S. political talk shows to stress that President Joe Biden's administration was doing everything it could to alleviate congestion at the country's overloaded ports, railways and roads, and that the government will "re-evaluate all of our options" to relieve the bottlenecks.

But "a lot of the challenges that we have been experiencing this year will continue into next year," the transport chief and former presidential candidate told CNN's "State of the Union" show.

Buttigieg added that the supply side crunch was being exacerbated by extraordinary pent-up demand in the United States. 

"Demand is off the charts, retail sales are through the roof," he said, and the country's transportation and shipping infrastructure has been unable to keep up.

With the Christmas holiday season gearing up as America's coronavirus-battered economy rebounds, US retailers are taking unprecedented steps to try to navigate around myriad supply chain obstacles.

Biden recently announced a commitment by the Port of Los Angeles to begin 24-hour operations in an effort to ease congestion which has seen multiple cargo ships anchored off the coast awaiting opportunities to unload.

Analysts have pointed to knock-on effects through the U.S. economy.

Allianz chief economic advisor Mohamed El-Erian, speaking to "Fox News Sunday" about the supply chain crunch, called it "the everything shortage."

"Things will get worse before they get better," he said. "So we're going to have more shortages of goods, we're going to have higher prices, inflation will remain in the four-to-five percent level. And it's just going to take time to sort these things out."

Congress meanwhile is grappling with passing two huge portions of Biden's domestic agenda: a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill to upgrade roads, bridges and ports, and his even bigger Build Back Better social spending program.

"We've got to get this done," Buttigieg said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The infrastructure bill has bipartisan support. But the massive package that expands the social safety net and addresses the climate crisis faces opposition from within the president's own Democratic camp as well as from Republicans, pushing Biden to consider paring it back.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2021

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

SEC Cybersecurity Rules: What’s Your Regulatory Risk?

Feb. 27, 2024
Join us for an insightful exploration of the evolving cyber threat landscape, SEC rule implications, and collaborative strategies to secure critical IT and OT networks in the ...

Optimizing Connected, Resilient Supply Chains in 2024

Dec. 19, 2023
Discover how manufacturers fortify supply chains amidst change, explore the 2024 manufacturing industry outlook and delve into Gen AI for resilient supply chains.

The Customer Is Still King! Improving Service to Maximize Revenue, Reduce Costs, Boost Loyalty!

Feb. 26, 2024
Join this webinar to learn how to deliver frictionless customer service (CX) amid changes to supply chains, unpredictable buyer demand, and the adoption of automation and AI.

From Data to Action: Enabling the Connected Enterprise with a Digital Thread

Feb. 8, 2024
Manufacturers are transforming the enterprise with cloud technologies and IoT

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!