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Hugh Hewitt Blog

John Schroeder

Oct 13, 2021 


About the container ship back up and related shortages:


The container situation is even weirder than it looks. With demand surging in the United States, shipping a parcel from Shanghai to Los Angeles is currently six times more expensive than shipping one from L.A. to Shanghai. J.P. Morgan’s Michael Cembalest wrote that this has created strong incentives for container owners to ship containers to China—even if they are mostly empty—to expedite the packing and shipping of freights in Shanghai to travel east. But when containers leave Los Angeles and Long Beach empty, American-made goods that were supposed to be sent across the Pacific Ocean end up sitting around in railcars parked at West Coast ports. Since the packed railcars can’t unload their goods, they can’t go back and collect more stuff from filled warehouses in the American interior.

And what about the truckers who are needed to drive materials between warehouses, ports, stores, and houses? They’re dealing with a multidimensional shortage too. Supply-chain woes have backed up orders for parts, such as resin for roof caps and vinyl for seats. But there’s also a crucial lack of people to actually drive the rigs. The Minnesota Trucking Association estimates that the country has a shortage of about 60,000 drivers, due to longtime recruitment issues, early retirements, and COVID-canceled driving-school classes.



These problems, all of them, are not rooted in the pandemic – they are rooted in pandemic policy.

Why is it so hard to get a handle on what happened with Southwest?  Why does the Atlantic piece go to such efforts to avoid discussing pandemic policy save in the most general of ways?  I think the answer is because pandemic policy has become a Gordian Knot.  Any discussion of it becomes intractably mired in emotions and politics.  People are genuinely afraid and genuinely angry.  Any move on pandemic policy, in any direction, threatens to trigger massive reaction because the emotions are so strong.  Any change in policy gets hopelessly lost in discussion of left v right, liberal v conservative.  That does not just freeze the politicians and policy makers – it freezes the journalists because to report on the policy issues automatically discredits the piece in the eyes of too many potential readers.  Policy discussions mean people won’t read what they need to read.


The answer here is the same as the Gordian knot – stop trying to untie it and simply cut it – right through it.  End all pandemic policy – mandates, guidelines, regulations, payments, assistance, concern – whatever.  Simply put, the pandemic is over.  Covid-19 is here to stay, but the pandemic is over.  There simply is no longer a public health crisis.  There is a tragic new illness, but there are many tragic illnesses.

That’s the message – it needs to come from ALL – the president, the administration, the agencies, governors, mayors, etc. etc. etc.  But such a message will start with the federal public health agencies – if necessary under order from the White House.  The pandemic is over.



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White House says Walmart, FedEx, UPS will move to 24/7 model to address supply chain bottlenecks

Major goods carriers Walmart, FedEx and UPS will move to working 24 hours a day, seven days a week in order to address the global supply chain bottlenecks, the White House announced on Wednesday. 

The White House announced the update ahead of President Biden’s meeting with stakeholders, including Walmart CEO John Furner, FedEx Logistics CEO Udo Lange and UPS President of U.S. Operations Nando Cesarone, to discuss collective efforts to address global transportation supply chain bottlenecks on Wednesday.

“The supply chain is essentially in the hands of the private sector, so we need the private sector to step up to help solve these problems. Three of the largest goods carriers in the country, Walmart, FedEx and UPS, will make commitments towards moving to 24/7, working during off peak hours,” a senior administration official said.

UPS and FedEx combined shipped 40 percent of American packages by volume in 2020, according to the White House. :snip:

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