Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon praised the Biden administration’s efforts to ease supply chain bottlenecks yesterday, noting the decision to extend port hours was having a positive impact on the flow of goods.

“We are seeing progress. The port and transit delays are improving,” McMillon told President Joe Biden during a White House meeting with CEOs to discuss supply chain issues.

“Because of what you all did to help with overnight hours, and because of the team’s work to reroute to other ports, to extend our lead times, and have other creative solutions, we have seen an increase in throughput over the last four weeks of about 26% nationally in terms of getting containers through ports,” said the head of the world’s largest company by revenue.

Walmart has registered a 51% improvement in flow through southern California ports in recent weeks, helping the retail giant get its shelves stacked for the holiday season.

Biden’s virtual summit also saw the heads of Best Buy, Food Lion, Samsung North America, Etsy and Mattel among invited guests.

Extreme demand from American consumers combined with pandemic-related hitches in the supply chain have brought plenty of frenzied headlines across American media titles about empty shelves at Christmas time in recent months.

Earlier this year, the White House announced the creation of a Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force. Led by the secretaries of commerce, transportation and agriculture, the task force aims to bring together stakeholders “to diagnose problems and surface solutions – large and small, public or private – that could help alleviate bottlenecks and supply constraints.”

Meanwhile, Congress has been debating the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, a bill which would put in place new minimum requirements for liner service contracts and give the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) greater powers.


Author: Sam Chambers

Photo:  Ron Adar /