By Supply Chain Dive
This article was published by Supply Chain Dive January 4, 2022.
Six months after the formation of the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, its members and President Joe Biden convened for a final time in 2021, on Dec. 22.
At the meeting, supply chain executives and cabinet members touted progress in relieving port congestion, stocking store shelves and boosting the workforce.
"The much-predicted crisis didn’t occur," Biden said, referring to dire warnings in the fall that inventory may not make it to store shelves in time for the holidays. "Packages are moving. Gifts are being delivered. Shelves are not empty."
The president and the task force members relayed several facts and figures to illustrate the strides made so far in alleviating supply chain snarls.
Retail & Inventory
90% On-shelf availability in retail stores, nearly the same as pre-pandemic levels of 91%, Biden said.
3% The increase in non-adjusted inventories from September to October, according to the Census Bureau. "Inventories are healthy," Biden said.
11.5% The National Retail Federation's maximum projected increase in holiday sales, compared to 2020's holiday season.
Ports & Ocean Shipping
Nearly 50% The reduction in containers dwelling at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for more than eight days, according to John Porcari, Port Envoy to the White House Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force. "This is striking progress since November," Biden said.
5 days Average dwell time for containers at the Port of Long Beach, down from 12 days in mid-October, Porcari said.
4 days Average dwell time for containers at the Port of Los Angeles, down from nine days in mid-October.
$17 billion Funds available in the infrastructure deal to speed and modernize the ports.
25% The drop in ocean shipping prices between Asia and the West Coast, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a briefing following the task force meeting. Freightos data shows rates around $14,500 from Asia to the West Coast — a dip from peaks in September but still more than triple the rates in December 2020.
100 million The number of packages FedEx moved in the first weekend of peak season after Thanksgiving, CEO Fred Smith said.
14.4 million The number of square feet of sortation capacity FedEx added in 2021. "I think this is also true of UPS and the Postal Service, who have done a good job in opening up capacity," Smith said.
2 days How long it takes companies to set up registered apprenticeships for truck drivers. Previously, it took two months, the president said. "These apprenticeships are going to help new drivers get trained better and faster, and help companies retain drivers in a field that has a lot of turnover," Biden said.
111,000 The number of employment applications FedEx processed "over the last few weeks," Smith said Dec. 22.
300,000 The number of manufacturing jobs added since Jan. 20, 2021, according to Biden. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported manufacturing employment at 12.5 million in November, up from 12.2 in January.