Former Home Depot CEO Bob Nardelli said during an interview on Wednesday morning that America needs to “be aggressive” to address the labor shortage and massive shipping delays impacting the nation as it approaches the holiday season.
Nardelli appeared on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” with Brian Kilmeade to discuss the shipping crisis the United States is facing. He suggested involving the military to meet the demand.
“It seems to me if we declared a national emergency and we put these men and women on the ground and break this problem,” Nardelli said.
— Brian Kilmeade (@kilmeade) October 13, 2021
“I grew up with [longtime General Electric Chairman and CEO] Jack Welch as a mentor who told me to see the world the way it is, not the way you want it to be. It has served me well,” he added.
“We need to be aggressive. We have the capabilities. We have the willpower. Somebody just has to make the decision to fix these problems,” Nardelli said.
Houston is home to two terminals that make up nearly 70 percent of the container volume in the Gulf of Mexico, Roger Guenther, the executive director of the Houston port, told KPRC-TV.
He said the containers are arriving but there is a shortage of workers to move them from the port to retailers.
“A lot of people that left the workforce didn’t return to the workforce, like those that work in the distribution centers where this cargo is ultimately going,” Guenther said.
“They’re coming off the ship faster than they are leaving the terminal,” he added.
One Reuters report last week called the situation “Containergeddon,” leading Walmart and some other retailers to hire their own ships.
“Chartering vessels is just one example of investments we’ve made to move products as quickly as possible,” said Joe Metzger, U.S. executive vice president of supply-chain operations at Walmart, said in the report.
The retailer has also extended night-time working hours to help with shipping problems, according to Business Insider.
Walmart will extend night-time working hours to help ease the supply chain and shipping crisis, the White House says https://t.co/cpwxzC3ph2
— Retail Insider (@BIRetail) October 13, 2021
The New York Times noted Houston is not alone. The port in Savannah, Georgia, has experienced similar problems.
“It has come to this in the Great Supply Chain Disruption: They are running out of places to put things at one of the largest ports in the United States,” the Times reported Sunday.
“As major ports contend with a staggering pileup of cargo, what once seemed like a temporary phenomenon — a traffic jam that would eventually dissipate — is increasingly viewed as a new reality that could require a substantial refashioning of the world’s shipping infrastructure,” it said.
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