To keep your business moving you need to keep your product moving – reliably and safely. Finding the capacity to deliver on your requirements can be difficult, especially in the evolving chemical market.
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) projects the chemical industry’s capacity to increase by 18% by 2020. According to the ACC, in the past seven years the U.S. chemical industry has generated 264 new projects and expects to produce $301 billion in new output as a result.
Growth of the chemical industry can only go so far if logistics and infrastructure lag behind. The ACC states 61% of chemical shipments travel by truck. As the chemical industry expands, the trucking industry will need more drivers and the roads, rails and ports will need to expand.
The American Trucking Associations estimates that the trucking industry had nearly 50,000 fewer drivers than it needed in 2015. Although the shortage was less severe in 2016, the ATA expects it to worsen in coming years due to aging drivers entering retirement and the struggle to attract new drivers. Finding qualified bulk drivers is even more complicated because of the training and certifications required, along with the physical demands for loading and unloading.
Finding qualified drivers is only part of the problem. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), surface transportation needs for 2016-2025 are underfunded by $1.1 trillion. Furthermore, the ASCE states if the U.S. government fails to close this gap, the U.S. GDP could lose $3.9 trillion and businesses could lose $7 trillion in sales by 2025. The infrastructure shortfall exasperates transportation needs for the chemical industry since much of the industry’s growth will be centered in areas where networks are already severely congested, such as the Gulf Coast.
In a report prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers for ACC, the chemical industry will incur $29 billion in additional operating costs over the next 10 years to cope with inefficient transportation.
Your company is poised for growth and it’s an exciting time for the business – until it falls on your shoulders to secure the capacity required. Growth can only occur when product is moved between customers and operations in a timely, safe manner. Without reliable delivery and pick up, business is lost and budgets are missed.
To navigate the changes in the chemical industry and your business, turn to a bulk carrier who is in it for the long haul. The carrier who can keep your business on track offers you a variety of capacity options and has a proven ability to hire, train and retain safe, reliable, qualified drivers.
Published June 2017
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