Supply Chain Infrastructure

shipping yard with colorful shipping containers

The issue

U.S. transportation infrastructure has suffered from decades of underinvestment that has turned the system into a drag on the economy. Growing inefficiencies and bottlenecks increase costs and make it increasingly difficult for American companies to expand their businesses. Ultimately, the lack of infrastructure investment is reducing U.S. competitiveness in the global economy. NRF believes Congress needs to improve and expand infrastructure, improve system efficiency to handle increasing freight needs, and provide long-term funding.

shipping containers on train

 

Why it matters to retailers

empty loading dock

Retailers are among the nation’s largest shippers, moving hundreds of billions of dollars worth of merchandise via the nation’s ports, railroads and highways each year. The condition of the transportation system and its ability to move freight quickly and efficiently are vital to retailers’ businesses. Regulations impacting the movement of goods for security, safety and other matters also impact the ability of the nation’s retailers to get their goods to market.

NRF advocates for improved supply chain infrastructure

NRF has been a long-time advocate of improved infrastructure and the funding required to make improvements possible. NRF has particularly sought a national freight policy covering all modes of transportation, including trucks, railroads and ships, which was included in the $300 billion Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act. The transportation funding measure has made it easier to move forward on major projects that ease transportation bottlenecks over the past five years, and NRF praised it for bringing “long-term stability to our nation’s surface transportation programs.” But the measure expires at the end of 2020, and NRF is urging Congress to act soon to replace or renew it.

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