As the nation works to recover from nearly two years of the pandemic, the spotlight on how we move goods around the country has intensified. With consumers on alert that they should order their holiday gifts sooner than later, ports backlogged, logistics real estate in short supply, and delivery trucks and drivers difficult to source, federal leaders approved the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal (BID) into law today, which invests $1.2 trillion in taxpayer dollars to fund new and existing highway, safety, transit and rail programs. The package includes $550 billion in new investments central to the Biden Administration’s economic agenda, which encompasses climate change, grid resiliency, environmental protections and clean transportation.
“Our country is paying a severe price due to a lack of investment in the infrastructure that facilitates the flow of goods,” said Hamid R. Moghadam, co-founder and CEO of Prologis, the world’s largest operator and developer of logistics real estate. “This new federal spending will help modernize transportation arteries and funnel investments into the technologies that will result in a greener and more efficient supply chain.”
Roads, bridges and rail. The federal government will send millions of dollars to state and local governments to build and repair roads, highways and bridges. Funding will be prioritized for projects of “economic significance” along major corridors to accommodate the movement of goods. Congressional leaders also authorized investments in freight rail transit systems. Where states and localities choose to invest their dollars in major development could influence where logistics companies such as Prologis and its customers invest in new properties.
Renewable energy deployment: Today’s logistics industry is moving toward adopting emission-reducing technology, such as electric vehicle (EV) fleet charging. However, the infrastructure simply doesn’t exist yet to support the broad commercial use of EV. The legislation includes $7.5 billion for publicly accessible EV charging infrastructure deployment, which will help build out a network along major commercial trucking corridors. The BID specifically designates “goods movement locations including ports, intermodal centers, and warehousing locations” as a top priority for investment in charging infrastructure.
Ports and airports: To address backlogs and strengthen the supply chain, the BID designates significant funds toward the repair and development of infrastructure at ports and airports and for projects to reduce medium- and heavy-duty truck emissions in and around port facilities.
Transit upgrades: The government is investing in the nation’s outmoded public transit system. This includes modernizing buses and light rail cars, expanding public transit service areas and stations, and increasing access to transit options in both urbanized and rural areas. As logistics companies struggle to find workers to fill jobs, better and more available transit options may help people get to jobs they otherwise might not be able to consider.
Broadband expansion: The public’s appetite for e-commerce continues to grow, accelerated by the pandemic. This legislation expands broadband infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, bringing new customers online and boosting demand in the e-commerce sector.