The letter, signed by NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay, states, “The supply chain disruption issues, especially the congestion affecting our key maritime ports, are causing significant challenges for America’s retailers.
“The congestion issues have not only added days and weeks to our supply chains but have led to inventory shortages impacting our ability to serve our customers.
“In addition, these delays have added significant transportation and warehousing costs for retailers.”
The NRF also said that retailers depend on US ports and other transportation infrastructure to deliver “billions of dollars’ worth of goods and products to consumers every day.
“Our nation’s supply chains are stressed because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, and they continue to struggle through our economic recovery.
“We would like an opportunity to discuss the impact these issues are having on the nation’s retailers, our workers and our customers, as well as potential solutions to address current and future disruptions.
“We need strong leadership from the administration to galvanize attention to the current situation as well as work to resolve long-standing issues that limit safe and efficient port operations.”
The US supply chain has come under substantial pressure in recent months as consumer demand and imports have surged and strained roads, bridges and railways, while pushing port operations to capacity.
The NRF has predicted that US ports will continue to handle record amounts of containersied goods throughout 2021.
In April 2021, it claimed that supply chains in the US are struggling to keep up with consumer demand after year-on-year (YoY) increases of more than 30% in trade.