The US logistical economy continues to overheat as the federal government has been on a multi-trillion dollar helicopter money drop since the beginning of the virus pandemic. The latest is $1.9 trillion, with hundreds of billions of dollars issued in the form of checks to Americans.
"Helicopter money" was first defined by economist Milton Friedman in 1969 as a thought experiment where a helicopter drops cash over a town. It was thought to be a one-off event, but today's federal government has continued to drop free money in the form of stimulus checks to supercharge consumers.
The stimulative effect of handing out free money to households is surging consumption. Tens of millions of Americans bought goods, many of which are produced overseas and have to flow through West Coast ports, such as the Port of Los Angeles, in containerized form.
S&P Global Platts reports the Port of Los Angeles had the busiest March and first quarter on record, handing upwards of 2.6 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) of imports in the three months ending March 2021.