The impact of the Infrastructure Act on fleets
March 04, 2022
Touching nearly every aspect of the nation’s economy, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law late last year by President Joe Biden after passing through Congress with largely bipartisan support. The bill outlines approximately $1.2 trillion to be spent in the coming years across highway construction, transit, ports, airports, broadband access, clean water, electronic vehicle charging and much more.
Several of the provisions within the bill directly impact the trucking and fleet industries. In this blog we will take a closer look at a few examples.
Upgraded roads and bridges
Everyday around three and a half million truck drivers move freight along the nation’s highways, many of which have long needed repair. Within the bill, $110 Billion, or 12% of the total spending, has been allocated to go towards the construction and repair of roads (mainly highways) and bridges.
In the long run this will have an overwhelmingly positive effect on the transport industry, increasing road safety and shortening the average delivery time for journeys. It is worth noting that in the short term, increased traffic and delays from the construction are likely to take place. With supply chains already at tipping point this could add to the pressure that some carriers are feeling.
Construction of upgraded roads and bridges
For ready-mix and construction fleets, the large input of money going into building roads, bridges and other construction projects will be welcome news. Aggregate and cement prices are predicated to continue rising and fleets all around the country will be needed to fill the orders of a combined job this size. As the saying goes, make hay while the sun shines.
Airports and Ports
Within the Infrastructure bill $16 Billion has been reserved to improve ports and waterways and another $25 Billion for airports. Current port and airport infrastructure has left a lot of the links in the supply chain to slip, adding to in the current global supply chain crises we are in. This spending aims to address repair and maintenance backlogs, reduce congestion and emissions near ports and airports, and drive electrification and other low-carbon technologies - all of which should go a long way to helping improve these vital touch points in the supply chain.
Investment in electric vehicles
In an effort to reduce carbon pollution 7.5 billion has been delegated to create a nationwide network of electronic vehicle charging stations, as well as the upgrades to power infrastructure required to support it. Around 500,000 stations will be built, particularly along highway corridors. Once completed this will make driving and charging EVs a lot easier for the businesses using them, and encourage more fleets to start using them in the future.
Impact on driver shortages
Included in the bill is an apprentice program designed to help young people into jobs that are facing shortages. This would allow 18-20 year olds who follow the correct safety procedure to obtain a Commercial Driers License younger than the usual age limit of 21. This could help to alleviate the ongoing and increasing issue of driver shortages in recent years.
Looking to invest more in your fleet this year? Get in touch with our team today to see how we can help.