Fiscal Cliff deal is reached but supply chain challenges remain

With Congress waiting until past January 1 to hammer out a deal for the so-called Fiscal Cliff, there is at least one less problem to worry about for now anyhow.

By ·

I originally was going to use a headline along these lines for this column: “New Year but same old problems” or something to that effect.

But with Congress waiting until past January 1 to hammer out a deal for the so-called Fiscal Cliff, there is at least one less problem to worry about for now anyhow.

Financial constraints and limitations are not new by any stretch and are, of course, a fact of life in the supply chain. So to say that taxes are not going up in most cases as a result of Washington lawmakers, you know, actually passing something of significance should not be understated. Is this deal perfect, no? But as many pundits and politicians have stressed, no deal would have clearly been the worst deal of all.

From September on, the drumbeat for a Fiscal Cliff resolution got louder and louder. At various industry conferences carrier executives, shippers, Wall Street analysts, and lobbyists stressed that something needed to get done. While the ink is still drying on the legislation, how things play out from here remains to be seen.

I looked up a previous column discussing what might transpire should a deal not be reached, and that outlook was decidedly bleak.
One prevalent theme was that if nothing is done, then nothing good can come out of it for supply chains.
“We are not looking forward to the domino effect which would happen if this kicks in,” said National Industrial Transportation League President Bruce Carlton in November. “It is going to be disruptive. How do you plan for it? These types of cuts have the potential to negatively impact a lot of things.”
NITL leadership stressed that this directly related to supply chain and transportation stakeholders getting the services they need in order to continue doing what they do or U.S. commerce would be affected and the costs for operating businesses and supply chains would be hindered as will U.S. consumers subsequently.
Aside from the Fiscal Cliff being signed off on, one thing that is certain, however, is that our economy still has a long way to go before we can say the recovery has been successful—and really mean it when we say it.

We saw good but not great holiday season retail sales numbers, which felt the impact of Hurricane Sandy, and we are seeing strength in housing numbers, which could be a boon for sales and supply chains on multiple fronts, especially in the way of things like freight volumes, which have been flat or slightly up or down for more than a long time now.

Throw the regulatory roadmap, fluctuating energy prices, and other things like the emergence of e-commerce driven supply chains and modal shifting, among others, it makes you realize that 2013 looks to be shaping up as an interesting year for supply chain operations.

 


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Logistics · Supply Chain · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Six Ways Cloud ERP Supports Rapid Innovation
Kenandy is a new approach to ERP that lets you and your team focus on driving innovation, creating new product lines, and expanding your customer base even as you improve your business operations.
Download Today!
From the November 2016 Issue
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL) provider that could successfully combine transportation services and technology capabilities under one roof.
Warehouse & DC Operations Survey: Ready to confront complexity
2016 Quest for Quality Awards Dinner
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Best Practices: How to Efficiently Leverage APIs to Increase Your Net Income
Both legacy and modern technology leaders agree that leveraging API connectivity is critical in keeping up with the pace of a world that demands not only speed and agility, but also a deep level of visibility. During this session a panel of technology and industry experts discuss impact APIs can have on annual net income and market capitalization.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...
Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...

Motor Carrier Regulations Update: Caught in a Trap
The fed is hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits....
25th Annual Masters of Logistics
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and...