|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Arlington, VA – National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) President and CEO Eric R. Byer today issued the following statement regarding the Biden Administration’s statement on its efforts to address bottlenecks at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and moving goods more effectively throughout the supply chain.
“Issues at our nation’s ports are threatening our economy. What began as a shortage of shipping containers and labor at certain West Coast port facilities has morphed into a dangerous breakdown of the nation’s supply chain infrastructure.
“Today’s announcement by President Biden to move to 24-7 operations with various large-scale shippers committed to utilizing the extended operational hours is a step in the right direction when it comes to alleviating congestion at the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach. However, it is a short-term solution that does not address long-term concerns.
“Small businesses must be part of the discussion when it comes to finding long-term solutions. While big-box companies can pay top dollar to move containers on ocean carrier vessels or charter ships or air cargo planes, small businesses, like many chemical distributors, are fighting to simply secure five to 10 containers at a time. Not getting these containers on ships dramatically impacts small businesses’ ability to honor contract commitments and keep employees on board while leading to shortages of many of the ingredients that are essential for our health and our everyday lives.
“Chemical distributors provide a critical service to the American economy by moving items like liquid oxygen used for ventilators for COVID-19 patients, liquid nitrogen used in manufacturing equipment and food preservation, chlorine essential for water treatment facilities across the country, citric acid used in disinfectants and sanitizers, and many more. Today, NACD members are only getting about 50 percent of the chlorine they usually receive from their suppliers, leading to some instances in which water treatment facilities have been mere days away from not having chlorine.
“For too many presidential administrations and sessions of Congress, we have been trying to get a comprehensive infrastructure package passed. We’ve known for years that the truck driver shortage was hitting critical mass, and year after year have worked to get the DRIVE-Safe Act passed to increase the pool of eligible drivers. But now we’ve got the perfect storm, and while President Biden didn’t create these issues, his administration must step in and help solve them.
Without recourse, continued disruptions in ocean shipping could cripple the U.S. supply chain and lead to widespread product shortages and further restricting economic growth.”
NACD and its over 400 member and Affiliate companies are vital to the chemical supply chain providing products to over 750,000 end users. NACD members are leaders in health, safety, security, and environmental performance through implementation of Responsible Distribution, established in 1991 as a condition of membership and a third party-verified management practice. NACD was established in 1971 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. For more information on NACD and how the association is Celebrating 50 Years, visit www.nacd.com.