bottlenecks have averted a pre-Christmas crisis, ahead of a meeting with U.S. officials and private-sector companies, including FedEx, on Wednesday.

In June, Biden established a task force to address the issue, and the White House claims it has made "significant progress to alleviate bottlenecks that are rooted in the global pandemic."

Walmart Chief Executive Doug McMillon stated last month that a decision to extend port hours was having a positive effect on the flow of goods.

"The much-predicted crisis didn't occur," Biden stated. "Packages are moving, gifts are being delivered, shelves are not empty," he explained. He claims that shelves in grocery and drug stores are 90% full, and deliveries are happening at a faster rate than before the pandemic.

According to the White House, a record number of goods are moving through Southern California ports at a faster rate, with shipping container wait times cut in half.

FedEx CEO Fred Smith stated that while supply-chain issues are "not all solved" "most of Santa Claus' products will be delivered to the consumers."

He expects inflationary pressures to ease as labor shortages in the logistics industry are filled. "We think the peak season is going to be a good one."

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Many industries in the United States are still dealing with supply-chain issues. This week, a major newswire reported that candy cane makers, like retailers and farmers, have been hit hard during COVID-19, with high commodity prices, labor shortages, and transportation and supply-chain snarls preventing them from fully capitalizing on the holiday season.

However, corporate profits have been strong overall, with most S&P 500 companies outperforming analysts' third-quarter expectations.

The pandemic was responsible for a large portion of the shipping crisis. Homebound Americans splurged on everything from food and refrigerators to toys and exercise equipment with unspent travel and entertainment dollars and government stimulus checks. Import demand outstripped supply chains.

Biden, who is grappling with U.S. inflation, which recently reached a 31-year high, has taken steps to break such stalemates, such as unclogging ports and increasing trucker hours.

Biden has also requested investigations into exorbitant shipping fees and possible illegal activity in the oil and gas markets.

The Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, and Transportation Secretaries, as well as National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and Port Envoy John Porcari, will attend the meeting on Wednesday.

FedEx, clothing retailer Gap, Kansas-based trucking company Yellow Corp, and the American Association of Port Authorities are also represented.

The White House also stated on Wednesday that gasoline prices had dropped 12 cents a gallon on average to $3.30 since the previous peak last month, but that Biden "believes that they are too high, especially given that we are emerging from a once-in-a-century pandemic."