What Can Supply Chains Expect From the Infrastructure Bill?

By Logan Wamsley

One of the major focuses of the current U.S. administration in recent months has been the ongoing supply chain crisis. It’s a crisis that has many causes, and while there is no quick fix, action from both the government and the business community are universally recognized as being integral to the solution — even if the issues will not be eliminated entirely until 2022, 2023, or longer.

Regardless, the supply chain takes up a significant portion of the bipartisan infrastructure bill that is currently being debated in Congress. In total, the pill provides the U.S. supply chain infrastructure $78 billion over the next five years. These funds will be issues to address the nation’s current freight infrastructure, which is many analysts consider to be behind the capabilities of other international shipping hubs.

According to the Coalition of America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors, these measures will increase the output of the freight industry by 260% by 2050. Additionally, it is expected to add as many as two million jobs to the U.S. economy.

“The legislation prioritizes our nation’s economic competitiveness in the global marketplace by increasing the level of investment in multimodal freight infrastructure and strengthening the policy and programming that guides those investments,” said CAGTC Executive Director Elaine Nessle.

Ports are not the only focus, although the issues there are currently dominating national headlines. Other pain points include bridges, the U.S. network of over 600 small railways, locks along the Mississippi River, roadways, and more.

Despite these potential advances, proving the infrastructure bill is eventually signed into law, this does not discount the changes business can make to their supply chain on their own. Solutions are available that can minimize reliance on shipping and fulfillment, which would significantly reduce delays, extended lead times, obsolescence-based issues — all while preserving the capital critical to surviving unexpected crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.