The White House said Friday it has called on a veteran transportation official to serve as a new “envoy” to the nation’s ports as the Biden administration seeks to unknot supply chains that have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The new envoy, John D. Porcari, previously served as deputy transportation secretary in the Obama administration. He was an adviser to President Biden before his inauguration, and some labor leaders had hoped he might be chosen as transportation secretary.

In the envoy role, Porcari will work with a White House task force and the Department of Transportation to help get goods flowing freely across oceans and around the country. The pandemic has led to rolling closures of factories and ports around the world, disrupting finely calibrated supply chains, slowing shipments and contributing to rising prices in the United States.

The ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, key links with Asia, have been especially affected with ships waiting offshore and cargo sometimes sitting for almost two weeks to be transferred to a rail car.

Read more: WashPost