Politicians reassure on Christmas supplies as ports back-up

US president Joe Biden called on retailers to “step up” to ease the bottleneck problem

Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic have reassured shoppers there will be enough presents to go round at Christmas despite ports reporting bottlenecks and long queues of container ships waiting to dock.

US president Joe Biden called on retailers to “step up” to ease the bottleneck problem and would “call out” companies that were lagging behind.

In an address, Biden said: “We need major retailers who ordered the goods and the freight movers who take the goods from the ships to factories and for stores to step up as well.”

Around 40% of US freight comes through Long Beach and the Port of LA, both in California, though backlogs have also been reported at ports in New York and Georgia.

PLA is moving to 24-hour day working to help ease the crisis, Biden said, something that has already started at Long Beach, adding that three major groups, Walmart, Fedex and UPS, has also agreed to work longer to spend up traffic.

In the UK, chancellor Rishi Sunak told the BBC that he was: “confident there’ll be a good amount of Christmas presents available for everyone to buy.”

Felixstowe, which handles around 36% of UK container traffic, had seen ships turning away because of the backlog of cargo waiting to pick up due to the shortage of HGV lorry drivers.

Today, the port said the situation was improving.