Governor Newsom Issues New Order to Mitigate Supply Chain Crisis
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California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a nine-point executive order, directing state agencies to find short and long term solutions to combat the massive supply chain congestion at two major ports in the state.

The order signed Wednesday directed state agencies to find federal and non-state locations, including private, locally owned properties that can store cargo containers. Newsom further asked state agencies to temporarily remove weight restrictions on cargo trucks, allowing truck drivers to carry more goods. The aim is to "identify priority freight routes to be considered for a temporary exemption to current gross vehicle weight limits," said the release.

"California's ports are critical to our local, state and national economies, and the state is taking action to support goods movement in the face of global disruptions. My administration will continue to work with federal, state, labor and industry partners on innovative solutions to tackle immediate challenges while also bringing our distribution processes into the 21st century," Newsom said in a release.

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The trade disruption led by the pandemic, along with a sudden surge in consumer demand for goods, threw the US' supply chain into chaos. On top of that, a nationwide truck driver and railway workers shortage made it challenging for ships to unload at the port. The situation was much worse for the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which are responsible for over a third of all cargo movement in the US.

In recent months, supply chain congestion left hundreds of cargo ships stranded at the coast of Los Angeles and Long Beach, with the backlogs at these ports touching an all-time high last week. Both the ports announced plans to operate round-the-cloud to mitigate congestion.

"This effort, which brought together federal, state and local leaders, is focused on both short-term and long-term steps to address port congestion, including implementing a new 24/7 environment across the supply chain, a move the state worked with the Biden-Harris Administration on, improving collaboration, and exploring policies to remove obstacles and improve the movement of goods," said the release.

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Additionally, Newsom also directed California's finance department to collaborate with state agencies and develop long-term solution proposals to improve transportation infrastructure, electricity goods movement, and help build the workforce. The governor shall consider these proposals for the upcoming January budget. The executive order also addresses the shortage of port workers in California and advises creating workforce training and education programs.

Earlier this year, the White House set up a Supply Chains Task Force and elected a Port Envoy to combat the supply chain crisis. Big businesses, including Walmart, UPS, FedEx, Samsung, and Target, have encouraged night operations to clear the congestion.

"Our goal is not only to get through this immediate bottleneck but to address the long-standing weaknesses in our transportation supply chain that this pandemic has exposed," President Biden earlier told the reporters.
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