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Will immigration have an impact on the supply chain?

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
January 29, 2013

Supply chain professionals are always thinking of ways to be more effective and efficient. It is how they are wired, it seems. If there is a good idea out there that will help to slash costs and increase productivity, chances are they are working on finding and deploying it in one way or another.

But they are not always the ones coming up with good ideas either. In fact, just yesterday, eight members of the U.S. Congress, yes, Congress, came up with an idea that could be a real positive for the supply chain and logistics sectors.

That idea: comprehensive immigration legislation that could add roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants to the U.S. as citizens and as employees of companies, and as, perhaps, business owners, too.

Of course, this legislation is clearly in the early innings but at the same time it is nice to see some type of true, bipartisan effort being made all the same.

One way to look at how it could possibly be a boon for both supply chains and the U.S. economy is that more permanent residents could equate into more demand for all types of goods that the supply chain delivers.

If a decent percentage of these immigrants get citizenship, there is a decent possibility many of them would want their own chance at the American Dream, purchasing things like homes (and all of the things that come in them) and automobiles, among other items, too.

Of course, the economy remains very fragile overall despite some encouraging signs of late with housing starts, better employment numbers, and auto sales. And gaining 11 million new citizens does not automatically make things better, but who is to say it makes things worse either.

It stands to reason that retailers would welcome 11 million new customers looking to buy things to help them get settled in their new country. What’s more, with that could come a welcome ancillary impact on their supply chain operations.

At this point the legislation has not been formally introduced or even really official. But at least the concept is out there, which is something to build on at the very least. It is way too early to say what happens from here, but hopefully things are moving in the right direction, which could, again, mean good news for the economy and supply chains down the road.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
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. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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