The Infrastructure Bill: What it Means for the Trucking Industry

Highway Roads

In November 2021, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Bill after months of bipartisan negotiations. This deal approves the spending of $1.2 trillion dollars over the course of 5 years in order to fund existing programs and provide new funding to improve U.S infrastructure, including roads and bridges. It is one of the largest federal infrastructure spending packages in history.

What was Included in the Infrastructure Bill that was Signed into Law in November 2021?

The infrastructure bill includes funding to improve roads and bridges, provide safety improvements for highways, expand shipping port and airport capacity, and fund public transportation and Amtrak service. In addition, the bill will fund expanded broadband internet, electric energy programs and clean water initiatives. The objectives of these programs are to strengthen the country’s competitiveness with supply chain improvements at intermodal transportation hubs: ports, highways, railyards, and airports, all of which will provide long-term benefit to the logistics, distribution and transportation equipment industries.

How will the Infrastructure Bill Improve Highways, Roads and Bridges in the US?

According to federal data, one (1) in every five (5) miles of U.S. highways and major roads are in poor condition. In addition, 45,000 U.S. bridges are considered to be in poor condition. In May 2021, a crack detrimental to the bridge’s structural integrity was found on a span of Interstate 40 crossing the Mississippi River between Arkansas and Tennessee, causing it to close for three months. This caused the average transit time to increase from eight (8) minutes to seventy-six minutes per day, and it cost the trucking industry upwards of $200 million in just three (3) months. To tackle transportation issues like this, the infrastructure bill will reauthorize surface transportation programs for five (5) years and authorize $110 billion in additional funding to fix roads, bridges and implement other major transportation projects. $40 billion of which is dedicated to bridge repair, replacement and rehabilitation.

What will Upgrades to Ports do to Strengthen Our Supply Chains?

U.S. ports have been the focal point of supply chain bottlenecks for the past year while production recovered from the global pandemic. With the goal to improve U.S. competitiveness, create more jobs, expedite commerce, and reduce emissions, the infrastructure bill looks to strengthen the supply chain, while reducing the likelihood of future disruptions. This legislation is investing $17 billion into port infrastructure to directly address repairs and maintenance backlogs, reduce congestion, minimize harmful emissions and incorporate low-carbon technology.

What the Infrastructure Spending Bill Means for the Trucking Industry.

With over 70% of freight transported in the United States being delivered by trucks, the infrastructure bill appears to be great news for the trucking industry. Improving infrastructure allows for the safe and efficient movement of freight on the road and decreases the risk of bottlenecks and traffic, which contribute to about 1.2 billion hours of lost productivity annually, $74.1 billion in added operation costs, and an additional 67 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year.

Can We Expect Growth for the Trucking Industry as a Result of the Infrastructure Bill?

As the logistics and distribution industries continue to suffer from a shortage of drivers, the infrastructure bill also looks to increase outreach and grow the trucking workforce through public service campaigns and apprenticeship programs for drivers under the age of 21. The bill also establishes a Women in Trucking Advisory Board for FMCSA and promotes outreach to women who make up only 6.6% of all drivers. Women also are 20% less likely than men to be involved in a trucking accident, helping to make the roads a safer place, one new hire at a time. The infrastructure bill provides funds to expose a broader demographic to careers in the trucking industry and encourages people to enter this field.

Contact Matlack Leasing for the highest quality service and equipment. Call Matlack Leasing at 1-800-MATLACK for your bulk transportation equipment needs, including tank trailer leasing and tank chassis leasing.

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