Tag Archive for 'construction'

The Socio-economic Importance of Road Construction

By Krysten Jetson

Airoport

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airport

Excellent infrastructure is the backbone and chief driver of socio-economic development, which every country strives to achieve. In the US during the 1950s and 1960s, massive and strategic investment was made to build world-class interstate highway systems and transportation infrastructure. All this contributed in making our country the undisputed world leader and an economic superpower. Investment in surface transportation helps to connect people, drive commerce and maintain global competitiveness. At the aggregate level, efficient transport systems reduce costs in many economic sectors by providing better accessibility to markets, increasing employment, bringing in foreign investment and improving global presence of countries. Transport carries an important social, economic and environmental load, which can never be over-stated.

The socio-economic significance of infrastructure development is extensive. Let’s have a look into the impact of infrastructure development on our lives.

Economic effects of transportation infrastructure

In the US, the Federal Highway Administration estimates that $170 billion in capital investment would be needed on an annual basis to significantly improve conditions and performance of our infrastructure. Once the envy of the world, America’s critical infrastructure, including its roads, bridges, mass transit systems and systems for delivering energy, may soon find it difficult to meet society’s needs. Let’s see how the transport infrastructure affects the economy.

1)    Mobility and economic effects. Economies that possess greater mobility are often those with better opportunities to develop, than those with scarce mobility. Reduced mobility impedes development while greater mobility is a catalyst for development. According to recent reports, forty-two percent of America’s major urban highways remain congested, costing the economy an estimated $101 billion in wasted time and fuel annually. Better roads and connectivity can translate into massive savings, both for the state as well as citizens. Transportation also weaves a complex web of relationships between consumer, manufacturer and distributor. The productivity of space, capital and labor is enhanced with the efficiency of distribution and personal mobility.

  • Less cost. A more efficient distribution and procurement network directly results in lesser prices for consumers. This is because transportation costs form a major chunk of the total cost of each output in manufacturing.
  • Wider reach to business. With better transport facilities there is access to a wider market or consumer base which leads to better economies of scale in production, distribution and consumption.
  • Better and diverse products. Good infrastructures give access to larger and diverse base of quality inputs, and broader markets for diverse outputs. This is good for the consumer as well as the manufacturer.
  • Increased competition. When transportation is efficient, there is a wider market for goods and services, resulting in increased competition. A wider array of goods and services to choose from, reduced cost and improved quality are some of the benefits passed on to the consumers. Also, this promotes innovation and technological advancement.

2)    Mobility and economic opportunities. Transportation development and improvement that took place since industrial revolution has shaped and transformed economies and social geography of nations.

  • Attractive to foreign investors. Excellent infrastructure has always made the US an attractive destination for global corporations to invest and do business in. Good connectivity lowers transport costs, and contributes to reliable and cost-efficient supply chain management. A poor transport service level can negatively affect the competitiveness of regions and corporations, and thus have a negative impact on the brand value of our country.
  • Attractive to new-age businesses. Transport infrastructure is always important, but their relative importance in supporting the changing demands of economy  may evolve. When an economy shifts from being manufacturing-based to service-based, there is more orientation towards efficiency of logistics and urban transportation. An infrastructure that grows and evolves to support the changing needs of the economy is attractive to both businesses as well as stakeholders like new-age employees and students.
  • Increased employment opportunities. A growing economy opens up new and expanding range of employment potential as well. New businesses and sunrise industries are voracious creators of job opportunities. The ‘feel good’ vibe that they bring into ageing, developed economies can be quite rejuvenating and energizing. Transport systems need to evolve in time and space as they include the timing and the nature of the impact of transport on economic development.

Social effects of transportation infrastructure

Roads and bridges change the face of landscapes. Increased connectivity brings societies closer to the outside world, and brings in influences from far and wide. The societal and cultural impacts are many.

  • Mobility benefits. Though societies on the whole reap benefits of growing and improved connectivity, some people enjoy it more than the others. Higher the income, the more the opportunity to benefit from infrastructure growth and economic opportunities. They also have increased ability to afford travel. Inclusive growth, by promoting connectivity in rural, under-developed and poorer regions can help all sections of society benefit.
  • Rising land value. With roads and highways linking vast areas of land with cities and towns, land prices also show a trickle-down effect from those in urban locations. There has been quite marked and sharp increase in land prices observed once infrastructure improves.
  • Improved quality of life. When transportation facilities increase, especially in far-flung and land-locked areas, prices of goods and services come down drastically. A wider array of products is available at reasonable prices. This helps to improve household finance and savings.
  • Congestion and accidents. A growing population and ageing infrastructure leads to overcrowding and congestion in urban areas. Serpentine traffic-jams lead to wastage of time, fuel and energy. Accidents also become common. Environmental pollution used to be a major issue, but with strict emission laws there is a continued effort to curb the menace.

Conclusion

Infrastructure determines the longevity and success of a nation. A good, upgraded and efficient transport infrastructure is essential for a strong and thriving economy. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, an investment of $3.6 trillion will be needed by 2020 for the repair, upgrade and development of infrastructure. But the available funds are nowhere near this gigantic figure. Experts say that while it is important to have more money because the needs are so great, there is also a need to cut spending on shiny new projects in places with insufficient demand. The authorities need to spend on maintaining and improving infrastructure in the places with some of the greatest need.

Author Bio:

Krysten Jetson is a freelance writer specializing in the construction industry. She loves sharing her expertise on various aspects of the construction industry, especially safety, such as fall protection, workers safety etc. She has many years of professional experience including working with clients to build their business and brand through internet marketing strategies.

Ditch Witch® Dealerships Awarded 2013 Crescent Club Top 10 Membership, the Company’s Highest Dealership Honor

CrescentClub2013-cThe Ditch Witch organization is proud to announce the 2013 Crescent Club Top 10 membership roster. This is the highest dealership honor.

“This award recognizes the top Ditch Witch dealerships’ teams dedicated to providing customers the application expertise, service, and products needed to help them be more productive with their time,” said Tiffany Sewell-Howard, Chief Executive Officer, The Charles Machine Works, Inc. manufacturer of Ditch Witch products. “We’re in this together with our customers and our Crescent Club Top 10 dealership members exemplify that commitment.”

The 2013 Crescent Club Top 10 members are:

-       Ditch Witch of Oklahoma & Arkansas (Edmond and Tulsa, Okla., Benton and Springdale, Ark.)

-       Ditch Witch of Minnesota, Inc. (Shakopee and Fergus Falls, Minn.)

-       Witch Equipment Company, Inc. (Fort Worth, Hewitt, Texas)

-       Ditch Witch Central California (Fowler, Newark, Corona and El Cajon, Calif.)

-       Ditch Witch Southwest (Lubbock and Odessa, Texas)

-       Ditch Witch of South Louisiana (Geismar, La.)

-       Ditch Witch of Virginia (Glen Allen and Chesapeake, Va.)

-       Ditch Witch Sales of Michigan (Howell and Grandville, Mich.)

-       Brandt Tractor Ltd. (Headquarters in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, and numerous other locations in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario provinces)

-       Ditch Witch of North Dakota (Mandan and West Fargo, N.D.)

 

ABC Reports: Construction Materials Prices Up 0.5 Percent in March

CEU2“Despite the increase in materials prices, this report does not signal a period of much higher inflation.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

PPI_4 11 14Construction materials prices expanded 0.5 percent in March and are up 1.1 percent from March of last year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s April 11 producer price index release. Nonresidential construction materials prices are up 0.4 percent for the month and are 1 percent higher than the same time one year ago.

“Despite the increase in materials prices, this report does not signal a period of much higher inflation,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “While it is true that there were significant increases in overall monthly inflation for both the broader economy and for construction, only a handful of categories were actually associated with a meaningful uptick in prices.”

Overall, the nation’s wholesale goods prices fell 0.1 percent in March but are up 1.7 percent year over year. Crude energy materials prices fell 6.8 percent in March but are still 13.6 percent higher than one year ago, and have expanded by 34.1 percent through the first three months of 2014.

“With respect to the broader economy, much of the inflation was related to food, which likely is a result of meteorological impacts,” said Basu. “With respect to construction, only three of 11 categories actually experienced increasing prices for the month. Given modest projections for both global and national economic growth, it is unlikely that significant inflationary pressures will be experienced during the month ahead with respect to most construction materials prices.”

The following materials prices increased in March.

Nonferrous wire and cable prices gained 0.1 percent in March but are down 2.7 percent from one year ago.

Concrete products prices expanded 0.3 percent in March and are up 3.9 percent from one year ago.

Prices for prepared asphalt, tar roofing, and siding expanded by 1.1 percent for the month and are up 0.1 percent from one year ago.

Eight of the 11 key construction inputs did not experience price increases for the month.

Iron and steel prices fell 1.7 percent in March but are up 1.3 percent from the same time last year.

Natural gas prices fell 10.9 percent in March but are 48.5 percent higher than one year ago.

Crude energy prices fell 6.8 percent in March but are 13.6 percent higher than one year ago.

Steel mill products prices shed 1.1 percent for the month but are 1.4 percent higher than one year ago.

Crude petroleum prices fell 6.4 percent in March but are up 3.9 percent from March 2013.

Prices for plumbing fixtures shed 0.8 percent for the month but are up 1.9 percent from the same time last year.

Fabricated structural metal product prices are down 0.2 percent for the month but have risen 0.5 percent from one year ago.

Softwood lumber prices fell 0.8 percent in March and are 2.1 percent lower than one year ago.

To view the previous PPI report, click HERE

ABC Reports: Jobs Report Meets Expectations In March

CEU2“The 6,700 nonresidential construction jobs added in March demonstrate the growth we expect in the second quarter of 2014.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

Employment_4 4The U.S. construction industry gained 19,000 jobs in March and the construction unemployment rate fell to 11.3 percent (non-seasonally adjusted), according to the April 4 employment report by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Nonresidential construction segments added 6,700 jobs in March, a marked improvement from the 2,800 jobs (revised) added in February. The improvement led the construction unemployment rate to fall from 12.8 percent in February 2014 and 14.7 percent in March 2013.

The residential sector continued to build momentum, adding 9,100 jobs for the month. Heavy and civil engineering added 3,200 jobs in March and has added 22,100 jobs in the past 12 months.

“The 6,700 nonresidential construction jobs added in March demonstrate the growth we expect in the second quarter of 2014,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “The colder than normal winter has been particularly cruel to the construction industry, and its departure should bring accelerated job growth.

“While it is promising to see the construction unemployment rate shed more than a full percent in March, it remains well above pre-recession levels,” said Basu. “As spring finally settles in, the construction unemployment rate should return to the levels experienced in the third and fourth quarters of 2013 (approximately 9 percent).”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ household survey, the national unemployment rate remained unchanged in March at 6.7 percent as the country added a total of 192,000 jobs. January and February’s jobs reports also were revised upward by a combined 37,000 jobs.

“Although the unemployment rate remained unchanged in March, the labor force (those either employed or seeking employment) increased by 1.5 million in the first quarter of 2014 after falling by 500,000 in 2013,” said Basu. “Gains to the labor force will, at least in the short term, apply upward pressure on the unemployment rate. That said, given the number of jobs created, upward revisions to prior months and expansion of the average workweek, today’s jobs report should not be viewed as disappointing.”

Nonresidential building construction employment grew by 2,200 jobs for the month and is up by 14,000 jobs (2.1 percent) since March 2013.

Residential building construction employment rose by 3,100 jobs in March and is up by 547,800 jobs (7.9 percent) since March 2013.

Nonresidential specialty trade contractors gained 4,500 jobs for the month and employment in that category is up by 12,700 jobs (0.6 percent) compared to the same time last year.

Residential specialty trade contractors gained 6,000 jobs in March and have added 55,200 jobs (3.6 percent) since March 2013.

The heavy and civil engineering construction segment gained 3,200 jobs in March and job totals are up by 22,100 (2.5 percent) compared to the same time last year.

To view the previous Employment report, click here

CONEXPO-CON/AGG continues momentum with 2017 dates, chair announced 
Richard Goldsbury of Bobcat/Doosan Infracore leads industry managing committee for 2017 exposition

The next CONEXPO-CON/AGG international exposition will be held March 7-11, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, USA.

Named CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 chair is Richard M. Goldsbury, President Bobcat/Doosan North America & Australia/Oceania for Doosan Infracore Construction Equipment, West Fargo, North Dakota. He will lead the triennial show’s management committee, a group of volunteer manufacturers and other industry stakeholders who oversee show planning to ensure the event meets industry needs.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG is the Western Hemisphere’s global gathering place in North America every three years for the construction and construction materials industry, co-located with the IFPE exposition for fluid power/power transmission/motion control. The recently held 2014 CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE saw record exhibit and education numbers and nearly 130,000 registered attendees, including 24-percent international.

“2017 will definitely build on the momentum of 2014, and we are already in analysis and planning mode just weeks after such a successful event. Our focus is to amplify our efforts to deliver an outstanding quality show experience for our visitors, plus expand our exhibitor engagement outreach that results in improved exhibitor ROI,”  stated Goldsbury.

Rich Goldsbury is President of Bobcat Company and the Doosan heavy equipment division in North America, Australia, New Zealand and other Oceania countries and territories, responsible for all operations in these regions. He returned to the Bobcat organization in 2008, serving as President, Bobcat Americas, and was promoted to his current position in July 2010.

Previously, Goldsbury served as President for global product and business strategy with the Security Technologies Sector of Ingersoll Rand. He had been part of the Security sector since 2006 and also served as President of Schlage Security Products. He has been part of the industrial and construction equipment industry for almost 30 years, with extensive global experience in general management, marketing, operations, finance, engineering, product portfolio management, aftermarket and mergers and acquisitions.

Goldsbury is a Director for the Greater Fargo/Moorhead Economic Development Corporation. His leadership involvement with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), a show owner and show producer, is extensive and includes currently serving on the AEM Board of Directors and as 2014 chair of its Government and Public Affairs Committee, and he has served as a director on the AEM CE Sector Board.

For the latest details on attending or exhibiting at CONEXPO-CON/AGG, go online to www.conexpoconagg.com