The Friday Report: March 25th, 2022

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

New China COVID Lockdowns Slow Down Global Supply Chains

Facing the worst COVID-19 outbreak in two years, Chinese authorities have placed millions of people in lockdown, once again shuttering manufacturing facilities and transportation, impacting the global supply chain. To date, the most severe restrictions have been taken in manufacturing and financial hubs, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Dongguan, and Changchun. 

Although the major ports of Shenzhen and Shanghai were said to be operating normally, apparent trucking delays have ensued due to roads and testing, and increased container congestion has been reported at major Chinese shipping hubs. 

The COVID-19 shutdown impacts not only manufacturing of finished goods, but also that of components used in the manufacture and assembly of products. 

For more information, please continue reading here

$2.9 Billion in Infrastructure Funding from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Launched

Now that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has passed, how long will it take to get projects moving?  The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) recently announced that $2.9 billion in funding is now available for infrastructure grant through a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).  The funding a combination of three discretionary grant programs into one Multimodal Projects Discretionary Grants.  This is anticipated to reduce the burden for state and local applicants and should increase the pipeline of “shovel-worthy’ projects. 

In recent weeks, DOT has worked around the country to launch the effort to repair approximately 15,000 bridges.  Additionally, DOT has initiated a huge investment in U.S. port infrastructure to facilitate the movement of goods with less friction and in less time. 

DOT has launched three discretionary grant programs for this monumental investment: 

  • The National Infrastructure Project Assistance (MEGA) program.   
  • The Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program  
  • The Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program (RURAL) 

For more information, please continue reading here. 

US Consumers Need to Dramatically Ramp Up Plastics Recycling to Meet Future Goals

As companies make news with plans to increase the use of recycled content in their packaging by 2025, there is a hiccup.  The support of postconsumer recycled resin is unlikely to be available in the volume needed to meet the 2025 goals.  In plain terms, what does this mean?  Americans are not recycling enough of the plastics needed. 

At the recent Plastics Recycling Conference, various options were discussed including rapid mobilization to enhance recycling collection efforts, initiating complex new policies such as extended producer responsibility (EPR), requiring deposits on containers and new postconsumer recycled content laws. 

Currently the U.S. recycling rates are not able to match the forecast demand, notably for plastics such as polypropylene (PP) as well as for high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET).  To meet the anticipated demand for products with a composition of 25% recycled content, the United States would need to double collection of most plastic resin types.  For polypropylene, the estimated collection would need to be nearly tripled to satisfy the demand for 50% PCR composition goals. 

For more information, please continue reading here. 

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