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White House Hopes John D. Porcari  Will Help Ease Supply Chain Distruptions

White House Hopes John D. Porcari Will Help Ease Supply Chain Disruptions

Aug. 30, 2021
Pocari, a nationally recognized infrastructure leader, has been appointed as the Port Envoy.

As the U.S. continues to struggle with a myriad of supply chain challenges, the White House announced on August 27 that it has appointed John D. Porcari as the Port Envoy to the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force.

“The strength of the U.S. economic recovery has tested the near-term capacity of our supply chains, and the Administration is operating on all fronts to ease bottlenecks and facilitate the flow of goods across the country,” said NEC Director Brian Deese in a statement. “Our country’s ports are the gateways for getting goods to market, which makes the appointment of John Porcari as Ports Envoy an especially important step forward in alleviating these disruptions that are impacting consumers, workers, and businesses alike.”

The Task Force was established in June to address supply and demand mismatches that emerged in several sectors as the economy reawakened following the Administration’s historic vaccination and economic relief efforts. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg leads the Task Force focus on ports and trucking issues. The Task Force’s leadership also includes Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on food and agriculture and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on homebuilding and semiconductors.

John D. Porcari is a nationally recognized public and private sector infrastructure leader, who has delivered some of America’s most challenging projects and driven the adoption of equitable, community-serving infrastructure policies and projects at the local, state and federal levels.

As Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Transportation in the Obama-Biden administration (2009-2014), Porcari was directly involved in overseeing port, intermodal, maritime policy and maritime-related competitive grant programs throughout the United States.

In a previous role, serving twice as Secretary of Transportation for the State of Maryland and Chairman of the Maryland Port Commission (1999-2003 and 2006-2009), Porcari initiated a strategic plan for the Port of Baltimore that built it into the largest ro/ro (roll on/roll off) port in the nation, exporting construction and agricultural machinery from the Midwest to the world and growing the port into one of the nation’s top ten in terms of both dollar value and tonnage.

Under Porcari’s leadership, the Port of Baltimore also entered into a pioneering public-private partnership to expand its Seagirt container terminal, adding a fourth, 50-foot container berth and state-of-the-art cranes to accommodate the newest super-post-panamax container vessels. This 50-year, $1.3 billion dollar P3, with the strong support of labor, has become a national model.

The appointment has received support from the National Retail Federation which issued a statement on August 27  from Senior Vice President of Government Relations David French:

Retailers have faced a number of unprecedented challenges during the pandemic, and the supply chain disruptions that continue to evolve pose a threat to many American businesses. As consumer demand increases, the supply chain challenges and the costs associated with them remain significant.

Imports at retail container ports have marked record highs recently as consumer demand continues to stretch supply chains and retailers shift to the peak shipping season for winter holiday merchandise. The bottlenecks and congestion we are seeing at our ports highlight the need for an improved and sophisticated supply chain that can handle these issues.

NRF is encouraged by the Biden administration’s action on this critical issue. We look forward to working with Envoy Porcari, Secretary Buttigieg and the full Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to mitigate these challenges, particularly in advance of the upcoming holiday season, so that retailers can ensure consumers can access the products they want and need in a timely manner.”

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