Wednesday, Uncle Joe got up and told the nation we are going to get the ports to work 24 hours a day and get the ports unclogged. He has worked with retailers to receive 24 hours a day and is asking FedEx and UPS to do the same. So, let’s look at this idea. First, I must mention that no more than a month ago, FedEx notified us that they are enforcing an embargo in the city of Commerce in California. What that meant was that they will not pick up any freight, small parcel, or LTL (less than a truckload). Holy Mackerel Batman! No FedEx? What are we going to do with the 3,500 displays that one of the largest retailers contracted with FedEx to deliver while FedEx gets over its very odd issue? Now, this was in the month of September, a few months away from the holiday peak season. Now let’s go back to last year. This was the year of the great pass the buck with small parcel freight (FedEx and UPS) both companies bailed on the many businesses needing them to get to stores or homes right when we needed them the most. The United States Post Office tried its best to pick up the slack and we all know how that went. Millions of gifts simply missed Christmas last year due to the same situation. Too many parcels for not enough trucks and drivers.
So fast forward to today. Ports of LA and Long Beach are going to work 24/7 to unload the ships which, right now, we have 53 ships out of the port with no dock to park into. We can unload all these ships but just who are we going to get to pick up the containers and get them out of the port? FedEx? UPS? Nope. Houston, we have a real problem and our brain surgeons in DC think they have the answer which is the same failed solution we tried last Christmas. Let’s look at the situation. This is the same not only in LA and Long Beach but in every port in America and every railyard in America. Oops, we forgot about the railyards! We have truckers lining up every day to go fetch a can out of the port. They wait sometimes up to six to eight hours to snag a can. Then they get their prize and drive smack into traffic. Remember State and Federal restrictions limit truck drivers’ hours in some instances to only 10 hours a day. In Chicago, the railyard is located in the most traffic-riddled area and once this tired driver gets out with his booty, he is stuck in hours of traffic. So just who in their right mind will want to go fetch a can out of one of these areas? Let alone, there is a significant pinch on truck drivers in general so why would anyone pulling freight want this job?
This half-hearted solution will simply not work. Uncle Joe might miss Christmas. This is one of the most important issues, we as Americans need to figure out right now. So, my solution is quite simple. Bring on the might of the United States Armed Forces under a declaration of National Security and give the military a free pass to pull cans out of the clogged ports and railyards in America for 2-3 weeks. Let them work where we have no drivers to do so. If we have drivers showing up, let them play in the reindeer games as well. Let’s review, the US military is the most effective and efficient logistics company on this planet. They can move just about anything better, faster, and cheaper than anyone in the world. The military is ready to go. The military has drivers. The military has the equipment. If we can move over 100,000 patriots out of a very hostel Afghanistan why can’t we fetch a few hundred thousand containers out of our clogged ports? This would go a very long way in truly solving a supply chain issue.
Santa Claus has a bunch of sleighs full of presents clogged up in the ports and railyards in America we just need reindeers to come in and pull them out. The US Military has plenty of reindeers. How about writing your Congressman or Senator right now and let’s get this problem solved with a very simple solution! We can’t miss Christmas, now can we?