Archive for Grace Kay

Why Biden’s plan for 24/7 California port operations won’t solve the supply-chain crisis

joe biden
President Joe Biden speaks about prescription drug prices and his "Build Back Better" agenda from the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Aug. 12.
  • The White House announced the Port of Los Angeles would move toward 24/7 operations.
  • Major companies like Walmart and UPS also agreed to extend hours to help move goods.
  • Experts told Insider Biden's plan doesn't address the entire issue.

President Joe Biden wants to clear traffic jams at US ports and save the holiday shopping season, but experts say his current plan won't completely solve the problem.

The White House announced on Wednesday that the Port of Los Angeles would start processing ships 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help ease a near-record backlog of over 60 container ships waiting to unload. It also said that six companies, including Walmart, UPS, and FedEx had committed to extending their hours to help move the goods as a part of a 90-day sprint.

But Biden's plans may sound more impressive than they actually are. Logistics experts told Insider the changes will have little impact on the supply-chain crisis and, if anything, could push the issue further down the supply chain.

"It's great that they've chosen to do something, but we're talking about a less than 1% to 2% change here," Brian Whitlock, a supply chain analyst at Gartner, said. "The work that they're talking about here is going to be immaterial. It probably won't even be visible."

Former US trade negotiator Harry Broadman told Insider the administration's plan addresses the more "glamorous" aspect of the supply chain - hulking cargo ships stuck at sea - while failing to look at the issue "holistically." Backlogs at US railroads and warehouses are also contributing to the delays. Shortages of warehouse workers, truck drivers, shipping containers, and chassis are also major issues that the White House failed to address.

Under the White House's plan, the Port of Los Angeles will follow in the footsteps of its neighbor in Long Beach, which has been piloting a 24-hour program Monday through Thursday. Since it launched in September, the port has seen zero uptake in the added hours between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m., according to Bloomberg.

Everyone needs to get 'on the same page'

At the time, Port of Long Beach executive director Gene Seroka said longer hours will do little to address the backlog when truckers and warehouse operators have not similarly extended their hours. It's not ideal for truckers to pick up loads at night when they'd have to find alternative places to store the goods when the warehouses are not open at night.

Plus, the terminals are run by private companies which port officials are still working with to create timelines for extending hours and coordinating with importers to pick up their cargo. Seroka said the issue will not be solved until everyone within the supply chain gets "on the same page" - a near-impossible proposition, considering warehouses and trucking companies are fractured into a multitude of small to mid-sized companies.

"The issue is non-linear," Mike Tran, RBC's managing director for digital intelligence strategy, told Insider. "It's not just about getting people to work or extending hours. The issue has spread throughout the entire supply chain, each leg of the journey is delayed."

What's more, the added hours will not make a significant impact on the backlog. It will help the ports move about 3,500 more containers a week - a small fraction of the more than 950,000 containers moved in August and the 500,000 waiting to dock and unload.

It's up to individual companies to solve the problem

Broadman said the supply-chain crisis is mostly out of the president's control, unless the government began regulating or penalizing companies within the supply chain.

"There's nothing much that the Biden administration can do in the short or even medium-term," he said. "The logistics industry is run by private actors and these private actors need to solve it."

It will be crucial that private companies that power the supply chain work together. Whitlock said securing commitments from companies like Walmart, Target, and Home Depot could be the first of many steps toward this.

White House officials have admitted that addressing the backlogs will not be like "flipping a light switch."

"This is a big first step and it's feeding at the movement of materials and goods through our supply chain," But now we need the rest of the private sector chain to step up as well," Biden said Wednesday. "And if the private sector doesn't step up, we're going to call them out."

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California ports aren’t the only ones facing record backlogs of cargo ships – 3 other US ports have hit historic highs

shipping, california
  • Ports in New Jersey and New York, as well as in Texas and Georgia, have seen record pileups.
  • Turnaround time for container ships has increased across the country.
  • Southern California ports face the greatest delays as they handle nearly half of all US imports.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Shipping delays are piling up across the country as multiple US ports hit record backlogs.

As the largest source of imports in the US - responsible for nearly half of all incoming goods - Southern California ports have received widespread attention. The ports have over 60 hulking cargo ships line up along the shore waiting to dock and unload. But, several smaller ports are also feeling the pinch.

In the Port of Savannah - the fourth largest US port - over 20 container ships are waiting to dock. The port has hit multiple records this year for the number of container ships that have passed through the location. In July, Associated Press reported that the port moved 5.3 million 20-foot containers in a fiscal year - the most the location has ever encountered in a single year.

Georgia Ports Authority did not respond to a request for comment from Insider, but Executive Director of the Georgia Ports Authority Griff Lynch told The Wall Street Journal that the boom in e-commerce has contributed to the backlog of cargo ships.

"Because of all this extra freight being imported, it's creating a backlog from the ship side to the dock side to warehouses and across the whole supply chain," Lynch told The Journal.

Shipping containers near a shipyard.
Shipping containers near a shipyard.

Earlier this week, Georgia Ports Authority approved a $34 million plan to help solve the port delays by adding space to include another 1.6 million 20-foot shipping containers.

Rising cargo volumes moving through smaller ports show how diverting traffic from Southern California is not a viable option

In August, Port Houston set a new record for the number of shipping containers that went through the port over the course of the month as over 320,000 20-foot containers passed through the location - a number 29% higher than the same time the year before, when shipping levels were already spiking. A Port Houston spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment, but the group addressed the new record in a press release earlier this month.

"We expect elevated levels in the supply chain to continue well into 2022 and will continue to explore opportunities including accelerating an already aggressive capital investment strategy for our terminals to stay in front of the demand," said Roger Guenther, executive director at Port Houston.

The Port of New Jersey and New York, which handles the majority of imports to the East Coast, hit a record number of cargo for its 13th consecutive month in August. Over 780,000 shipping containers passed through the port that month, according to a press release. Earlier this week, the Port of New York and New Jersey had 9 cargo ships at anchor, but a port spokesperson told Insider all of the ships were expected to dock within 48 hours.

"There are no labor shortages or significant shipping backlogs. The majority of the ships anchored off the coast of the Port of New York and New Jersey are oil tankers that do not call at Port Authority of New York and New Jersey facilities," the spokesperson told Insider. "During September, and throughout the pandemic, the port has performed extraordinarily well in keeping the supply chain moving throughout the region, as well as cargo bound for the Midwest via rail."

Despite record-breaking levels in smaller ports, Southern California ports still face the greatest backlogs

A report from the RBC Capital Markets and Orbital Insight that analyzed the top 22 most influential ports in the world found that 77% of the locations had produced above average wait times this year. It found that the ports in Southern California had the most inefficient wait times of any other top port in the world. The turnaround time for a container in the ports nearly doubled in 2021 as compared to averages seen in 2017 through 2019.

Maersk ship dock containers

The time it takes for a ship to enter the port and unload increased from 3.6 days to 6.4 days in the Southern California ports - nearly five days longer than several ports in Asia which operate 24/7. What's more, wait times at the port have recently exploded, with some boats waiting as long as three weeks before they can dock.

In contrast, levels at East Coast ports have been more stable as New York and New Jersey, as well as Port Houston ports, only saw an average increase equivalent to a quarter of a day. The study did not take the Port of Savannah into consideration.

The study identified the greatest difficulty at Long Beach and Los Angeles ports as the lack of foot traffic which remains 28% below pre-pandemic levels.

"We were able to quantify the degree of the worker shortage that takes place by measuring foot traffic," Mike Tran, managing director of global energy strategy and digital intelligence strategy at RBC Capital Markets, told Insider. "Container ships are carrying about 30% more goods, which means more to unload, but now they have to do it with 28% less people."

Tran told Insider that the only way he sees the supply-chain crisis resolving itself would be if people limited the amount of goods they purchased - an unlikely outcome considering the impending holiday shopping season paired with many companies' need to restore depleted inventory levels.

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Tens of thousands of shipping containers are stuck off the coast of Southern California as the ports operate below capacity, combatting a crushing shortages of workers, equipment, and time

GettyImages 1298696833
Ships sit off the coast of Seal Beach, CA, on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. Cargo ships enduring one of the worst U.S. port bottlenecks in more than a decade faced down another obstacle as they waited to offload near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach
  • Key US ports in Southern California are facing near-record backlogs of cargo ships.
  • The Port of Long Beach has moved to increase operating hours, which may not be enough to fix the issue.
  • Shortages of workers and equipment, and a lack of coordination across the transportation industry have created a ripple effect.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The largest port in the U.S. faces a near-record backlog of cargo ships, and there's no end in sight.

Los Angeles and Long Beach ports had 62 cargo ships waiting to dock and unload as of Friday - a stark contrast to an average of one to zero ships before the pandemic. Today, ships at the port can wait for as long as three weeks, Port LA data shows.

Despite the historic backup, the ports are only operating at 60% to 70% capacity, Uffe Ostergaard, president of the North America region for German ship operator Hapag Lloyd told The Wall Street Journal.

"That's a huge operational disadvantage," Ostergaard said, pointing to the fact that the two ports are closed for several hours most days, as well as on Sundays - making it more difficult to keep pace with the ports in Asia and Europe that are sending the goods on a 24/7 schedule.

A container ship docked at Mombasa port, Kenya, with loading cranes in view.
A container ship docked next to cranes at the port of Mombasa, Kenya, in October 2019.

Last week, the Port of Long Beach moved to increase their hours of operation to 24-hours on Monday through Thursday. The Port of Los Angeles did not follow suit, choosing instead to maintain its existing hours.

The traditional routine at the ports includes two shifts for longshore workers: 8 a. to 4 pm and 6 pm to 3 am. The ports are closed on Sundays. Overnight shifts and Saturdays are more expensive and rarely used, The Journal reported.

Longer hours may not be enough.

Gene Seroka, executive director of Port Los Angeles, said longer hours do little to address the backlog when truckers and warehouse operators have not similarly extended their hours. It's not optimal for truckers to pick up loads at night, especially when they'd have to find alternative places to store the goods when the warehouses are not open at night.

What's more, many warehouses near the West Coast don't have space for the goods. About 98% of warehouses in Southern California's logistics-heavy Inland Empire region are fully occupied, while the entire Western U.S. has a 3.6% vacancy rate, according to The Journal.

"It has been nearly impossible to get everyone on the same page towards 24/7 operations," Seroka said.

Shortages of workers and equipment exacerbate delays

A struggle to hire enough workers has had a tremendous impact on the transportation industry nationwide, causing headaches at ports, warehouses, railways, and trucking. Many companies have fewer workers than before the pandemic but face significantly more work due to the boom in demand for goods since the pandemic started.

The shipping delays have made it more difficult for truckers to meet their deadlines and stay on schedule when it comes to picking up goods at ports.

The backlog has also caused a shortage of containers and the chassis needed to haul them. Containers wait for extended periods in ports, and it takes about twice as much time for operators to return the chassis, the Journal said.

Port workers

Some cargo companies have even taken to storing their goods in the containers due to the lack of space at warehouses - as shipping containers represent a cheaper option than renting storage space. Last week, Flexport said shipments between Asia and North America were facing "critical undercapacity" when it came to available equipment.

The U.S. is not the only country struggling to keep up with a build-up of cargo ships. On Sunday, Bloomberg reported that COVID-19 shutdowns had created a ripple effect, pushing the prices of goods across the globe higher.

The supply chain snarls are expected to create major issues for holiday shoppers. Executives have warned the shipping crisis will continue into 2023.

Do you work at the ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach? Reach out to the reporter from a non-work email at [email protected]

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UN chief tears into Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson for ‘joyriding to space while millions go hungry on Earth’

Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson
Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson
  • United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told other world leaders the billionaires created "a malady of mistrust."
  • He pointed to Jeff Bezos' and Richard Bransons' flights into space as a sign of massive disparity between the rich and the poor.
  • Bezos has faced criticism in the past for the over $5.5 billion he spent on his trip into outer space.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A United Nations chief ripped into Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson on Tuesday.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told other world leaders during his opening remarks at the UN General Assembly that the billionaires' race to space demonstrated massive gaps between the poor and the uber wealthy.

He said that a "malady of mistrust" is spreading across the globe as everyday people see their rights curtailed and struggle to put food on the table. Guterres said "parents see a future for their children that looks even bleaker than the struggles of today," while at the same time they see "billionaires joyriding to space while millions go hungry on Earth."

Spokespeople from the billionaires' space companies, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

This summer Bezos and Branson each flew into outer space on their own private rockets. Though the billionaires were only in space for a matter of moments, the trips cost billions of dollars and captured a worldwide audience.

At the time of their rocket launches, both billionaires received heavy criticism, as people called for the men to pay higher taxes. Sen. Elizabeth Warren took Bezos to task for the spaceflight after ProPublica reported that the Amazon founder did not pay any income taxes for at least two years between 2006 and 2018.

"He's laughing at every person in America who actually paid taxes," Warren said.

Following his flight, Bezos thanked Amazon workers and gave away over $200 million in a pair of award recognizing "courage and civility." He also acknowledged his critics.

"[They] are mostly right," Bezos said at the time. "We have to do both. We have lots of problems here and now on Earth and we need to work on those and we also need to look to the future, we've always done that as a species and as a civilization."

Last week, Elon Musk's company SpaceX completed the world's first human spaceflight to orbit space with only private citizens on board. Though Musk has yet to go into space, he has also faced criticism for focusing some of his environmental efforts on outer space.

"I think we should spend the vast majority of our resources solving problems on Earth. Like, 99% plus of our economy should be dedicated to solving problems on Earth," Musk said in the first episode of the Netflix documentary about the flight. "But I think maybe something like 1%, or less than 1%, could be applied to extending life beyond Earth."

SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider. But, Musk's driving force behind SpaceX's progress has long been plans for colonizing Mars.

"If life is just about problems, what's the point of living," Musk said in the documentary.

The Inspiration4 mission also featured a fundraiser that raised over $200 million for St. Jude. Musk himself contributed $50 million.

Do you work for Blue Origin or SpaceX? Reach out to the reporter from a non-work email at [email protected]

Read The Associated Press' full story on Guterres comments here.

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Take a look at the record-breaking port congestion from 10,000 feet above, as 70 hulking cargo ships park off the LA coast

Cargo ship
  • Every day last week key ports in Southern California hit a new record backlog of cargo ships.
  • An aerial view shows how the coast has turned into a parking lot for container ships.
  • Prior to the pandemic, the ports typically had zero to one ships waiting to dock and unload.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

From above they may look like colorful specks in the distance, but the cargo ships floating off the coast of Southern California represent a massive bottle neck for the global supply chain.

On Monday, 97 hulking cargo ships were at Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. At the time, 70 of the container ships were at anchor or in drift areas waiting for space to open up in the port, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California.

On Sunday, when Sam Kirschner snapped a photo from his plane window - over 10,000 feet above the shore - the Southern California ports had just finished a week where they had hit a new ship-backlog record every day, as the queue lengthened by 10 ships.

Aerial view of coast of Southern California port backlog
A photo of the Southern California coast taken from a plane

The aerial view of the scene from Sunday captures the enormity of the situation, as ships wait over a week to dock and unload, turning the coast into a type of parking lot for vessels that can be worth over $100 million and weigh over 200,000 tonnes.

Prior to the pandemic, the ports typically had zero to one ships waiting to dock, according to Kip Louttit, the executive director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California

Earlier this year, Louttit told Insider the sheer enormity of the ships has only made the issue worse.

"Part of the problem is the ships are double or triple the size of the ships we were seeing 10 or 15 years ago," Louttit told Insider. "They take longer to unload. You need more trucks, more trains, more warehouses to put the cargo."

Another Twitter user also took a photo of the scene from above.

The massive backlog has become a spectacle of sorts in California. Insider's Brittany Chang captured images of the port congestion in April, when 21 boats waited to dock.

At the time, the cargo boats were readily visible from the shore.

About 20 container ships wait to be unloaded in the Ports of LA and Long Beach
About 20 containers wait to be unloaded in Southern California. Surfers are just hanging out.

In April, the backlog was already wreaking havoc on the global supply chain, but it was nowhere near the levels of congestion the port is seeing today.

Earlier this year, the backlog showed signs of abating, after hitting a record high in February of 2020, when the onset of the pandemic and panic-buying wreaked havoc on global supply chains. But, last month the ports began to beat out February's record, as COVID-19 shutdowns and a labor shortage met a boom in demand from shopping for remote work to preparing for the holiday shopping season.

Several Twitter users have also captured photos of the recent congestion from nearby beaches.

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Hurricane Ida aftermath will worsen supply chain bottlenecks and lead to even more shortages and price hikes, experts warn

hurricane ida damage
A bent stop sign in a storm damaged neighborhood after Hurricane Ida on September 4, 2021 in Grand Isle, Louisiana.
  • Hurricane Ida's damage will pile on to an already overwhelmed supply chain.
  • The storm temporarily shut down several ports. Recovery efforts will also strain the trucking industry.
  • The storm will impact the availability of products from oil to food, electronics, toys and furniture.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The aftermath of Hurricane Ida will only pile onto the multitude of supply chain issues.

The storm wreaked havoc across the Gulf Coast and East Coast last month, killing at least 40 people and causing tornadoes and historic flooding. Current estimates place the damage from Ida at over $95 billion.

The fallout is far from over. From increased shipping delays and shortages to pushing prices even higher, Insider spoke with five supply chain experts that broke down the impact the hurricane will have on the ongoing supply chain crisis.

"Every additional hit is amplified," Gad Allon, Director of University of Pennsylvania's Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, told Insider. "All supply chains are so strained that Ida could have a bigger long term impact than Hurricane Katrina."

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, a boom in demand has overwhelmed the supply chain. Transportation has struggled to keep up as rising demand met COVID-19 shutdowns, causing shortages of shipping containers and price hikes. Judah Levine, the Head of Research at Freightos, told Insider shipping prices between Asia and the US have hit a new record, jumping 500% from this time last year.

Hurricane Ida caused damage at several US ports

Hurricane Ida forced the Port of New Orleans to close for several days. While the port was since able to reopen, others, including Port of South Louisiana and Port Fourchon sustained damage.

Chris Tomas, the Lead Intelligence Analyst at BSI, told Insider port delays could impact grain and oil shipments, though the ports are only responsible for a fraction of US imports. But the damage and temporary closures in Louisiana come at the same time as key ports in Southern California are facing record backlogs.

Hurricane Ida has had the most significant impact on US oil production

The storm's 150 miles-per-hour winds in the Gulf of Mexico cut most offshore oil and gas production for over a week, while also damaging onshore support facilities and causing some of the oil to leak into the Gulf. Reuters reported that the oil losses ranked among the worst in 16 years. Today, the aftermath of the storm has kept about 12% of US oil production at a standstill, The New York Times reported.

The disruption in oil flow will have a reverberating impact on many US industries, Douglas Kent, the Executive Vice President of Strategy and Alliances at the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), told Insider.

"Constraints on one raw material compound themselves across the industry," Kent said, pointing to companies like paint and specialty coatings giant PPG Industries. Earlier this week, the company warned raw materials costs would rise due to Hurricane Ida.

Shipping concerns are minor compared to the impact on ground transportation

Trucking companies will be responsible for bringing in new supplies to areas recovering from the storm.

"The trucking industry already has two major issues: long port delays, as well as a labor shortage," Allon said. "Now we're triple-straining the systems by requiring them to go into areas that will be difficult to access, where they will be bogged down."

Kent warned the supply chain issues will continue to felt by customers, both through a lack of supply of imported items like electronics, toys, and furniture, as well as price hikes.

"When we see these massive increases in transportation costs, it's clear somebody will have to pay for it," Kent said. "One more disruption could send it [the global supply chain] into complete chaos."

Experts have warned that the supply chain crisis will continue into 2023.

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Elon Musk unveils ‘Tesla bot,’ a humanoid robot that would be made from Tesla’s self-driving AI

Tesla AI day
  • Elon Musk said Tesla plans to build a humanoid robot during the company's AI Day.
  • The CEO said the company hopes to develop a prototype for the robot by sometime next year.
  • The "Tesla Bot" will use the same AI systems that help power the company's Full Self-Driving system.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the carmaker would be branching out into humanoid robots during the company's AI event on Thursday.

Musk unveiled the "Tesla Bot," a 5 ft. 8 in., 125-pound robot, at the event. He said the bot would have a screen where its face should be that will present information. According to the CEO, the humanoid robot will also be capable of dead-lifting 150 pounds and carrying about 45 pounds. Though, the bot will only travel about 5 miles per hour.

"We're setting it such that it is at a mechanical level, at a physical level, that you can run away from it and most likely overpower it," Musk quipped.

The bot will use Tesla's Autopilot software, according to Musk. It will be equipped with eight cameras to feed into the neural network that Tesla has developed for its FSD software.

The neural network emulates the functions of the human brain inasmuch as it allows the vehicle to analyze its surroundings via cameras and determine what it needs to do when it encounters obstacles by identifying and labeling different routes and images.

Tesla ai day
Behold, Elon Musk's Tesla Bot prototype.

"Our cars are semi-sentient robots on wheels," Musk said. "It kind of makes sense to put that [the software] on to a human-like [form] as well."

Musk said businesses would ideally use the bot to perform repetitive and dangerous tasks. He added the real test would be how the robot can navigate through the world without being explicitly told what to do.

"There will be profound applications for the economy. In the future, physical work will be a choice," Musk said.

The CEO offered a visual representation of what he wants the robot to look like, but Tesla has yet to build a functioning bot. He said the company plans to have a prototype developed by sometime next year.

Musk said the robot fits seamlessly into Tesla's mission and will be built with many of the same materials the company uses for its cars.

"We're making the pieces that would be useful for [building] a humanoid robot, so we should probably make it. If we don't, someone else will - and we want to make sure it's safe," Musk said.

While the Tesla founder did not give a specific deadline for the prototype's release, Musk is known for making big promises about future builds. At Tesla's last "Autonomous Day" Musk said Tesla would have "one million robotaxis on the road" by the end of 2020. However, the company has yet to release a fully autonomous car, as its current FSD software still requires a licensed operator to monitor the vehicle.

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OnlyFans says it’s getting out of the hardcore-porn game

OnlyFans screengrab
OnlyFans was launched in London in 2016
  • OnlyFans says it plans to block some sexually explicit content later this year.
  • The decision represents a major change for the startup that gained success in NSFW content.
  • The company said some nude photos and videos would still be allowed on the site.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

OnlyFans said it plans to block its users from posting sexually explicit content on its site.

The company said on Thursday that it would implement the new policy in October, Bloomberg first reported. The company told Insider it will share more on the policy in the coming days.

"In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of our platform, and to continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines," the company said in a statement. "These changes are to comply with the requests of our banking partners and payout providers."

OnlyFans will still allow users to post nude photos and videos, so long as they do not violate OnlyFans' acceptable use policy, which bars users from posting illegal content, including footage of minors or content that is not their own.

The decision to ban sexually explicit content reflects a major branding change for the site that has gained much of its success from pornographic content. To date, the site hosts over 130 million users and has paid creators over $5 billion since it was created in 2016.

The decision could affect over 2 million creators who use the site, the company's numbers indicated. It's unknown exactly what share of creators make money solely from explicit content. The site has long been known as a source of income for sex workers, especially during the pandemic when many had to pivot from in-person roles.

In recent months, OnlyFans has faced difficulty drumming up investor interest, a report from Axios said. The decision to eliminate sexually explicit content could help the platform lure in investors who may be wary of the site's NSFW brand.

It's not the first time the platform has attempted to shift its image away from pornographic content to cater to more mainstream celebrities and creators as opposed to sex workers. On Tuesday, OnlyFans launched a free streaming service called OFTV, an on-demand site that focuses on topics such as fitness and cooking instead of sexually explicit content.

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Elon Musk’s girlfriend Grimes shared a TikTok video of their son X AE A-Xii and the family’s vacation in Italy

Elon Musk Grimes
  • Grimes shared a glimpse of her son X AE A-Xii in a TikTok on Tuesday.
  • The video shows a montage of the singer's trip to Italy with her boyfriend Elon Musk.
  • Last week, the family was photographed in Florence with the mayor of the city.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Grimes shared some rare footage of her son X AE A-Xii in a TikTok video on Tuesday.

The video provided an inside look at the singer's trip to Italy with her boyfriend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and their 1-year-old son. The TikTok shows a glimpse of her son, as well as several clips from Grimes' trips to museums and other scenic locations during her trip to Italy.

The video also showcases Grimes' new song "Shinigami Eyes" as background music to the montage.

@grimes

SHINIGAMI eyes is finally done and you all get the first listen !!!! Show me your content (might still b sum changes but video is almost done) #italy

♬ Shinigami Eyes - Grimes

Grimes and Musk have primarily kept their son out of the spotlight since his birth. Though Musk posted a picture of himself with his baby earlier this year and the family was seen at SpaceX's launch site, Starbase, Texas.

The family was photographed on their vacation in Italy last week. The mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, took Musk and Grimes, as well as some of Musk's teenage sons from his ex-wife Justine Wilson on a tour of the Uffizi Gallery.

Nardella posted a clip from the tour on Twitter. In the video, Musk is seen saying "Visit Florence" in Italian.

Following the post, there was a lot of speculation on social media as to why Musk had chosen to visit Italy. Several users noted that the gallery is just 30 minutes from the Leonardo Group's headquarters - a company that produces technology for some of foremost space programs in the world, including the International Space Station and Roscosmos, a Russian Space Agency.

The Tesla CEO was in Berlin later in the week, where he attended meetings with German state group Brandenburg, according to a post from Germany's economy minister Joerg Steinbach on Twitter.

The visit is part of Musk's efforts to open a $6.9 billion Tesla factory near Berlin. On the same day he met with the German leaders, Musk said Tesla's new factory in Germany will be open for a tour in October and will kick off production the same month, Reuters reported.

Though, Tesla is still waiting for a green light from Brandenburg's environmental authorities to open the site. The Gigafactory was supposed to open on July 1 but environmental activists, permit delays, and lizards on the site put its opening date behind schedule.

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A 29-year-old YouTube millionaire is leading in a poll to replace Gavin Newsom as the next governor of California

Kevin Paffrath
  • Kevin Paffrath is a leading candidate in a poll on the effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom.
  • Paffrath is one of 46 candidates and only 9 Democrats that could replace Newsom.
  • The vote will take place on September 14. In July, 51% of voters surveyed were against the recall.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

YouTube influencer Kevin Paffrath could become California's youngest governor to date.

Paffrath, a 29-year-old who has made millions of dollars on his "Meet Kevin" YouTube channel, is leading in a recent poll from SurveyUSA among respondents planning to vote in next month's recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The survey shows Paffrath leading 46 candidates, including conservative talk show host Larry Elder and former Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner, with 27% of the vote.

Paffrath's share in the poll was followed by six Republican candidates, including Elder, who came in second at 24%. The 29-year-old is one of nine Democrats working to unseat Newsom.

In the tally, 51% of 613 likely voters surveyed from August 2-4 said they would vote in favor of ousting Newsom. The Democratic Party is urging voters to vote against a recall, as well as skip the second question on the ballot, which asks voters to select a replacement if a recall occurs. But if more than half of California voters support the ballot recall on September 14, the next governor will be one of the 46 candidates with the most votes.

An earlier poll by the University of California, Berkeley, and the Los Angeles Times in July had only 36% in favor of a recall with 51% of registered voters against it.

"We think in the last two weeks of this campaign if the recall looks more and more likely, the Democratic party will be forced to pick a Hail Mary back-up candidate," Paffrath said at a Newsom press event in San Francisco. "Given that we're No. 1 in the polls, we hope that's us."

The YouTuber is a real estate investor out of Ventura, California. His channel has nearly 1.7 million followers and focuses on daily commentary on stocks, housing, and stimulus. The channel has turned Paffrath into a multi-millionaire. In the past year alone, he has earned nearly $10 million on YouTube.

Paffrath says he voted for Joe Biden in the presidential elections and identifies as a centrist. He has been following Newsom on his "Vote No" campaign trail which started in San Francisco last week.

The recall effort has been several years in the making, but has picked up steam during COVID-19 due to concerns over state shutdowns and the gradual reopening of the state. Several major public figures have joined in on the call to get Newsom out of office over the course of the year, including billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya, who pointed to the flight of major companies like Tesla and Oracle from the state.

Paffrath says he plans to address concerns over high taxes, as well as solve issues with elevated levels of homelessness in cities like San Francisco. The 29-year-old's tax plan would have people avoid income tax on their first $250,000. He also plans to make COVID-19 safety measures optional and says he will clear the homeless population from the streets within his first 60 days in office.

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