Report on manufacturing competitiveness, positive impact
Representatives from industry, labor, government, and academia gathered at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center for the 2012 "U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative: Dialog on Next Generation Supply Networks and Logistics," sponsored by Georgia Tech and the Council on Competitiveness.
During the two-day event, representatives shared their perspectives on the current state of U.S. manufacturing, the challenges it faces in terms of global competition, and possible solutions to mitigate those obstacles, specifically in terms of supply networks and advanced logistics.
A joint Georgia Tech-Council on Competitiveness Report has been published that details the forum’s findings, and contributes to the Council’s National Manufacturing Strategy. According to the report, manufacturing in the U.S. is growing stronger; however, maintaining and strengthening America’s competitiveness in the global market will require a tremendous measure of planning, effort, and focused financial investment.
The report finds that manufacturing, which accounts for 12% of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), is supporting the slow economic recovery in the United States. By 2020, according to the report, growth in manufacturing will increase freight volumes by 19% and increased truck tonnage by 28%.
Manufacturing has experienced a rebound in the U.S. for a number of reasons including a declining quality in competing countries, increased cash flow, and manufacturing operations that are more streamlined and efficient thanks to advances in technology.
Challenges facing the manufacturing industry include inadequate infrastructure for the nation’s bridges and roads and ports. While the U.S. population has grown, the roads and rail networks haven’t. The lack of ports that can handle the larger ships is also a concern. Several ports aren’t deep enough to handle the ships looking to off-load their cargo onto the docks.
– Edited by Chris Vavra, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com