While the run-up to the 2016 presidential election has been fraught with much rancor between candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the pair surprisingly agrees on an issue that impacts the freight industry: the need to effectively rebuild our nation’s infrastructure.
In a recent article for Journal of Commerce (JOC.com), writer Lawrence J. Gross, the head of a transportation consulting firm, presented a hopeful picture for the freight industry based upon the platforms of the two major White House candidates. On infrastructure, says Gross, Clinton proposes a five-year $275 billion plan that would include initiating upgrades on the 25 costliest freight bottlenecks (I-90 at I-290, Buffalo, tops the list), which would be funded by resurrecting the Build America Bonds program. She also proposes creating a $25 billion national infrastructure bank that would in theory ultimately add $225 billion in available investment capital.
Trump, while not coming forth with specifics, says he’ll make “a phenomenal [bond] deal with low interest rates and rebuild the infrastructure,” adding that “nobody can build better than I can.”
Both candidates appear to understand that such infrastructure investment would carry the dual benefit of addressing the inefficiencies that have grown from years of underinvestment, while providing job opportunities to sectors of the U.S. labor force still staggering from the 2008-09 recession. And it would all be financed through record-low interest rates that likely won’t be seen within our lifetime again.
Infrastructure is a broad concept not limited to transportation-related expenditures, but it does appear likely that freight transport will get a decent slice of the billions of dollars on the table. Hopes are that this will help facilitate a break in the infrastructure gridlock that has prevailed for so many years. But based on the conservative lean of House Republicans and their continued reluctance to utilize debt for this purpose, the main sticking point of how to pay for infrastructure may waggle on, despite both Clinton’s and Trump’s agreement on the approach. Soon enough it will all play out.
In Collierville, Tennessee, there is a facility strategically placed in the No. 1 distribution center of America that offers a variety of equipment and gets it out fast, supplying the local Mid-South with rental containers accommodating an array of storage needs.
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