AAEI Welcomes White House Action on Supply Chain Disruptions

August 27, 2021

AAEI welcomes the White House announcement that it has appointed John Porcari as Port Envoy to the Biden-Harris Administration Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force.

AAEI working to help solve the port congestion problem, which surfaced during the pandemic and continues to threaten nation’s economic recovery. Last April, AAEI urged the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to address some of the underlying causes of port congestion, including “reported practices of certain vessel-operating common carriers (VOCCs) and terminal operations that are related to the current movement of U.S. exports to the world markets.”

AAEI’s letter to the FMC was shared with the White House and contributed to an Executive Order and action by the Federal Maritime Commission.

“We are encouraged that the Biden Administration is making supply chain disruptions a priority by naming a Port Envoy,” says AAEI President and CEO Eugene Laney. “Port congestion has had severe operational and financial consequences, causing supply shortages and inflation. We look forward to working with John Porcari and the Biden Administration in improving conditions at the Ports and allowing importers to keep up with the impending holiday demand and ensure exporters can compete fairly in overseas markets.”

Some importers recently reported getting sudden, sharp increases in demurrage charges during the second quarter of 2021, charges for delays in discharging cargo containers at the port over which they have no control, including a truck driver shortage. Some also report seeing additional new fees, such as “congestion fees” and “port worker fees.”

The Biden-Harris Administration Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force was established last June.