By Matt Egan, CNN Business
The National Retail Federation is calling on the White House to address the logjam at US ports that is snarling commerce as the economy swiftly recovers from the pandemic.
“The supply chain disruption issues, especially the congestion affecting our key maritime ports, are causing significant challenges for America’s retailers,” Matthew Shay, the NRF’s president and CEO, wrote in a letter to President Joe Biden on Monday.
The retail trade group warns that these problems have added “days and weeks” to supply chains, led to inventory shortages and added significant transportation and warehousing costs.
The NRF warned that these problems threaten the group’s recent forecast for retail sales and the broader economy to boom this year.
“We need strong leadership from the administration to galvanize attention to the current situation as well as work to resolve long-standing issues that limit safe and efficient port operations,” Shay wrote.
The NRF said a recent survey of member companies found that 97% of retailers indicated they have been impacted by port and shipping delays. More than two-thirds said they had to add two to three weeks to their supply chains because of the congestion issues.
Biden has acknowledged the strain on supply chains, explaining the US economy can’t be flipped back on after being shut down during the onset of the pandemic.
The retail industry said the Biden administration’s ongoing review of supply chains must include the current state of ports and freight movement.
“As trade continues to grow, we need to make sure we have truly 21st century ports and freight movements,” Shay wrote. “This certainly is central to the administration’s Build Back Better approach.”