Supply chain congestion down 50 percent, says Commerce secretary
Supply chain congestion has dropped by 50 percent in the past month, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said on Thursday, crediting the Biden administration’s actions in clearing up bottlenecks.
“The gifts will be on the shelves, your packages will be arriving on time in the mail and it’s really a fantastic story,” Raimondo told CNN’s John Berman. “So the congestion is down by 50 percent since you and I last spoke. So it’s really smooth sailing and Santa will arrive on time.”
Earlier this year, the Biden administration issued new measures to alleviate supply chain issues, including operating ports 24/7. Despite the disruptions seen this year, it was reported last week that 2021 was a record year for the Port of Los Angeles in terms of cargo volume.
President Biden on Wednesday celebrated the progress made on addressing supply chain disruptions after meeting with industry leaders.
“Earlier this fall, we heard a lot of dire warnings about supply chain problems leading to a crisis around the holidays. So we acted,” he said, “And the much-predicted crisis didn’t occur. Packages are moving, gifts are being delivered, shelves are not empty.”
Berman asked Raimondo if she foresees the fast-spreading omicron variant disrupting manufacturing supply chains as it continues to cause case numbers to surge. Raimondo said it was a possibility and encouraged people to get vaccinated, but also pointed to the progress that has been made in handling the pandemic.
“We’ve been living with this now for a couple of years,” Raimondo said, adding that manufacturing leaders that she has recently spoken with have said that they feel capable of managing this new variant.
“It’s certainly a factor. There will be some disruption, but we’re all a lot smarter now about how to run our businesses and run our lives with COVID than we were a year ago. And so I am hopeful that it won’t be massively disruptive,” she said.