We’ve reported plenty on the supply chain recently and some of the main causes for rising costs, delays in product deliveries, backlogs and more. The pandemic has led to a domino effect of-sorts when it comes to the transportation of goods, as strict border laws and quarantine requirements are causing more and more truck drivers and seafarers to leave their jobs in search for a less stressful, safer occupation.
In response to these challenges, the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) — which consists of chemical distributors and their partners in the supply-chain who process, package and deliver goods for over 750,000 end users — has several recommendations to help expedite the delivery of several key chemicals including sodium chlorite, sulfuric acid, glycerin and citric acid through the supply chain more efficiently. Doing so will alleviate the lack of access the medical supplies, food preservation, clean water and more.
The key points laid out by the NACD are as follows:
1. Invest In Infrastructure: An improved transportation network is essential to distributing chemicals. The best way to fix intermodal freight bottlenecks is through infrastructure spending.
2. Address Truck Driver Shortages: Several restrictions for interstate truck drivers are causing barriers for new drivers, particularly the required age of 21 to become licensed while more and more drivers retire. DRIVE-Safe Act legislation is in place which would lift these restrictions for potential drivers under 21.
3. Support U.S. Manufacturing Base For Shipping Containers and Chassis: A lack of shipping containers is significantly hampering the supply chain, and although many chassis manufacturers are eager to increase production, they lack the necessary materials to do so. Issues with receiving those materials falls under the same boat as many other resources getting delayed.
4. Pass the Ocean Shipping Reform Act: Ocean shipping providers have engaged in unfair business practices, including driving up shipping rates and subsequently consumer good prices. This also leads to less availability to products needed to save lives. To combat this, The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021 will give more power to the Federal Maritime Commission’s (FTC) to enforce laws and improve responsiveness for detention complaints.
5. Rail Reform: The efficiency of the nation’s freight rail system can be improved by creating better competition and improving the Surface Transportation Board (STB) — which evaluates reciprocity issues and along with commercial fairness.
For additional insights from the NACD, click here.
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