Wednesday, January 12, 2022 by Ramon Tomey
The hashtag #BareShelvesBiden became trending as more reports of empty grocery stores emerged on social media. Despite the Biden administration’s commitment to solving these issues late last year, it seems that the problem has only made a turn for the worse.
President Joe Biden announced in December 2021 that his administration had addressed the supply chain crisis. “The much-predicted crisis didn’t occur. Packages are moving, gifts are being delivered [and] shelves are not empty,” Biden said at the time. He added that groceries and pharmacies were stocked at 90 percent of their full capacity and deliveries were happening at a faster rate.
According to the White House, Biden’s Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force (SCDTF) – established in June 2021 – had made “significant progress to alleviate bottlenecks that are rooted in the global pandemic.” The task force, made up of Biden administration officials and company CEOs, managed to reduce waiting time for shipping containers by half.
However, social media posts appeared to disprove Biden’s claim. Human Events Senior Editor Jack Posobiec shared footage of empty shelves at a grocery store in Falls Church, Virginia. NewsBusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck also shared pictures of empty shelves at an Oakton, Virginia grocery.
Some supermarkets resorted to rearranging their remaining stocks to conceal supply shortages, such as a Safeway grocery store. Daily Wire Senior Editor Ashe Short pointed this out in a tweet, saying that the establishment “appears to be trying to hide the supply shortage by using single lines of products to fill shelves.”
There were stores that used print-outs of well-stocked shelves and fresh produce to conceal the truth of supply shortages from patrons. (Related: Groceries, supermarkets get creative concealing empty shelves, supply gaps.)
During a Dec. 22 meeting of the SCDTF, Biden spoke with the CEOs of Walmart, Target, UPS and FedEx on how to relieve the supply-chain backlog. A number of officials – including Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo – were also in attendance.
Biden cited his administration’s push for round-the-clock port operations and new transport rules at some of the country’s major ports as instrumental in relieving the supply chain crunch. While thousands of loaded import containers had been cleared ever since the task force’s establishment in June 2021, there are still many ships docked offshore waiting to unload their cargo. (Related: Global supply chain crisis expected to last another TWO YEARS.)
Congestion at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in California contributed to the supply chain issue. However, the issue at the West Coast has also emerged in the East Coast – with the Port of New York and New Jersey facing the same predicament. Stevedores falling ill to COVID-19 and a bottleneck of container vessels off Long Island have been cited as the primary causes of the supply chain crunch in the eastern port.
International Longshoremen’s Association spokesman Jim McNamara said about 350 dock workers daily are becoming unavailable to work due to COVID-19. Sam Ruda, port department director of the Port Authority of NY and NJ, acknowledged this issue. “We have seen a spike in the number of labor going out into quarantine,” he said.
Ruda added that the average waiting time for ships to dock and unload became longer by three times than normal. Anchorage time for vessels during the final week of 2021 was 4.75 days, compared to a lower 1.6 days for the entire 2020.
Watch the video below of Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) saying how the Biden administration is out of touch with the supply chain issues.
SupplyChainWarning.com has more about the ongoing supply chain crunch.
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