The pandemic has caused many disruptions over the past year and a half, but one challenge that has rocked the industry concerns the supply chain. While delivery and shipment has slowed, a new announcement from the White House may soon ease the woes of many. President Biden recently appointed John D. Porcari as Port Envoy to the Biden-Harris Administration Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to address the ongoing hurdles. Following the announcement, the National Retail Federation (NRF) released a statement in support of the decision.
“Retailers have faced a number of unprecedented challenges during the pandemic, and the supply chain disruptions that continue to evolve pose a threat to many American businesses,” stated Senior Vice President of Government Relations David French. “As consumer demand increases, the supply chain challenges, and the costs associated with them, remain significant.”
NRF sent a letter to President Biden in June of 2021, outlining the challenges that are being faced by the supply chain and retailers, according to a press release. The letter also featured potential solutions to combat not only hurdles created throughout the pandemic but future issues as well.
“Imports at retail container ports have marked record highs recently as consumer demand continues to stretch supply chains and retailers shift to the peak shipping season for winter holiday merchandise,” continued French. “The bottlenecks and congestion we are seeing at our ports highlight the need for an improved and sophisticated supply chain that can handle these issues.”
In June, the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force was established to address the issues that emerged in several sectors, including retail. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg leads the Task Force’s focus on ports and trucking issues while Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spotlights on food and agriculture. The new Envoy Porcari will work closely with Secretary Buttigieg to tackle the challenge of congestion at U.S. ports.
“NRF is encouraged by the Biden administration’s action on this critical issue. We look forward to working with Envoy Porcari, Secretary Buttigieg, and the full Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to mitigate these challenges, particularly in advance of the upcoming holiday season, so that retailers can ensure consumers can access the products they want and need in a timely manner,” French added.
With Envoy Porcari taking the reins, one can only hope the supply chain faces fewer challenges for both the buy- and supply-side. Deli Market News will keep you apprised of the latest industry news, so stay tuned.