News & Politics

Los Angeles Port a 'Ghost Town' Despite Biden Order to Remain Open on Weekends

(AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Joe Biden has a problem. Well, yes, he has more than one problem. But this problem will almost certainly cost him and the Democrats dearly at the polls.

Biden promised every good little girl and good little boy that Santa Claus would, indeed, make it to their houses on Christmas Eve after the Grinch tried to sabotage Santa’s mission by causing a huge backlog at American ports, keeping cargo from foreign countries — where all the really great presents like smartphones and games originate — from being unloaded on American docks. He ordered the Port of Los Angeles to remain open on weekends and add extra hours of operation to its schedule.

“What a great idea!” exclaimed the puppy dogs in the press. “Biden Saves Christmas!” screamed the headlines. (Not really, but you know they wanted to.)

Related: DeSantis to the Rescue: ‘Florida’s Ports Are Open’ and Will Ease Supply Chain Crisis

What Pappy Joe didn’t mention is that the United States government has zero control over the operations at the port. And that makes Biden’s Big Idea to save the Christmas season for retailers and customers alike nothing more than a PR stunt.

Washington Examiner:

The nationwide port schedule app Pier Trucker showed terminals that looked like ghost towns Sunday with barren traffic lanes as additional cargo ships continue to pile up along the coastlines of Los Angeles and Orange counties. On Friday, 88 ships were waiting to dock at either Long Beach or Los Angeles harbors — 10 additional ships from the last count on Oct. 13, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California.

Port officials say they are working with terminal operators to increase the open gate times. However, waterfront labor negotiator Jim Tessier, who has worked on behalf of both longshoremen and their union, says it comes down to money because shipping companies run the terminals.

And shipping companies don’t want to pay the longshoremen overtime.

“Most shipping companies are foreign and did not attend Biden’s briefing and don’t care about what he or the landlord think,” Tessier said. “The port has nothing to do with all the operations — they are the landlord. How involved is your landlord in your business?”

Tessier said the shippers sign contracts that span decades and typically do not open weekends because the additional pay for longshoremen is pricey. Hourly pay is 1.3 times the regular rate at night and 1.5 on weekends, he said.

“Historically, the industry has not been willing to pay that money,” Tessier added.

Last weekend, five of Los Angeles’ six terminals were open on Saturday while none were open at night. In Long Beach, two terminals were open Saturday during the day, according to the Examiner.

There is quite literally nothing Biden can do to affect the situation at the ports. He can’t get the ships unloaded any faster. He can’t create extra warehouse space that’s in critically short supply on the docks. He can’t conjure up trucks that are in compliance with California’s draconian emissions standards to move the goods from the port to retail outlets across the country.

Biden knew all this, of course. He knew it before he looked into the camera and told the American people he was on top of the situation.