A scarcity of containers, port congestion and excessive demand for items has the worldwide delivery business on its knees. For the U.S., although, there’s assist for an answer: President Biden’s large bipartisan infrastructure invoice.
In a strongly worded letter late Thursday, the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) urged policymakers to assist the invoice and deal with an ongoing delivery disaster that has triggered “a destructive cycle of lengthening delays and rocketing costs.”
Amid inflationary costs throughout completely different product classes, the delivery disaster is considered one of a number of challenges going through attire, footwear and retail corporations. Even if ports are cleared, there’s a scarcity of truck drivers to ship containers to warehouses and distribution facilities. According to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are about 35,000 fewer drivers now as in comparison with the pre-pandemic interval.
But that’s not all. Retailers have been rocked by their very own labor scarcity because the business heads into the important back-to-school and vacation procuring season. An ideal storm brought on by the pandemic together with explosive e-commerce progress and uncompetitive wages is contributing to retailers discovering themselves shorthanded in shops in addition to achievement and repair name facilities.
[See related story: What’s Causing the Great Retail Worker Shortage?]
Regarding the delivery disaster, AAFA management despatched a letter to President Joseph Biden praising the infrastructure invoice in addition to a June 9 govt order “that directs the Federal Maritime Commission to consider additional rules to counter unfair detention and demurrage costs.” Stephen Lamar, president and chief govt officer of the AAFA, mentioned in an announcement that “American businesses need assistance now.”
The infrastructure invoice can also be seen as a salve to deal with rising inflation. “The next several months are critical to the American retail industry, as we prepare for back-to-school and holiday shopping. If action is not taken, we risk empty shelves that would trip up our nation’s economic recovery,” Lamar mentioned. “This week’s inflation news shows that this is already having an effect on consumers. While there are many medium and long-term actions that must be taken, the President can have an immediate impact on American small businesses and American consumers by ending the previous administration’s punitive Section 301 tariffs that continue to hamstring our industry.”
In the letter to President Biden, Lamar mentioned he was writing to “express strong support for swift action on the bipartisan infrastructure package, which will make much-needed investments in ports, rail, and roads to ensure that the American economy of tomorrow will continue to move and grow.”
“The investments in the bi-partisan infrastructure package fix critical problems that, if not addressed, would eventually bring the American economy to a standstill,” he wrote. “Further, the package is forward-looking, by preventing future bottlenecks that could threaten our economic growth. Your leadership has brought the bi-partisan infrastructure package to this point. We look forward to working with you to bring the package over the finish line.”
But Lamar additionally used the letter to reiterate requires addressing different trade-related points. In its assertion, the AAFA requested for the elimination of Section 301 tariffs and the renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences and Miscellaneous Tariff Bill.
Lamar wrote that with prices “spiraling out of control, companies, particularly small businesses, need help now. I urge you to take strides to offset these costs by immediately removing the biggest single cost on our industry – tariffs, including by ending the U.S. government’s punitive Section 301 tariffs on China and renewing the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program and the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB).”