In testimony submitted to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) outlined the importance of an efficient and reliable transportation network to the nation's economy. In her testimony, Kelly Kolb, Vice President of Government Affairs, urged lawmakers to address potential disruptions to the national supply chain that could impact the retail sector and impede the nation's continued economic recovery.
The subcommittee hearing entitled "Improving the Performance of our Transportation Networks: Stakeholder Perspectives" provided America's leading retailers with an opportunity to discuss the key components of upcoming surface transportation reauthorization legislation. Kolb highlighted the current disruptions and port congestion on the entire western seaboard as a key concern for retailers that depend on stable operations within the supply chain.
"Access to efficient and reliable transportation systems is a vital component to the success of America's retailers," said Kolb. "Our freight arrives by using a combination of planes, trains, ships, and trucks. When a disturbance occurs in the system, it has a ripple effect on retailer's supply chain operations."
"A speedy resolution to the current negotiations effecting port operations on the west coast is critical, particularly for those retailers dependent on spring inventory demand."
Retailers are also pressing Congress to include a cohesive national freight policy in the next surface transportation authorization bill.
"Establishing a national freight policy is critical for the future of our economy and for maintaining global competitiveness," said Kolb. "Retailers need a national policy that helps facilitate the free flow of commerce and includes strategic investments in vital corridors and crucial connections in our system.
The full testimony can be read here: http://bit.ly/1BApupI
RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.