Fast Pass: Urgent Action Required To Avert A New Supply Chain Bottleneck
Congress and the Biden Administration need to take urgent action to “fast pass” critical medical supplies. Without prompt action, this fall and winter may see a repeat of the shipping delays that harmed the medical supply chain last year.
Pilot Program To Expedite Medical Supplies
As Chinese ports continue a phased reopening, medical distributors expect to see a shipping surge of medical supplies competing for delivery alongside increased shipments of back-to-school supplies, Halloween costumes, and holiday toys. Medical distributors warn that increased shipping volumes will prompt delays of healthcare products coinciding with a spike in cold, flu, and COVID-19 cases in the fall and winter months.
Partner With Ports: The U.S. Departments of Transportation, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security would partner with one or more marine terminal operators.
Lift Restrictions On Empty Returns: For full containers to leave the ports, empty containers must return. Lifting restrictions on the return of empties will expedite the flow of containers.
Pop-Up Ports: Designate space for truck pick-up at lots outside the port for medical supply containers.
Identify And Prioritize: Government officials, port leaders, freight operators and the medical products industry would identify, define, and prioritize critical medical cargo for expedited processing.
Free Up Truck Chassis: Grounding empty containers frees up chassis to transport more containers full of supplies.
No-Appointment Trucking: Ports would allow trucks to pick up medical supply containers at ports without an appointment.
Find more resources about the healthcare supply chain on HIDA’s Understanding Healthcare Distribution page.