NJ congressman says National Guard should help with overcrowding at shipping ports

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Monday, December 6, 2021
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The supply chain mess is causing a lot of people to point fingers over who is to blame.

MAHWAH, New Jersey (WABC) -- The supply chain mess is causing a lot of people to point fingers over who is to blame. There are efforts in New Jersey to help small business owners who are being impacted.

A lack of staff and shipping containers are just a couple of the issues suppliers are facing along the supply chain.

Many of the major ocean shipping suppliers are owned by foreign companies that have raised prices to transport products from Asia to ports here in the United States.

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Before the pandemic, the cost of a shipping a container was $2,000. Now some companies are charging up to $20,000 per container or only moving products for those who make the highest bid.

At the other end of the supply chain, delayed deliveries and shortage of product are just some of the problems affecting businesses and consumers.

It's impacting all kinds of products from toys for Christmas, to medical supplies needed in treating COVID-19 infections.

Some business owners in New Jersey are still waiting for supplies that were suppose to be delivered in September.

New Jersey Congressman Josh Gottheimer says there is a short-term solution he supports to get products out of clogged ports and onto store shelves.

"We've got to use the Nation Guard I believe in helping actually the longshoremen and longshorewomen at some of these ports where its about offloading because we don't have enough people," said Gottheimer. "And then truck short distances. You get them to rail, you get them to warehouses, you gotta move the critical good infrastructure, help them move it off."

Gottheimier included calling the National Guard in his latest legislation proposal, Affordability Agenda for Jersey.

The agenda focuses on tackling the supply chain issues by cutting costs and appointing a Federal Supply Chain Czar to over see regional supply chain leaders and address any disruptions across state lines.

New Jersey residents would also receive tax cuts, like the newly reinstated State and Local Tax deductible, aimed at helping help North Jersey families.

"My Affordability Agenda includes aggressively addressing our COVID-driven supply chain crisis, including with new supply chain legislation I'll be introducing, combatting our dependence on foreign manufacturing, working to get fuel and energy prices down, cutting day-to-day costs like prescription drug and childcare costs, and lowering taxes for hard-working families, including reinstating SALT," said Gottheimier. "The bottom line is: as I've said, we must do everything we can to get more money into the pockets of our families, so they can afford to work, live, and stay here in Jersey."

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