White House Promises Action on Supply Chain Issues as Retailers Brace for Record E-Commerce Sales

White House Promises Action on Supply Chain Issues as Retailers Brace for Record E-Commerce Sales

October 21, 2021

While projections for record e-commerce sales during the holiday season continue to come in, serious supply chain disruption is an ongoing problem that could negatively affect revenue. The White House created a supply chain task force to address those issues, which conducted a meeting last week with stakeholders including the retail industry.

Delivery delays caused by supply chain disruption have been a key driver in refund requests, which have surged during the Covid-led e-commerce boom. These legitimate requests are adding confusion and making it more difficult for merchants to spot growing abuse around refunds.

During the meeting, administration officials announced moves to alleviate some of the bottlenecks including round-the-clock, seven-days-a-week operation of the nation's two largest ports and a pledge from companies such as Walmart, FedEx, UPS, Samsung, Target and The Home Depot to increase their hours of operation and to make more use of ports and transport networks during off-peak hours.

The National Retail Federal (NRF) lauded the moves it hopes will address nagging global supply chain issues that began with a massive shift to e-commerce during lockdowns in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is critically important that we all come together—business, labor and government—to address the current issue regarding port congestion, and the long-term need to create a more reliable supply chain globally and within the United States,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “The retail industry greatly appreciates President Biden’s personal commitment to marshal the power of the federal government behind efforts to reduce the disruptions our members are currently facing, and retailers remain committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure consumers have access to the products and services they want and expect. NRF has been urging more focus and resources to address supply chain failures for many years, and we look forward to continued efforts that result in sustainable solutions for this growing problem.”

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