Retailers, government working to meet holiday demand | #government | #hacking | #cyberattack

LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — Supply chain bottlenecks are beginning to open up, along with a surge in early holiday shopping.

Walmart is reporting a third-quarter profit of more than $3 billion. The big-box retailer arranged its own shipping hack to curb the backup of cargo ships that has interrupted the global supply chain. The company also reports it will have enough product to meet holiday demand.

With the holiday shopping season ahead, there’s a major federal focus on keeping store shelves stocked. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg met virtually with Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, on Tuesday. He said there has been a significant improvement in clearing out containers.

“Since Oct. 24, we’ve seen a 25% drop from about 95,000 containers to about 71,000,” Seroka said.

Buttigieg said the mere threat of daily fines on shipping containers sitting longer than nine days is having a positive impact.

“Seeing the number of containers dwelling for at least nine days reduced, that is an early but a very promising sign,” Buttigieg said.

The fines were set to begin Monday as a way to help alleviate a backlog of ships in the ports. Now, they won’t be charged until at least Monday. Under the new guidance, ports will charge carriers $100 per day for every container left sitting for more than six days if intended to move by rail. Those leaving by truck will have nine days before fees begin stacking up, according to state officials.

About 40% of all shipping containers entering the U.S. come through the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.

According to numbers just released by the White House, consumer spending for October is up sharply over last year, with retail sales jumping by 16%. More disposable income also has spending up by about 30% at restaurants and bars.

The National Retail Federation anticipates even higher numbers of in-store purchases this month and in December.

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