ASA Calls Upon Transportation Secretary Buttigieg to Address Supply-Chain Challenges
ASA, along with the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC), is urging Transportation Secretary Buttigieg as much as allowable by law in discretionary grants for FY 2022 to support projects that will facilitate and ease the movement of goods. Over the past two years, the supply chain has endured extreme slowdowns due to pandemic-related pressures. IHS Markit, a data research firm that constantly surveys businesses on their supply delivery times, found that, after a decade of constant or slightly declining delivery times, their index, starting in 2020, has signaled a substantial and widespread slowdown of the supply chain. Pandemic-induced port delays have led to abnormally long loading and unloading times, including leaving ships waiting offshore for weeks at a time when, prior to the pandemic, there was no wait.
With traffic patterns returning to pre-pandemic levels while the supply-chain problems persist, the U.S. Department of Transportation should focus the $13 billion in grant programs put forward over the next five years on making the physical improvements necessary to address these issues. Whether it is improvements to port infrastructure, addressing freight bottlenecks at major highway interchanges, or investing in grade separation projects, these investments will not only improve safety and air quality but will better the U.S. economy. Freight movement enhancements will help alleviate economic burdens and strengthen the goods movement network to better withstand future disruptions.