The Port of Long Beach’s executive director painted a positive picture for the future of the US supply chain on “Mornings with Maria” Thursday.
“The worst is over in terms of the supply chain,” Mario Coredero told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo.
“The bright outlook that we hope to see is that the virus exposure continues to diminish,” he continued, “and society starts opening up in terms of consumer spending, more on services as opposed to goods.”
Coredero said Long Beach and its surrounding ports solved their capacity constraints since operating 24/7 last September when shipping delays and disruptions shook the retail industry.
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“Those numbers are improving,” Coredero explained. “And if that continues, then again, we’ll see some definite moderation.”
Coredero claimed it’s “good news” that other industry leaders are signaling the same optimism. Maersk, the largest international shipping line, said the supply chain is seeing “significant progress” in a press release last week. Coredero also pointed out that the Federal Reserve is prioritizing the issue.
Though Coredero believes that moderation will arrive by summer this year, but cautioned that another COVID-19 variant outbreak and ongoing labor shortages could prevent improvement.
“You have seen the overall COVID crisis impact every sector of our industry here,” Coredero noted. “Everything’s contention that the virus continues to see the low numbers that we’re seeing, and we don’t have another type of variant disrupting the supply chain, particularly in Asia.”
Despite these hurdles, the Port of Long Beach saw a 4.8% inbound volume growth year-to-year in January, according to Coredero. He expects the “volume surge” to continue through 2022.
“I think the supply chain now will have some more fluidity,” Coredero said. “We’ve seen the worst of what we’ve experienced in the last year. I think we’ve peaked on that. So hopefully again, progress as we move forward.”
But Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell isn’t quite as confident, responding to a FOX Business reporter at a press conference last month, he said: “I would not say that I would expect the supply chain issues to be completely worked out by the end of this year, I do not expect them and I have not expected them.”
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“What I would say, and I have been saying is that I expect progress to be made in the second half of this year mainly, progress because we are not making much progress” he went on to say.
“Things like the semiconductor issue, they’re going to be quite a long time, I think they’ll go more than through 2023.”
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FOX Business’ Talia Kaplan contributed to this report.