California Gov. Newsom issues executive order to address supply chain congestion

California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomEquilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Shipwreck sends waste thousands of miles Less than 2 percent of philanthropy goes toward our biggest threat — climate change Appeals court blocks California vaccine mandate for prison workers MORE (D) on Wednesday signed an executive order to address supply chain congestion at shipping ports in the state.

The executive order directs state agencies to determine state-owned properties and other locations that could help alleviate short-term storage needs once goods are taken off of ships, and identify priority freight routes that could be temporarily exempted from vehicle weight limits to allow them to carry more goods.

Additionally, the order instructs state agencies to establish workforce training and education programs.

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Newsom is also directing the Department of Finance to collaborate with state agencies to flesh out longer-term solutions that will bolster port operations and the movement of goods. Those plans will be considered in California’s governor’s budget in January. 

“California’s ports are critical to our local, state and national economies and the state is taking action to support goods movement in the face of global disruptions,” Newsom said in a statement.

“My administration will continue to work with federal, state, labor and industry partners on innovative solutions to tackle immediate challenges while also bringing our distribution processes into the 21st century,” he added.

The executive order comes amid a supply chain issue in California, which has seen hundreds of cargo ships stuck on the coast in previous months, according to CNN. As of Wednesday, 64 cargo ships were stuck in Los Angeles and Long Beach, the network reported.

In just Los Angeles, 200,000 containers are reportedly trapped.

Labor shortages have emerged as a key factor driving the supply chain congestion, which has caused an increase in prices on goods nationwide.

The White House announced last week that the Port of Los Angeles was moving service to 24 hours a day, seven days a week in an effort to address the global supply chain bottlenecks.

The Los Angeles and Long Beach ports represent 40 percent of all containers that are brought into the country, according to Newsom's office. In the first six months of 2021, the U.S. has seen a record 30 percent increase in import and export containers compared to last year.