Retailers Offer White House Supply Chain Recommendations

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) sent a letter to President Biden today offering short term and long-term recommendations for additional actions the administration should take to further alleviate existing bottlenecks in our supply chains.

In the short term the letter notes:

We appreciate the administration’s recent actions to unfurl the existing disruptions, including the creation of the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force and the Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy. It is our hope the administration will continue the same forward-thinking action to facilitate a few additional short-term steps to continue to restore the semblance of fluidity especially in southern California. These include addressing restrictive appointment system requirements that disadvantage frontline truckers and contribute to chassis and container dislocation, increasing the ability for the efficient return of empty containers with unrestricted acceptance of empties, requiring ocean carriers to accelerate evacuation of the tens of thousands of empty containers clogging the ports, and finally, helping ports address the root causes of import container dwell.

To avert an ongoing cycle of congestion in the longer term the letter states:

To “ensure that U.S ports remain globally competitive, some essential steps are clear: targeted investment is needed for infrastructure modernization; address systemic operational challenges in major U.S. ports; and enable data sharing and interoperability to facilitate end-to-end visibility. As primary users of ports and freight infrastructure, shippers should play a role in helping determine effective targeting of funds. The administration should also continue to strengthen protections for American importers and exporters and bolster the Federal Maritime Commission’s work providing oversight of foreign-owned ocean carriers, alliances, and terminal operators--sending the message that fair and open supply chains are essential to the American economy.” 

The president is meeting with retailers today to discuss the outlook for holiday shopping amidst the supply chain disruptions. RILA members Best Buy, CVS, Food Lion, Kroger, Qurate Retail Group, and Walmart are participating in the meeting.

RILA’s full letter can be viewed here.

RILA is the U.S. trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to elevate a dynamic industry by transforming the environment in which retailers operate. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.
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