Northeast US Supply Chain Woes Continue
The global supply chain is under pressure. Ongoing labor shortages, pandemic-era restrictions, raw material disruptions, and more are creating havoc for companies trying to move goods around the world. The US Northeast is feeling the brunt of these problems, as its ports and transportation infrastructure are already strained.
Port of New York and New Jersey
The Port of New York and New Jersey is the busiest port on the East Coast, handling more than $200 billion in goods each year. The port is also a key transportation hub, with links to the interstate highway system, the railroad network, and the New York City subway. But the port is one of many currently facing major congestion problems, and the trucking industry is feeling the pain as well.
The US Northeast needs a long-term solution to its supply chain woes. This could include expanding the port’s capacity, improving the highway and railroad infrastructure, and investing in new technologies to improve the flow of goods. Until then, companies doing business in the region will continue to face significant delays and disruptions.
Let’s analyze three recent news events related to the Northeast’s on-going supply chain woes to better understand the situation.
NJ and NY Port supply chain solutions need US innovation
The supply chains that support the Port of New York and New Jersey are a vital part of the U.S. economy, and they are constantly evolving to meet the needs of today’s businesses.
One of the biggest challenges facing the Port of New York and New Jersey is the increasing demand for containerized cargo. This demand has led to longer wait times for trucks at the port, which in turn has created a bottleneck for the entire supply chain.
In response to this challenge, President Joe Biden plans to use part of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill to invest in new port infrastructure.
Given the interconnectedness of the supply chains that serve the port, it is clear that any solution must be innovative and collaborative.
One innovative solution is to use blockchain technology to create a more efficient port authority. This would allow multiple stakeholders, such as terminal operators, truckers, and railroads, to collaborate and make decisions in real time. It would also help to reduce the need for paperwork, which can often slow down the supply chain.
Another possible solution is to use drones to improve the flow of cargo. Drones could be used to inspect containers and track their movement throughout the supply chain. This would help to ensure that cargo is delivered on time and that there are no delays.
Further, AI could be used to improve the management of port operations. For example, AI could be used to predict the demand for cargo and plan the flow of traffic accordingly. This would help to reduce the congestion at the port and improve the efficiency of the supply chain.
NJ and NY Highway traffic bottlenecks are part of the problem
New Jersey has the worst truck bottlenecks in the nation, according to an annual report by TRIP, a non-profit transportation research group.
The report highlights that average speeds in certain highway sections are only up to 39 mph, when it’s moving, and that truck drivers can spend hours stuck in traffic. It would cost billions of dollars to fix related issues, like rehabilitating the 90-year-old George Washington Bridge.
While much of the discussion on supply chain shortages is focused on container shortages at the ports, the TRIP report underscores that inland transportation infrastructure is also a critical piece of the puzzle. To alleviate some of the congestion and improve supply chain efficiency, shippers may need to reevaluate their distribution strategies.
That said, the passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure bill could help alleviate some of the pressure.
Red tape holds back new fleet drivers
Continued social distancing policies at MVC offices have created a bottleneck in the supply chain for new truckers, according to industry insiders. The issue is that, for new truckers who need to get their permits and licenses, the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) now requires pre-scheduled appointments, creating a backlog of applicants.
The long wait times are likely to have a significant impact on the trucking industry, which is already struggling with a driver shortage. According to the American Trucking Associations, the industry is currently short about 80,000 drivers.
If the reduced pace of the MVC’s permit issuance continues, it could exacerbate the driver shortage and lead to increased shipping costs and longer wait times for goods, due to a 30% drop in permits issued.
Supply chain woes are compounded by a number of other issues, including reduced availability of used trucks, surging consumer demand, and increased regulation. Truckers are also facing higher diesel prices.
Red tape policies are coming at the worst possible time for the trucking industry. The increased regulation and licensing requirements are causing backlogs and delays, which are in turn exacerbating the driver shortage and leading to higher shipping costs.
Government officials need to take a step back and look at the cumulative impact of their policies on businesses. Of course, safety is paramount, but policymakers need to find a way to streamline the process without compromising safety.
How Fleet Management Can Help
The transportation and logistics industries are complex and ever-changing. To stay ahead of disruptions and ensure your supply chain runs smoothly, you need to have a comprehensive fleet management solution in place.
A fleet management system can help you:
- Track your vehicles in real time
- Ensure drivers are following safety regulations
- Optimize routes and schedules
- Reduce fuel costs
With the right tools in place, you can keep your business running smoothly even in the face of supply chain disruptions.
Beyond helping amidst supply chain disruptions, fleet management can also help your business in other ways, such as by improving driver safety. For instance, the GPS Trackit VidFleet system can alert drivers and fleet managers when drivers are speeding, distracted, or violating other safety regulations. This can help to improve driver safety and prevent costly accidents.
If you’d like to learn more about how GPS Trackit can help to improve safety, increase productivity and reduce costs for your business, speak with one of our knowledgeable Fleet Advisors at 866-320-5810 or get a quick Custom Quote.
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