The White House and the US Department of Transportation have appointed a port envoy to the Biden-Harris Administration Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force. John Porcari – who served as the US deputy secretary of transportation in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2013 – will work with transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg and the National Economic Council to tackle congestion at US ports.

Through extensive outreach and engagement in the last few months with ports and port stakeholders – including the World Shipping Council, the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, representatives and leading companies from the National Retail Federation, Commissioners of the Federal Maritime Commission and labour unions – the Department of Transportation determined that challenges at the ports require dedicated focus from an experienced, senior leader.

Porcari will work with the ports and stakeholders to address backlogs, delivery delays and product shortages being experienced by American consumers and businesses.

The extraordinary pressure felt at many of America’s ports on intermodal routes is making headlines daily in US mainstream media. Earlier in the summer 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 this month 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.


Wirtten by Kim Biggar

Photo:  Sheila Fitzgerald /