SHIP It Act Reinforces Urgent Need for Supply Chain Fixes in 2023

As members of U.S. House Transportation & Infrastructure committee convenes on Feb. 1 to discuss supply chain issues, it’s imperative they consider U.S. Reps. DustyJohnson and Jim Costa’s bipartisan legislation that proposes commonsense, practical supply chain fixes. The SHIP IT Act, introduced last week, has been touted as a priority for the new session of congress. This bill aims to address supply chain pain points by increasing shipping capacity, lessening burdens on truck drivers and providing incentives to recruit and retain new drivers. The bill also modernizes the emergency use of certain vehicle waivers, offers workforce grants for truck drivers, simplifies the commercial driver’s license process and tackles truck parking concerns.

Legislation like this reflects important supply chain enhancements Consumer Brands has long supported. We’re glad to see traction on further supply chain investments in Congress with the introduction of this new, bipartisan bill. Ultimately, each step to enhance our supply chains will help ensure the makers of our household, personal care, food and beverage products can continue delivering to people what they need, when they need it.

But right now, the country needs 80,000 more truck drivers to fulfill these needs, and this shortage propels a negative ripple across the entire supply chain. The median age of  truck drivers is between 51 and 52 years old, so implementing ways to tap into other pools of potential workers is a priority. We also don’t have enough parking spots for drivers en route to and from their deliveries, sometimes across the country. And despite the need for that many more trucks to deliver freight, there’s only one parking spot available for every 11 semitrucks on the road. The SHIP IT Act provides safe solutions to these problems that have our supply chains teetering at a breaking point.

Consumer Brands VP of Supply Chain and Logistics, Tom Madrecki, joined RFD TV to discuss the slack this bill is poised to create for supply chains. He underscored that many of the most prevalent ongoing issues predate the pandemic and won’t just fade away.

“If anything, higher costs, inflation – these are all still very present on the minds of manufacturers and shippers and those across the ag space. We need to keep this drumbeat going, especially in Congress, where policymakers have the tools at their disposal to make inroads for communities all across this country,” he said.

Supply chain issues won’t resolve on their own, and the problems felt by consumers and consumer packaged goods companies are complex and multi-faceted. Consumers and manufacturers alike are dealing with rising costs, limited stock and challenges in keeping supply chains running. Being able to run a more efficient trucking network ensures shelves are stocked, prices stay down and has many efficiency and environmental benefits, all with no impact on safety. Consumer Brands is leading efforts to fix and strengthen U.S. supply chains, and encourages lawmakers to support bipartisan, common-sense legislation like the SHIP IT Act that benefits the totality of the CPG industry and consumer access to everyday essentials.