All over the U.S. people are struggling to get their hands on simple products like cereal, bottled water, liquor, chicken, canned goods, pet food and more. Why? We are in the midst of an expansive supply chain crisis which means that grocery store shelves are being emptied while supplies sit on ships.
California ports are now in crisis mode as ships just sit in ports unable to unload. On Oct. 19, the backlog of cargo ships on the southern coast hit a record high with more than 100 vessels waiting to be unloaded, The Guardian reported. Now the Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports will start fining carriers in hopes the fines will push them to speed up the process.
In such a dire crisis, one would expect the administration to be looking for solutions. Roughly one-third of all U.S. imports come through the two Southern California ports, according to the New York Post, and many vessels are just sitting idle there. This has caused not only a shortage of goods but also inflation. Every day that the Biden administration fails to come up with viable solutions is costing Americans.
But while Biden fails, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is trying to save the American economy by coaxing ships to Florida’s ports.
“We’ve got capacity, and all of our ports can offer these businesses good incentives if they reroute their ships. If you were going to sit off the coast for days on end, you might as well bring it to Florida. We have great logistics on the ground that can get it to market and we are happy to be able to step up because there are empty shelves,” DeSantis said in an Oct. 21 interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
Unloading vessels in Florida instead of having them idle off the coast of California would solve multiple problems at once. First, it would save carriers from paying the California port fines. Second, cargo ships would bring jobs.
“It is the job factor, and that is every ship that docks in Jacksonville means more jobs for Jacksonville residents — longshoremen who actually load and unload those ships,” Robert Peek, director of the Jacksonville Port Authority, told WJXT-TV.
Florida is also more than ready and able to handle more cargo ships. Peek said that the Jacksonville port alone is ready to handle up to a 50 percent increase in traffic.
Though redirecting ships from southern California to Florida would require a seven-day journey for each ship, according to WPLG-TV, it would still be better than sitting at the California ports, unable to unload and getting fined for not doing so.
It also makes logical sense to unload goods in the southeast since many of the products that land on the west coast would just have to be loaded onto trains and trucks to be moved east anyway.
“Sometimes shippers will ship that cargo into California or the West Coast. Then they will pay to have it moved by rail or maybe by truck all the way to Florida or the Southeastern United States. It makes a lot of sense to ship that directly to Florida seaports and Jacksonville,” Peek said.
Redirecting ships to Florida would benefit all American consumers and the entire economy by solving part of the supply chain crisis that is plaguing everyone. If things do not improve quickly, consumers are going to suffer for a long time to come.
“We haven’t seen something of this magnitude in quite some years. The individual consumer will feel enormous inflation together with not being able to purchase the goods if this persists,” Awi Federgruen, a production and supply chain management expert at Columbia University, told CNBC.
So the solution that Florida is offering is vital. Especially as the country is on the cusp of the busy holiday season when product demand across all sectors will skyrocket.
“We have to make sure that people can go Christmas shopping as normal. We have to make sure that all the necessities are there,” DeSantis said at an Oct. 19 news conference, WPEC-TV reported.
If it were up to the White House alone to solve this problem, we would be in for a rough Christmas season.
The Biden administration has not been helpful in solving this problem. The only solution it has offered is a plan to run operations at Los Angeles and Long Beach 24/7.
But thankfully DeSantis has offered a legitimate and creative solution that will ease the crisis.
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