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Infrastructure Stanislav Samoylik Dreamstime

Infrastructure: The big picture

April 8, 2021
Our entire infrastructure — highways, bridges, airports, railways, marine — is past due for a facelift in order to drive efficiency and become best in class.

There has been a great deal of talk about infrastructure lately. In fact, President Biden says he will be revealing his long-term economic plan which will include a major investment in infrastructure. It will be quite interesting to see what that includes.

In the trucking industry, when we mention infrastructure people tend to focus the discussion on roads and bridges. The reality is that the nation’s infrastructure is much bigger than that. A true discussion of infrastructure needs to include not only roads and bridges but also runways, railways, river and ocean transportation — the whole gamut of ways to move people and goods.

All of these areas need to be modernized. The U.S. is falling behind in its infrastructure development. Consider this: We currently have no high-speed passenger rail service whereas other developed countries have invested in it.

I contend that improving and modernizing the infrastructure will help solve a host of problems. You want to reduce emissions? Then you need to reduce congestion. The best way to reduce congestion is to eliminate bottlenecks and that is done by improving the infrastructure in those areas where the bottlenecks occur. If we want to consolidate freight then we need to move more of it via rail, but that means making improvements to the rail system.

Ask yourself, when was the last time we really focused significant attention — and therefore significant money — on upgrading the infrastructure across the nation? I can’t honestly remember a time in my lifetime.

Our entire infrastructure — highways, bridges, airports, railways, marine — is past due for a facelift in order to drive efficiency and become best in class.

From the trucking side, as we move into electric and autonomous trucks, the condition of the infrastructure becomes even more important.

The question, of course, is how do we pay for all of that. That is the subject for my next blog post.

Patrick Gaskins, senior vice president of Corcentric Fleet Solutions, oversees both sales and operations for Corcentric’s fleet offerings. Over the past 10 years, Gaskins has grown the fleet services area of Corcentric’s business by implementing a best-in-class asset management database and a data-driven approach to providing Corcentric clients with visibility into all areas of their fleet spend. He joined Corcentric in 2010, bringing over 30 years of experience as a financial services professional in the transportation industry. Gaskins leads a team of industry experts who work with a supply base of over 160 manufacturers to help the country’s largest fleets manage all aspects of their fleet operations and fleet related spend.

Gakins earned his BBA in Finance from the University of Miami, FL, and his CTP certification from the National Private Truck Council.

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