With much of the country’s infrastructure in dire need of repairs, logistics providers offer e-commerce companies the resources they need to deliver on key business goals.
At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s sixth annual Global Supply Chain Summit, President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue underscored the urgent need for reinvestment in the country’s supply chain infrastructure. While Donohue praised the ability of today’s industry professionals to meet the needs of a booming yet volatile global economy, he made clear that continued success in the shipping and logistics space is threatened by bureaucratic neglect.
For businesses operating in the e-commerce space, ensuring customers are satisfied with a growing spate of delivery options is always top of mind. Whatever timescale your operation promises to fulfill orders on, precision and efficiency are paramount if you hope to meet consumer expectations.
Unfortunately, untended and aging roads, bridges, and ports can make succeeding in the fast-paced e-commerce economy an uphill battle. While businesses across sectors grapple with how best to avoid delays and drive ROI for their operations, logistics providers are strategically positioned to help.
The State of the Nation’s Infrastructure
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, over $800 billion would be required just to keep the country’s roads and bridges from falling further into disrepair. Billions of dollars more would be needed to update airports, improve passenger rail, and revamp ports. Alarmingly, these investments wouldn’t necessarily make our infrastructure ready for the evolving demands of 21st century supply chains; they would simply bring facilities back to their original condition.
This funding gap doesn’t just threaten future federal and state budgets. Instead, it has a lasting and damaging impact on economic activity. Engineer and historian Henry Petroski has deduced that delays caused by traffic congestion alone cost the economy $120 billion every year — and that’s not to mention the business lost to more regional, specific issues.
What Needs to Be Done
“Infrastructure is the backbone of supply chains,” Donohue said during his speech. “And that infrastructure is hurting here at home. We need a major, long-term spending bill to fund it.”
Politically, securing the funds needed to make such costly improvements is difficult. Whether politicians propose raising taxes, promoting greater private sector involvement, or charging fees based on how people and businesses use regional infrastructure, it’s clear that the country’s infrastructure woes aren’t going to get solved overnight.
Proposed fixes vary widely. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, there has been serious interest in an expanded national infrastructure bank that makes financing available to state and local governments for needed improvements. Alternatively, others propose a vast reduction in federal regulations, which some claim make it unnecessarily costly and difficult to revamp aging infrastructure and build new assets. Whatever proposal wins out, the nation’s transportation network needs attention sooner rather than later.
How Logistics Providers Can Help
For businesses operating in the e-commerce space, fulfilling orders on time is the bread and butter of short- and long-term growth. Without satisfied customers, the ability of e-retailers to compete is greatly curtailed, especially given the importance of user reviews in attracting new business.
Accordingly, delays caused by unreliable regional and national infrastructure poses serious threats for companies hoping to scale alongside growing e-commerce demand. While larger industry players such as Amazon have the internal resources to navigate infrastructure issues, more modest businesses may feel left in the lurch.
Instead, small and mid-sized businesses should consider partnering with a third-party logistics (3PL) partner or integrated logistics services provider (ISP). With industry expertise, sophisticated transportation and warehouse management software, and their own facilities, tried-and-tested logistics providers are an ideal solution to infrastructure headaches.
With over 20 years of experience in shipping and logistics, Primary Freight has resources businesses need to thrive. Our award-winning customer service team, supported by cutting-edge software, can assist supply chain managers and business owners across the e-commerce market fulfill orders on time and secure customer satisfaction. For e-retailers looking to adapt, a customized logistics solution for your business is a must.
To learn more about Primary Freight’s award-winning shipping and logistics services, call us today at (800)-635-0013.