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National Guard Could Be Deployed To Help With LA Port Cargo Backlog

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The National Guard could be deployed to help with the cargo ship bottleneck at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach that has lead to a major supply chain crisis nationwide.

Ports In California
Aerial view of containers waiting at Port of Long Beach to be loaded onto trains and trucks on October 16, 2021 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Qian Weizhong/VCG via Getty Images)

A White House administration official confirmed to CNN Wednesday that it is considering all its options, including deploying the National Guard.

When asked specifically about whether President Joe Biden would consider ordering the National Guard or Navy to help unload cargo stacked up at ports or drive trucks, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday, "I'm not here to take options off the table," according to CNN.

This comes after Biden announced last week that a plan had been reached in which the Port of L.A. would operate 24 hours a day. It's unclear when that transition will take place.

On Thursday, meanwhile, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order directing state agencies to develop long-term proposals to alleviate the supply chain issues at the ports.

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"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," Gov. Newsom said in a statement. "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."

The order also calls on state agencies to seek out state-owned properties that could be used to store good unloaded off ships.

Dozens of cargo ships have been anchored offshore from the ports of L.A. and Long Beach for weeks. There were 58 container ships reported offshore as of Oct. 12. That was down from a reported peak of 73 container ships offshore two weeks prior.

The bottleneck is creating major delays, leading to a spike in shipping costs and hurting thousands of small businesses. Last week, officials said there could be as many as half-a-million shipping containers on cargo ships off the ports of L.A. and Long Beach, waiting to be offloaded.  The logjam is due partly to the shortage of warehouse workers and truck drivers to pick up goods.

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