Are the splashy headlines about unprecedented supply chain chaos nothing more than a smokescreen to cover up the failings of West Coast Democrats? Establishing a link between anti-business liberal regulations and supply chain chaos seems like something of a stretch at first blush. But when you start to look at the hard data and recent attempts by the fake news media to protect California lawmakers from criticism, the facts point to Republican-run states handling increases in the supply chain much better.
Consider for a moment that the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach suffer the worst bottlenecks in U.S. history. Reports peg the number of cargo ships anchored off the coast at between 60 and 80. Primarily container ships carrying retail goods, some sit idle for weeks. Yet, the mainstream media has routinely pushed a narrative that these ports are uniquely vulnerable because they handle upwards of 40 percent of all containers. But what about other major ports?
Fact-based information indicates that Los Angeles ranks as the port handling the highest volume. The California port reportedly saw an increase from 4,872,493 TEUs in 2019 to 4,999,403 TEUs in 2020, a 2.6 percent increase. That insider “TEU” language is an industry-standard way of measuring container volume. Long Beach, ranked as the country’s third-largest port, saw 8 percent growth.
The narrative that these large ports would struggle to handle more volume seems to make sense. But truth be told, ports in Republican-run states have proven better prepared. The Port of Savannah ranks as the fourth-largest in the country and officials responded quickly when even a handful of ships experienced delays.
“Georgia Ports Authority employees (and longshoremen) work 24-7 here. Our bar pilots are constantly moving ships with the tide. Everybody’s doing what they can do. We still have a lot of containers on terminal, but just in the last few weeks, we’ve seen a 70 percent reduction in the long-term imports,” ports authority director Griff Lynch reportedly said. “That’s thanks to the trucking community, the warehouse community, and our major retail customers. This terminal is very fluid. We are not at a standstill.”
The proactive measures of the largely Republican-run state contrast the failed initiatives in California. For example, port of Long Beach officials recently tried to run 24-7, but quickly discovered they had no takers. In the first week, zero containers were picked up during extended hours.
The reports of expanded hours may have prompted Joe Biden to pressure the Port of Los Angeles to follow suit. But freight hauling insiders have called his mandate to keep L.A. open 24-7 “dumb.” The truth of the matter is that insiders peg the port’s workforce at about 4,500 people. Splitting a portion off into another shift does nothing to improve production. That backward business approach also fails to account for reports that warehouses are at 98 percent capacity in Southern California. Even if the cargo gets offloaded, liberal California has no place to put it.
By contrast, GOP-led South Carolina recently invested billions to deepen the Charleston port to 52 feet, so ships are no longer subject to tide delays. The proactive leadership at the South Carolina Ports Authority also announced an investment into modernizing its truck pool with new chassis that are better equipped to move containers and other loads.
What has liberal California done? Passed an AB5 law that alienated independent truckers, many of whom left the state. Talk about a self-inflicted trucker driver shortage wound.
But everyday people can rest assured that foolish Democrat policies and laws are a huge part of the problem. Outfits such as left-leaning PolitiFact have tried to muddy the waters time and time again with misinformation. This time, PolitiFact runs headlines such as “California’s trucking regulations may have had an impact on port backups, but there’s more to it.”
Yes, there’s a great deal more to it. But the hard facts are that liberal extremists states such as California are experiencing record-breaking supply chain logjams. Houston, Savannah, Charleston, and other top-10 ports in GOP-run states also saw record-setting volume increases as well. But they minimized delays while California spins out of control.