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US retail lobby calls Biden to address port congestion crisis

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WASHINGTON : The National Retail Federation (NRF) has sent a letter to the White House asking to meet with the United States President Biden and other top administration officials regarding the challenges retailers are facing from the ongoing supply chain disruptions, which have caused severe congestion at the US ports.

“We would like an opportunity to discuss the impact these issues are having on the nation’s retailers, our workers and our customers, as well as potential solutions to address current and future disruptions,” said NRF President and CEO, Matthew Shay, in the letter.

Matthew Shay explained, “The supply chain disruption issues, especially the congestion affecting our key maritime ports, are causing significant challenges for America’s retailers. The congestion issues have not only added days and weeks to our supply chains but have led to inventory shortages impacting our ability to serve our customers. In addition, these delays have added significant transportation and warehousing costs for retailers.”

As the nation’s largest private-sector employer, retailers depend on US ports and other transportation infrastructure to deliver billions of dollars’ worth of goods and products to consumers every day, according to an announcement.

Last week, NRF revised its annual retail sales forecast to grow between 10.5-13.5% to more than US$4.44 trillion in 2021 as the economic recovery accelerates.

Although consumer demand continues to grow, evidenced by imports during the latest months at the largest US retail container ports, such as the ports of Long Beach, Charleston and New York & New Jersey, the supply chain challenges remain significant.

In a recent survey of NRF member companies on the congestion situation, over 97% of retailers surveyed say they have been impacted by port and shipping delays.

“In many instances, retailers will absorb these costs and not pass them along to consumers. However, many smaller retailers may have no choice but to pass along these costs, especially as they face other challenges with reopening their businesses,” pointed out Shay.

Source : Container News

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