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US Fed: A fata morgana hiking cycle?


US Fed: A fata morgana hiking cycle?

In early January, the US Federal Reserve’s communications pointing to more hikes and an earlier balance sheet run-off, together with CPI reaching a yearly rate of 7% in December, have triggered a surge in long-term US yields. Over a short span of two weeks, US 10y Treasuries yields rose 24bp from 1.5% to 1.75% and temporarily reached 1.9% (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Evolution of US 10y Treasury yield (last 2 months).

In total return, this was the largest decline of 10Y US Treasuries over the last four decades. Only in February 1980, when Chairman Volcker raised the Fed Funds rate to 21% did long-term US Treasuries have a worst two-week performance, and this was against the background of much lower growth than today. For some, this is enough to (once again) claim the switch to a new regime, where “low for longer” is replaced by rising yields, driven by higher inflation uncertainty and growing interest rate risk. For us this view reflects mostly tactical noise rather than the underlying dynamics of recent yield movements. Over the recent days, US 10y Treasury yields have consolidated again at 1.74%.

Bonds markets seem have become more confident about the near-term US recovery rather than worry about incipient stagflation. The components of US nominal yields show that the recent increase was not caused by the risk component (term premium) but by a higher expected nominal short-term rate. The inflation expectations embedded in this rate remain stable, but the implied expectations for the real rate have risen (real short-term rate). The real short-term rate is closely linked to the economic outlook. In other words, the recent yield movement can be explained by increasing confidence among market participants that the upcoming Fed rate hikes (four hikes are currently priced in for this year) are appropriate and will not derail real growth. However, residual skepticism remains. The risk premium associated with the real short-term rate (real term premium) remains negative indicating limited potential for higher longer-term rates in a sustained growth cycle. Thus, we are not dealing with a risk surge, but with a re-rating of the growth scenario (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Decomposition of US 10y Treasury yield*


Don’t be fooled by real yields based on breakeven rates. From this growth story one could hastily derive a considerable upside potential for nominal yields especially in view of still clearly negative real yields (nominal yield – breakeven). But this is a flawed reading. The breakeven rate (derived from TIPS ) is not pure measure of inflation expectations and is subject to substantial market distortions. The US 10y breakeven rates – untypically – trade 50bp above their fair value due to a combination of lack of liquidity, high demand, and limited supply (Fed holding around 20% of the outstanding TIPS volume). Using the fair breakeven value (liquidity-adjusted) to calculate real yields, we see they are almost come back to pre-crisis levels (which is nearly the same as the sum of the real rate expectation and the real term premium in Figure 2 above). The US growth story is thus already priced in and provides very little upside for nominal yields (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Real yields back pre-crisis when adjusted for liquidity distortions*

However, changes in the duration of US Treasuries might provide some small upward pressure on the yield curve. Markets are also repricing the declining dampening stock effect of the Fed’s bond holdings on the US curve. With the upcoming quantitative tightening (QT), the share of duration-bearing securities in the private sector’s balance sheet is going to increase while short-term reserves are becoming scarcer. The additional duration supply translates into upwards pressure on yields. Currently, the QE-induced duration extraction is still dampening 10y US Treasuries by 130bp. With quantitative tightening we expect this effect to diminish by 20bps by the end of the year. However, a lower fiscal impulse than expected (e.g., if the Build-Back-Better framework does not pass) could also result in lower financing need by the US government and reduce the net supply of Treasuries, which could put downward pressure on yields and partly balance the effect from quantitative tightening.

The Fed might break the hiking cycle earlier than markets expect.  The US monetary stance has undeniably become more hawkish. Given the tightening labor market, the expanded balance sheet and political pressure to fight inflation the risk reward of not tightening has indeed become too high. Cautious tightening can avoid overshooting inflation becoming embedded in expectations. However, the Fed also knows that tightening will not fight supply-side constraint-driven inflation. From this side, the pressure is going to ease over the year as we expect the inflationary pressure to abate. Our inflation tracker is already pointing at peak in Q1 2022 (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Inflation in the U.S. may peak in Q1 2022*

Sources: Refinitiv, Allianz Research

*US Inflation Tracker: equally weighted and normalized composite measure comprising 15 sub-segments (underlying trends (modified/trimmed measures), forecasts, market-based inflation measures, expected inflation implied by term structure models, monetary aggregates, consumer and producer price components, labor market indicators, commodity prices, corporate margin & profitability, and proxies for price effect from supply chain disruptions). Official measures: equally weighted and normalized composite measure comprising headline and core inflation reported by national authorities.

The normalization of the liquidity premium in the TIPS market, which should bring down breakeven rates, should also help to reduce the risk of de-anchoring inflation expectations. Instead of CPI and FOMC minutes, the focus of fixed income investors should lie on economic activity and monetary and financial conditions (MFC).

Figure 5: US Financial Conditions and ISM Manufacturing Index
Our baseline is still a cycle with three rate hikes this year and eight in total. This remains a very moderate normalization path by historical standards. On average, nominal tightening in the hiking cycles of the last 50 years reached 3.9pp and real tightening 2.8pp. For the upcoming cycle, we see tightening at only 2.0pp in nominal terms and 2.1pp in real terms. But if the growth momentum slows down further (e.g. ISM falling below 50, persistently weak retail sales as in December etc.) and if we see a noticeable tightening of MFC, then the Fed could break the tightening cycle after only two or three hikes. From today’s standpoint, 3-4 hikes would then have to be priced out. The market would switch from bear-flattening to bull-steepening (Figure 5).

Financial markets signal a shortened cycle. 
The 2y10y steepness of the US curve is already very flat compared to earlier lift-off phases (75 bps vs an average of 120bps in the 2 months prior to lift-off). Looking at the swap forward curve, we can already see inversion patterns that previously only appeared in late phases of hiking cycles, usually 2 to 3 hikes before the peak (Figure 6). These signals are somewhat at odds with the aggressive pricing on the money market, where currently 6-7 hikes are priced for the next two years.
Figure 6: Forwards at inversion point even before the hiking cycle started

Equity market developments seem to confirm a shortened cycle. Over the last 50 years, 85% of the Fed rate hikes have taken place at a moment when the S&P 500 has experienced a 12-months drawdown of less than 10%. Today we are already at -8.3%. So, we are approaching an area where rate hikes are very rare (16% of all hikes). When they took place, it was mostly in the very late phase of the cycle (Figure 7). One can, of course, emphasize the uniqueness of this post-pandemic cycle and argue that the Fed should not care about equity markets. However, the past has shown that the suppression of risky asset volatility and preservation of the wealth effect feed into the reaction function. For us, behind the tactical noise signals are piling up that the biggest risk in the U.S. bond market might thus not come from the Fed falling behind the curve, but from many market participants positioning themselves too far ahead of the curve. Like the real economy went through a full cycle in less than 2 years, markets might go through monetary cycle without substantial hiking ever happening.

Figure 7: Fed rate hikes and S&P 500 12 Drawdown

Even in the long run US yields will remain subdued. It is difficult to imagine long-term rates reestablishing clearly above 3% on a sustained basis. We currently see the long-term (5 years ahead) nominal equilibrium interest rate in the U.S. at 2.6% of which 0.6% are attributable to the real neutral rate. This equilibrium rate could only shift substantially above 3% if we experience extreme monetary tightening or if massive government spending creates a permanent boost to potential GDP. For some, President Biden’s infrastructure plan could trigger such a GDP boost. However, to double the neutral rate relative to our baseline scenario, trend growth would have to reach around 3.5% (against currently 1.8%) without triggering a permanent surge in inflation. But the equilibrium rate could also reach 3% in a negative stagflation scenario.

Figure 8: US equilibrium rate scenarios for a 5-year horizon*

In that case, the driver would be permanently de-anchored inflation expectation (over 3%) while the neutral interest rate would decline as the growth potential is impaired. On a fundamental basis it is therefore hard to justify the regime shift narrative. It is much more likely that, behind all the current market noise, the low for longer regime will prevail (Figures 8 and 9)

Figure 9: Scenarios for US real neutral rate (r*) for a 5-year horizon


4 Major Trends Propelling the Growth of Automated Infrastructure Management Solutions Market by 2027

There has been a significant rise in the number of data centers globally over the past few years, driven by the increasing storage and computation requirements to serve applications based on machine learning and AI. This has strongly influenced the adoption of automated infrastructure management solutions and systems across data centers worldwide. The demand for these systems is being further stimulated by the rising penetration of connected consumer electronic devices which is opening new growth opportunities for the automated infrastructure management solutions market.

The market growth is also being accelerated by the growing proclivity towards renewable power generation. AIM solutions help in enhancing the grid efficiency, reliability, safety, and resilience for energy and utilities. They also aid in increasing decarbonization through cleaner electrification and real-time climate data management.

As per the recent report by Global Market Insights, Inc., the automated infrastructure management solutions market is projected to surpass USD 4 billion by 2027, considering the following trends:

New product launches by major companies

Various major companies active in AIM solutions industry are focusing on the development of innovative infrastructure management tools to effectively meet consumer demands and consolidate their position in the market. Quoting an instance, in 2021, RiT Tech, a leading provider of converged IT infrastructure management and connectivity solutions, launched automated infrastructure management tools, designed to bring real-time visibility, control, and monitoring of the entire network physical-layer components.

Burgeoning demand for device discovery solutions

Device discovery solutions find extensive application in various industries owing to their ability to manage the connected environments in real-time. These solutions help in the automatic correlation of performance in all infrastructure tiers for isolating the root cause of problems by detecting the exact device of concern. In addition, they also deliver information regarding the connected devices and their activities in IT infrastructure. Besides, they also help in storing and collecting information about cabling connectivity as well as its connection with other sources through Application Program Interfaces which is fueling the adoption of device discovery solutions further.

Heightened adoption in IT and telecom sector

Growing investments in 5G infrastructure with the shifting consumer preferences for next-generation technologies and smartphones is one of the major reasons driving the adoption of AIM solutions in IT and telecom sector. These solutions provide real-time insight into illegal IT activities along with the automatic recording of all modifications. This in turn helps in improving the asset utilization, reducing the troubleshooting time, offering faster service turn-up, and better network security. In addition, it offers a GIS service that facilitates visualization of locations, engineering architecture, and connections in the physical infrastructure levels as well as the service trail layers and the logical networks.

Expansion of data centers in North America

The continuous growth in the data center infrastructure in North America is largely contributing to the expansion of the regional AIM solutions industry. This can be ascribed to the factors such as increased usage of cloud computing, rise in IoT, and expansion of mobile broadband in the region. In addition, the shifting of numerous data centers and various companies from hardware to software-based services in the U.S. is driving the data center installations. Besides, the increasing penetration of automated connected devices is further impelling the adoption of data center management solutions, complementing the business expansion.

Briefly, the automated infrastructure management solutions industry is growing with the adoption of advanced technologies like AI, IoT, and machine learning, coupled with the expansion of data center infrastructure globally.

Source: Global Market Insights Inc.


jersey ports


The South Jersey Port Corporation closed out 2021 with an all-time record-breaking cargo volume of 4,636,097 tons, a 54% increase over 2020, breaking the previous record by 6%.
“That’s the best in the history of the South Jersey Ports and we’re expecting 2022 to be a very strong year that may top 2021,” reported Andy Saporito, Executive Director and CEO of South Jersey Port Corporation at the monthly meeting of the Board of Directors. “This milestone is a testament to the skilled workers and partners who keep goods moving through the supply chain while our team seeks solutions to improve efficiency, attract business and build for the future. The ongoing collaboration with SJPC’s labor force and industry partners lifted the port to this extraordinary record during the challenging time of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Saporito.
The dramatic increases in tonnage came from nearly all the SJPC’s prime cargo sectors: steel, plywood, recycled metals, cocoa beans, cement, and gypsum. The lone laggard, sand exports, is expected to increase as the national infrastructure plan is implemented. Rebounding steel imports led the way with 2,399,076 tons, a 141% increase over 2020. The majority of this increase occurred at the Paulsboro Marine Terminal which moved 1,760,018 tons of steel slabs. Plywood import tonnage increased by 98% totaling 220,812 tons demonstrating the Camden terminals as a premiere plywood portal on the East Coast. Cocoa beans totaled 76,108 tons, a 36% increase verses 2020 totals. Exports of recycled metals increased by 10% and cement increased by 8%.
The number of ship days was 960 days compared to 549 ship days in 2020, a 75% increase. “Ship days is the number of days a ship is loading or unloading at its terminal” explained Kevin Duffy, Assistant Executive Director / Chief Operating Officer. “We’ve worked hard to ensure we continue to operate safely and efficiently to move the increased cargo and have space to meet our customers’ needs”.
Brendan Dugan, Assistant Executive Director / Director of Business Development, expects the cargo activity at South Jersey Ports to remain strong for the foreseeable future due to the national infrastructure plan and New Jersey’s leadership role in the $109 billion offshore wind industry. EEW Group, which is building a $300 million manufacturing plant at the Paulsboro Marine Terminal to provide the massive steel monopiles for the offshore wind farms along the entire eastern seaboard, will ultimately require 150,000 tons of imported steel annually to meet their customers’ demand.  To build on this momentum, SJPC is conducting a study of the Port of Salem, which is a smaller port just down river from Paulsboro that could become an important supply port for the local offshore wind support services industry.
“The challenge is to build the infrastructure to grow the port while operating more efficiently to meet current demands,” said Dugan.  South Jersey Ports received a $6 million grant to upgrade the rail infrastructure at one of their Camden terminals and a $9 million grant for wharf infrastructure improvements at the Salem Terminal. “We identified an old building that we might refurbish to put another 40,000 square feet of storage space online and meet long-term customer demands.”
“We continue to focus on upgrading technology and automation to optimize the fluid movement of cargo through our terminals and to ensure our customers’ storage and inventory needs are met”, added COO Kevin Duffy.
The South Jersey Port Corporation was created in 1968 to operate marine shipping terminals in the South Jersey Port District, consisting of seven counties: Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland, Mercer, and Cape May. The South Jersey Ports is a national leader in bulk and breakbulk cargo, shipping and receiving to and from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. Their four international seaport facilities in South Jersey handle more than four million tons of bulk, breakbulk and containerized cargoes annually.

Why the U.S. Infrastructure Bill Can’t Just Be About Building New Roads & Bridges

As U.S. President Joe Biden recently signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law, many outdated state and local roads, bridges and transit systems will be improved, not only to keep up with consumer demand but also to provide increased safety in reducing crashes and fatalities.

This Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will (1) boost transit funding for communities all over the country by an average of 30% and will also help transit agencies reduce the current maintenance backlog by 15% and replace more than 500 aging subway, light rail, and commuter rail cars. It also aims to reduce traffic crashes impacting pedestrians and cyclists through a “Safe Streets and Roads for All” program.

Infrastructure Investments Must Go Beyond New Roads and Bridges

While this is the largest investment in American infrastructure in generations and marks an inflection point for American transportation, building and upgrading is simply not enough in the technological landscape we live in, where intelligent and autonomous transportation technology creates opportunities and has hopes of helping the U.S. achieve vision zero. It is one of the more revolutionary plans aimed at eliminating deaths and severe injuries due to road traffic as well as unsafe infrastructure.

Smart Infrastructure Must Play A Significant Role

Instead of just investing in traditional infrastructure or simply rebuilding highways and bridges, “smart infrastructure,” or the technology designed to enable safer, more connected and efficient roads need to be at the forefront of the future of the transportation ecosystem. From (2) improved traffic and pedestrian safety to less congested roadways and lower CO2 emissions, and eventually city-wide autonomous vehicles deployments, the future of transportation is rooted in smart infrastructure.

Several AI companies have created this focus on smart infrastructure, as platforms have been specifically developed, using real-time advanced analytics, to have “eyes” and “brains” on the road infrastructure. These platforms allow for greater visibility overall for all road users, making the transportation not only safer, but more comfortable and with even better performance. For example, they can monitor the trajectories and predict the intents for all vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians in the field of view of traffic sensors, creating a comprehensive understanding of road user behavior that helps identify and predict potential conflicts or collisions and in-turn dangerous spots on the roads. This will also result in less-congested roads. For an average U.S. citizen, congestion costs 99 hours of their time and US$1,377 each year (3). Smart infrastructure can prevent traffic backups by adjusting traffic signals when needed. Finally, the autonomous vehicle (AV) industry is realizing that smart infrastructure is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to accelerating the ability to deploy more AV routes in different cities and countries in a safe and scalable way.

Smart Infrastructure Already Beginning in Some Areas

The good news is that smart infrastructure has already been on the radar as well as an area of focus for many communities around the U.S. For example, the city of Fremont in California has teamed up with CT Group and Derq to deploy AI intersection analytics systems as a key component of a safe and smart corridor project along a nine-mile section of Fremont Boulevard (4). In Michigan, the DOT teamed up with Cavnue and other regional partners to develop a major connected and autonomous corridor between Detroit and Ann Arbor, starting with connected buses and expanding to additional types of CAVs (5). These points of emphasis serve as a baseline from which the new Infrastructure Bill can build upon. In fact, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has already prompted deployment of several transportation technologies in programs such as “the Vulnerable Road User Research” and “Congestion Relief Program” programs (6).

Innovative Technologies at the Heart of Smart Infrastructure

The new infrastructure bill offers signs of progress in leveraging advanced AI and data analytics to smart infrastructure buildouts. For example, the bill establishes the Safety Data Initiative where the DOT can conduct projects, award grant, and also use other strategies that leverage new data visualization, sharing, and analytic tools that Federal, State, and Local entities can use to enhance surface transportation safety.

In order to truly build an infrastructure transportation network that serves as a global model, investments in US smart infrastructure cannot just be pilot trial programs. This technology must be central to the development of a nationwide transportation network that paves the way for the future of intelligent and autonomous mobility. As much as it is exciting to see a new and improved U.S transportation infrastructure now in the works, it is significant to realize that none of these roads will be more efficient and provide the utmost safety standards without smart infrastructure leading the way. By utilizing AI startup companies’ tested and proven technologies, road users across the country will see more reliable transit service, drive on smarter roads, and walk feeling much safer on the streets, creating more ways for people to get to work, to play, to access healthcare, and to visit friends and family.


Dr. Georges Aoude is CEO and co-founder of Derq, an MIT-spinoff powering the future of connected and autonomous roads, making cities smarter and safer for all road users, and enabling the deployment of autonomous vehicles at scale. Derq provides cities and fleets with an award-winning and patented smart infrastructure Platform powered by AI that helps them tackle the most challenging road safety and traffic management problems. You can find the company on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter










Ports throughout the U.S. have extremely critical infrastructure needs, and port officials in numerous states are readying projects for launch. America’s ports are in desperate need of modernization, expansion, upgrades and repairs if they are to remain viable. Because of the economic contributions that ports provide to the U.S. economy, officials can no longer ignore or defer these essential projects.

If, or when, Congress passes the infrastructure bill, billions in federal funding will be available, but even that amount of new revenue will likely not cover costs for the most critical needs. Most states have allocated large amounts of funding, and public-private partnerships are being considered for some port initiatives. 

Regardless of the funding sources, it is evident that port modernization, which is long overdue, is finally beginning rather aggressively in America.


Every Texas port must undergo critical upgrading and modernization. Approximately $3.6 billion will be required for the state to cover the most immediate needs at its ports. A 2022-2023 Texas Port Mission Plan outlines numerous high-value projects that are priorities.

The Port of Corpus Christi Authority is seeking $155.5 million for three liquid bulk dock projects at the Avery Point Terminal. The docks, with an average age of 56, are suffering from severe degradation of key components and cannot adequately accommodate large Suezmax vessels arriving at the same time.

The Port of Beaumont is planning a $61.6 million dock facility that will be capable of loading and unloading supersized vessels. The project will feature a pedestrian walkway, access roads and pipeline connectivity.

The Port of Galveston needs to spend $60.7 million to repair damaged and decaying infrastructure that is unusable. The scope of this project will include dredging, constructing two fill-retaining structures, improving storm sewers, installing flexible pavement and replacing a deteriorated bulkhead.


The Port of Oakland’s updated five-year capital improvement plan (CIP) outlines projects estimated at $543.7 million. Approximately $92.2 million is allocated for airfield projects that the port maintains. Critical security upgrades are estimated at about $57.8 million and will include work on access control gates, baggage claim exits and installation of an integrated landside security camera system

Approximately $27.2 million is needed for marine terminal improvements and crane upgrades. This effort will include $10.2 million for wharf upgrades that are now required for ultra-large container vessels and $8.5 million for reconstruction of berths at the port. Other projects considered high priorities include a channel deepening project, substation replacements and the installation of electric truck charging stations.

Down south, the Port of Long Beach approved a Fiscal Year 2022 budget that includes $622.4 million for the Long Beach Harbor, with half of that amount dedicated to capital improvement projects. A project to construct a second fire station will support the port’s fireboat vessels and its landside fire assets. It carries a projected cost of $35.6 million. An additional $38.4 million will be spent on improvements to wharfs and another $870 million is earmarked for the expansion of a rail yard. 

In 2022, construction will begin on a track realignment project that carries a cost estimate of approximately $40 million.


The Port Authority of Allegheny County introduced a 2022 operating and capital budget that details $53.4 million in projects. Anticipated initiatives include rail and bus facility improvements and the installation of electric charging infrastructure. Other port divisions will receive $1.7 million for systemwide upgrades of security and fire alarm systems. The Port Authority also approved its first range transportation plan, NEXTransit, that outlines 18 planned projects that cumulatively carry a $3.7 billion price tag.

The Port Authority of Pittsburgh plans to begin work in 2022 on a new two-level deck that will increase the available parking by 360 spaces. The authority has received an $11.5 million federal grant for the project. The construction project will be comprehensive as it will require moving the lot’s main entrance to the north, widening Route 19 to add turning lanes, and construction of retaining walls, drainage improvements and new paving work.

Scheduled to be completed in May 2022, a $42 million, 201,621-square-foot distribution center is a critical step in the development of the Port of Philadelphia’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, the region’s main container terminal. PhilaPort Executive Director and CEO Jeff Theobald boasts that the food-grade warehouse, which is one mile from the marine terminal, will help attract new shippers and ocean lines and “generate hundreds of good, family-sustaining jobs.”

These are just a few examples of upcoming contracting opportunities at ports throughout the country. Major ports in America are all in dire need of attention, and officials in every state where ports are located are well aware of the economic engines of ports. Funding will be found, and ports will be modernized in the very near future. Private sector firms interested in partnering to keep America’s ports operating at peak capacity should be getting positioned now to compete for these very large partnering opportunities.


Mary Scott Nabers is president and CEO of Strategic Partnerships Inc., an Austin, Texas-based business development company specializing in government contracting and procurement consulting throughout the country. Inside the Infrastructure Revolution: A Roadmap for Building America, is her recently released handbook for contractors, investors and the public-at-large seeking to explore how public-private partnerships or joint ventures can help finance their infrastructure projects.



The global pandemic has reminded us all of how inter-connected the world is. As countries emerge from the global health crisis, and economies show steady signs of recovery, companies with global exposure are increasingly optimistic about opportunities outside their home markets, despite a number of headwinds. 

Expanding a business beyond one’s domestic market requires long-term planning, utilization of complex global supply chains, managing risk exposures and being nimble enough to flexibly respond to changing market conditions.

The results of J.P. Morgan’s 2021 Business Leaders Outlook (BLO) survey highlight how leaders are adjusting to this new environment—and finding opportunities to grow globally despite the current challenges. 

In the survey, most midsize U.S. businesses are optimistic, even as they plan for continued unpredictability. Having learned in 2020 how to manage well remotely and deal with disrupted supply chains, U.S. business leaders are staying the course; global expansion plans remain at the same levels from pre-pandemic years. Most forecasts continued steady sales growth outside their home market. This indicates the confidence they have gained from pivoting throughout the year, including accelerating technology adoption, increased digitization of core processes and managing global ventures with much less in-person travel.

Ultimately, the rollouts of COVID-19 vaccines continue to be a core component impacting the global growth outlook for businesses. In addition, geopolitical events, new trade and investment policies and continuously changing business regulations will continue to challenge business leaders seeking sustained profitable international growth. 

Why Expand Globally in This Climate?

With issues such as labor shortages, severe bottlenecks in global supply chains and evolving customer expectations, it can be discouraging to consider international expansion at this time. However, according to the survey, executives remain optimistic. Those surveyed cited access to new customers/markets (72%), better opportunities to serve domestic customers with global operations (37%) and access to suppliers/materials (34%) as key reasons for expansion.

The pandemic will not deglobalize the business landscape. Business leaders have tried-and-tested remote workforces, seen governments become more flexible with business applications, and they have been leveraging new approaches and technologies to keep their business moving forward. In short, they have experience under their belt, have a long-term vision and see opportunity in international expansion—and are not letting the pandemic stand in the way. After all, adapting is what business is all about—and recognizing that extraordinary environments demand tailored strategies based on an accurate reading of market opportunities.

The World Has Changed: 3 Key Strategies for Navigating International Expansion

Developing Strategic Partnerships & Understanding Trade Policy

Trade barriers and tariffs were cited as the top international business concern for globally-active middle market companies in the 2021 Business Leaders Outlook survey. Complying with local regulations and the intricate differences in policy between nations can be overwhelming and time intensive. Any little error may lead to wasted time or resources, complications and added expenses. Developing strategic partnerships with businesses, banks and vendors—those who already have the local intel—goes a long way in effective global expansion.

The many cultural nuances and varying consumer preferences by country also benefit from local expertise. Furthermore, the insight around local competition and market opportunities is more easily obtained through these kinds of partnerships, especially when acting quickly is critical to success.

Increasing global political changes in recent years that are challenging the status quo require extra diligence in this environment. Additionally, the economic reforms under way in many developing countries are impacting both the volume and direction of foreign investment. We especially see this in China, India, Southeast Asia, Latin America and parts of Europe. For businesses navigating expansion in countries experiencing political and economic reform, it’s important to consider the impact these governments will have on fiscal, monetary, regulatory and foreign policy—and how significantly or quickly this may affect foreign investment opportunities.

As a positive example for businesses in North America, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) brought timely improvements to trade relationships in today’s volatile landscape. The USMCA has the potential to offer more certainty and a stronger safety net for trade and investment by promoting fairer trade and robust economic growth.

Investing in Technology & Digitization

Trade finance is the nucleus of the day-to-day global economy. It supports every stage of the global supply chain and ensures that buyers receive their goods and that sellers receive their payments. Yet the world faces a massive and persistent trade finance gap. The World Trade Organization estimated between 80% to 90% of global trade relies on trade finance, yet there was a $1.5 trillion gap between the market demand and supply before the pandemic. That gap has only increased since 2020.

COVID-19 accelerated a transformative period for trade finance, primarily through digitization. The global challenge with trade finance centers around inflexible business models, paper-based and tedious processes, regulatory constraints and outdated legacy systems. 

Technology can help bring down operational costs while also increasing efficiencies, encouraging new revenue opportunities, optimizing resources, enhancing the recruiting process … the list goes on. Businesses are investing heavily in digital transformation, with cloud-enabled technology becoming the new standard of operation. This brings immense advantages, including the immediate ability to access data and machine learning (ML) with virtually unlimited computing power, in a split second. The value of AI and ML can clearly be seen across business functions including trading, risk management, marketing and operations. It enhances outcomes by streamlining processes and increasing overall efficiency. 

Additionally, blockchain—a highly secure, decentralized digital record of transactions—offers a multitude of international trade-related applications, bringing high security, automation and traceability to important finance functions. 

Streamlining Supply Chains 

More than ever, managing global supply chains has become a critical skill for companies expanding internationally. Surging demand with various bottlenecks has disrupted global goods transportation and logistics. Gaining visibility over cross-border supply chains, while meeting profitability goals and evolving needs of customers, is an ongoing obstacle for most business leaders. Streamlining the global supply chain and focusing on visibility can lead to increased efficiencies throughout the entire production/solution life cycle. It entails optimizing processes by improving the accuracy of demand forecasts and schedules, and improving production lines to reduce costs. This can help make businesses more agile and profitable. Secure data integration is also critical, so information can be shared across channels swiftly and seamlessly.

While concerns around tariffs and trade barriers again led the list of business leaders’ global concerns in the 2021 survey, managing global supply chains overtook currency risk for the second spot. Instead of focusing on the next crisis-scenario—whether it be a pandemic, natural disaster or cyberattack—business leaders must continue their focus on making global supply chains more resilient for future disruptions.

The Road Ahead: Global Outlook Optimistic for Well-Prepared Business Leaders 

The overall global business outlook is optimistic, with 66% of leaders in the 2021 survey expecting their international sales to increase in the next five years. U.S. midsized, multinational businesses know that sustained growth requires access to new customers in new markets. That won’t change. However, today’s increasingly complex landscape will require greater investments in digitized products and processes, more customized local solutions in widely different international markets, and leveraging the expertise of reliable partners to understand the nuances of operating in challenging foreign markets. At the top of the list is having effective market entry and supply chain strategies, supported by a strong understanding of trade and investment policy to help shape your global market expansion.


Morgan McGrath is head of International Banking at J.P. Morgan Commercial Banking, where he is responsible for the global relationship management of clients headquartered in the U.S. and overseas. Throughout his career, Mr. McGrath has worked with a wide range of companies, financial institutions and governments in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific.


Could Starlink Replace Fixed-Line Broadband for Business?

Starlink is Elon Musk’s satellite internet project enabled by his extremely successful SpaceX company. It’s a series of satellites, or ‘satellite constellation’ in the words of SpaceX, that will deliver global internet coverage when complete.

Which begs the question. Will Starlink replace fixed-line broadband for business?

What is Starlink?

Starlink has a laudable goal: to provide internet access to anyone, anywhere. 

The satellite constellation will provide internet connectivity across the globe accessible using a satellite dish. So, no matter where you are and what fixed-line speeds you have, you’ll soon have another option.

The project is part of SpaceX, Elon Musk’s commercial answer to NASA. The company is steadily launching satellites into space to build their constellation, with a lot of coverage already in orbit.

Broadband speeds

As speed is so important in broadband, how will Starlink compare to fixed-line connections?

According to the Starlink website, download speeds will be between ‘100 Mb/s and 200 Mb/s’ and upload speeds of ‘around 40Mb/s’.

Compare that to the global average of 56.09Mbps download and 23.56Mbps upload and you’ll see quite the speed advantage.

Broadband latency

One hurdle Starlink has to overcome is latency, or ping time. That’s the delay in transmission between your router and the destination. 

The more the delay, the longer you have to wait between clicking a button or taking an action and seeing it reflected on screen.

Traditionally, satellite broadband has struggled with latency due to the huge distances involved. 

The further internet traffic has to travel, the longer the latency. Light travels at a finite speed and while fast, there is an inevitable delay in sending traffic from your computer to the satellite, across the constellation to a ground station, to the website or app and back again.

Starlink promises ‘latency as low as 20ms in most locations’, which is a significant difference to traditional satellite broadband. 

It is able to achieve this by inserting satellites in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO), while most other satellite broadband orbits much further away. However, the downside of this approach is that you need more satellites to cover the same area, hence why Starlink has to use vast constellations of satellites.

Will Starlink link be the solution for rural businesses?

We would say Starlink could be ‘a’ solution for rural businesses rather than ‘the’ solution. 

Most countries carry out continuous improvements on broadband networks, but it takes time and money.

That time and money is understandably spent in towns and cities first where providers can immediately begin recouping their investment. Rural areas usually come later, much later.

Starlink removes some of that delay.

Rural businesses are important to an economy but provide meager returns on investment. That’s something Starlink could genuinely change.

Around 2% of the UK’s rural businesses have less than 10Mbps broadband with no signs of a change anytime soon.

Starlink offers 10 times that and will be ready soon.

How does the UK compare to other countries for fibre coverage?

The UK currently has 24% full fibre coverage but falls behind many other countries.

Portugal has 77% full fibre coverage and Spain has pledged to reach 100% of ultrafast broadband by 2025. The US currently sits at 43% coverage while Germany sits at around 11% full fibre coverage.

What fixed-line connections are out there for rural businesses?

Fixed-line broadband options are few and far between. Depending on where in the world you live. You can compare fibre broadband deals with Broadband Genie but if none are available, you do have the option of a private leased line, community fibre project, community WiFi project or local fibre cooperative.

Private leased lines are very fast but very expensive. Community projects are not very common and fibre cooperatives or local fibre networks are even less common.

This is an area where Starlink could fulfill a genuine need.

How do the costs compare?

Alongside speed, cost is a primary consideration for any broadband customer. So how do fixed-line and Starlink compare?

Setup costs

Many fixed-line residential and business broadband contracts don’t have setup costs. Any costs incurred by the provider are built into the monthly fee to make them more palatable.

Business options such as leased lines can have setup costs but these are being phased out for the same reasons. 

Starlink doesn’t advertise its setup or running costs but if you pre-order, you’ll see the figure of $600 (£439/€522) used a lot. That will include the satellite dish, WiFi router, cabling and base. That’s a pretty substantial amount compared to the minimal expense required for some other types of broadband.

Monthly costs

The monthly fee is the headline fee we all see when shopping around for broadband deals. 

Monthly costs for fixed-line business broadband vary a lot. It could be as little as £20 (€23/$26) for 50Mbps (UK prices) and go much higher.

A leased line costs from £195 per month (BTnet Express) which is $262 or €232.

Starlink is currently not advertising monthly costs but the pre-order page says that it will cost around £89/€105/$119 per month. 

Whether that fee will include data caps or not remains to be seen. We imagine it will, at least to begin with.

Those prices are not confirmed and may be cheaper in developing countries. It’s difficult to know for sure until the company formally announces pricing.

Is there a way I can reduce the cost of a leased line?

Leased lines are an expensive option for businesses but often the only way to access faster speeds. While many providers are phasing out installation costs, that monthly fee can be significant.

You can reduce the cost of a leased line by sharing it with other businesses. For example, if you work in a building with others, you could have a single leased line shared between you.

This would provide the speed you’re looking for while dividing the cost between however many companies share it.

Can I get Starlink broadband for my business?

Starlink isn’t available everywhere just yet so you may not be able to get it for your business.

The rollout is said to begin soon, with a limited rollout during Q4 2021 in the US. This is a limited rollout open to around 100,000 customers.

Uptake has been so good that there is currently a waiting list of over 500,000 people. This has led Starlink to delay open signups until mid-2022 or 2023. 

A quick check on the pre-order page for the UK gives a date of ‘mid-2022’.

Coverage and availability

Coverage is expanding every time SpaceX launches more satellites but it’s spotty right now. 

Rollout has been delayed somewhat by the ongoing global semiconductor shortages but the company says it is going as fast as it can.

Putting random addresses into the pre-order page gives those 2022 or 2023 dates while others, mainly in the US, gives a different message ‘Starlink is currently at capacity in your area, so your order may not be fulfilled until 2023 or later.’

Your best bet is to put your own address into the ‘Service Address’ box at the top of the Starlink website to see when it will be available in your area.

Starlink and fixed-line business broadband

There is no doubt that Starlink will definitely be a viable alternative to fixed line or mobile broadband, but not yet.

A combination of the huge scope of the project, semiconductor shortages and massive demand means you’re probably going to have to wait a while.

But, if you’re in a rural area or a slow broadband area, you’re probably well used to waiting for things, right?

renewable energy

States That Produce the Most Renewable Energy

Since President Joe Biden and a new Congress took office earlier this year, federal policymakers have been working to speed up the U.S. transition to clean and renewable energy sources. One of Biden’s first actions in office was to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, the 2016 agreement in which countries pledged to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions. The Biden Administration followed this up with aggressive carbon reduction targets and the American Jobs Plan proposal, which includes provisions to modernize the power grid, incentivize clean energy generation, and create more jobs in the energy sector. Much of Biden’s agenda builds on prior proposals like the Green New Deal, which would achieve emissions reductions and create jobs through investments in clean energy production and energy-efficient infrastructure upgrades.


The transition to renewables has taken on greater urgency in recent years with the worsening effects of climate change. Carbon emissions from non-renewable sources like coal, oil, and natural gas are one of the primary factors contributing to the warming of the atmosphere, and climate experts project that to limit warming, renewable energy must supply 70 to 85% of electricity by midcentury.

Renewable energy still represents less than a quarter of total annual electricity generation in the U.S., but the good news is that renewable energy has been responsible for a steadily increasing share of electricity generation over the past decade. Most of the upward trajectory comes from exponential growth in the production of solar and wind power. In 1990, solar power generated only 367,087 megawatt-hours of electricity, while wind power was responsible for 2,788,600 megawatt-hours. Since then, technological improvements and public investment in wind and solar helped lower costs and make them viable competitors to non-renewable sources. By 2020, solar production had reached 89,198,715 megawatt-hours, while wind produced 337,938,049 megawatt-hours of electricity.

But this evolution is uneven across the U.S., a product of differences in states’ economies, public policy toward renewables, and perhaps most importantly, geographic features. Even among states that lead in renewable energy production, these factors contribute to different mixes of renewable sources. For instance, Texas—the nation’s top producer of renewable energy—generates most of its renewable electricity from wind turbines. Runner-up Washington and fourth-place Oregon take advantage of large rivers in the Pacific Northwest to generate more hydroelectric power than any other state. And California, which is third in total renewable production, has been a long-time leader in solar energy thanks in part to an abundance of direct sunlight.

Meanwhile, states that lag behind in renewable generation include several states without the size or geographic features to scale up production, like Delaware, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, along with states whose economies are more traditionally dependent on fossil fuels, like Mississippi and Alaska.

To determine the states producing the most renewable energy, researchers at used data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration to calculate the percentage of total electricity generated from renewable sources. Renewable energy sources include wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and hydroelectric. In the event of a tie, the state with the greater five-year growth in renewable electricity production, between 2015 and 2020, was ranked higher.

Here are the states that produce the most renewable energy.

Percentage of electricity generated from renewables
5-year change in renewable electricity production
Total electricity generated from renewables (MWh)
Largest renewable energy source
Vermont    1     99.9% +9.0% 2,155,177 Hydroelectric Conventional
South Dakota    2     80.5% +55.0% 11,388,457 Hydroelectric Conventional
Maine    3     76.7% -1.7% 7,674,956 Hydroelectric Conventional
Idaho    4     76.1% +15.0% 13,456,149 Hydroelectric Conventional
Washington    5     75.0% +5.6% 87,109,288 Hydroelectric Conventional
Oregon    6     67.5% +9.5% 42,928,468 Hydroelectric Conventional
Iowa    7     59.4% +85.6% 35,437,099 Wind
Montana    8     59.4% +16.8% 13,872,119 Hydroelectric Conventional
Kansas    9     44.2% +117.6% 24,117,519 Wind
California    10     42.6% +38.9% 82,239,832 Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic
Oklahoma    11     39.7% +91.9% 32,687,539 Wind
North Dakota    12     38.1% +87.0% 16,084,768 Wind
Colorado    13     30.9% +77.4% 16,724,964 Wind
Alaska    14     30.8% +8.3% 1,931,545 Hydroelectric Conventional
Nebraska    15     28.9% +115.7% 10,648,740 Wind
United States    –     19.5% +43.9% 783,003,365 Wind


For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on’s website:


5 Major Trends Transforming mPOS Terminals Market Outlook Over 2021-2027

Growing penetration of smartphones in conjunction with increased consumer proclivity towards UPI payment methods has led to the transformation of the payment landscape. The increasing card transactions across the globe are driving the adoption of mPOS payment solutions across various sectors including, hospitality, retail, healthcare, entertainment, etc. In March 2021, over 1.5 billion debit card transactions were recorded in the UK which represents an increase of 21.4% as compared to February 2021. A notable rise in the usage of card payments is expected to give a major impetus to mPOS terminals market over the upcoming years. The market size is projected to surpass USD 70 billion by 2027, cited the latest report by Global Market Insights Inc.

The industry growth is being further stimulated by the pivotal trends mentioned below:

Development of innovative solutions by market players

Various major players operating in the industry are inclined on developing advanced solutions that can suit the customer requirements and offer an enhanced experience. For instance, in 2021, Mastercard partnered with Global Payments Inc. and NMI to roll out the pilot of its first live Cloud Tap on Phone with Computer Engineering Group. This product is apparently Mastercard’s next-generation acceptance product, where the software is hosted on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.

Increasing consumer preference for cloud-based mPOS

Cloud-based mPOS terminals are observing mounting demand especially among small stores and restaurants owing to their low cost of installation and maintenance. These terminals require an efficient internet connection for carrying out payment transactions which reduce the need for costly infrastructure. The cost-effectiveness and space constraints encourage small merchants to deploy cloud-based mPOS systems.

Growing popularity of contactless payments

The massive popularity of contactless payment transactions due to the expansion of e-commerce sector and the emerging trend of card-on-delivery has accelerated the deployment of mPOS terminals. Consumers are now preferring contactless payment methods owing to more convenience and safety while performing transactions. Besides, the COVID-19 pandemic has also expedited the trend of contactless payments globally. For instance, effective from May 2020, the France government increased the limit on contactless payment from USD 35 to USD 59, on the recommendation of the European Banking Authority (EBA).

Increasing adoption in restaurants

Restaurants are increasingly adopting the mPOS terminals as they intend to enhance the customers’ dining experience. A large number of cafes, restaurants, bars and pantries are now investing in innovative POS devices to facilitate faster transactions during peak hours. For instance, in 2020, Shift4 Payments launched a contactless QR code ordering solution for restaurants. According to the company, this system provides restaurants with a customized QR code that can be displayed on placemats, table tents, etc. The customers can scan the code using their phone to access the menu and place an order. The order is then sent directly to the restaurant’s POS system.

Burgeoning demand in the hospitality sector of North America

mPOS terminals industry is witnessing significant growth in North America owing to the increasing adoption of POS terminals in the regional hospitality sector. The thriving travel & tourism industry has impelled the construction of various luxury hotels and resorts in the region. Citing an instance, in 2021, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc. announced the launch of a luxury hotel brand amid the recovery of the luxury sector from the pandemic. Several independent casinos, hotels, and resorts owners use mPOS solutions for providing the guests with a seamless experience and convenience while paying bills.

The industry will grow exponentially over the ensuing years as people around the world are showing great interest in more innovative and convenient ways of payments. This is indeed prompting numerous industrial sectors to invest in innovative POS solutions to meet customer demand. Increasing penetration of the internet and smartphones will further strengthen the mobile POS terminals industry landscape.



Thankfully, with COVID-19 vaccination programs in full swing, it appears that we are emerging out of the worst of the pandemic which has blighted the lives of so many people and caused so much devastation to businesses across all industries. 

Major parts of the U.S. economy, quite literally, were brought to a standstill with enforced closures and restrictions on the movement of people.

However, despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, goods were still shifted in enormous volume during the course of 2020, the value of such activity in the U.S. and Canada estimated to have surpassed $6.8 billion. 

This figure should steadily rise given how increasingly dependent intermodal transport activity is on the consumer economy’s demand. It is also supported by well-developed hubs across all states that help to facilitate the movement of goods as seamlessly as possible. 

Here, we take a look at just some of the U.S. states with the most favorable logistics infrastructure. 


The midwestern state is extremely well served by an array of transport hubs, the most significant being situated in and around its primary city of Chicago. 

Staggeringly, around a quarter of all rail freight calls into the city either as a final destination or stop on a journey to another terminus. Meanwhile, O’Hare International Airport processes around 2 million metric tons of cargo at a value of approximately $200 billion every year.

The state is also indebted to what is North America’s largest inland port in the form of CenterPoint Intermodal Center. Situated in the Joilet and Elwood area, around 40 miles southwest of Chicago, it is a 6,400-acre master-planned intermodal development that sees 3 million TEUs pass through it every year. It is currently home to more than 30 tenant companies that, between them, occupy more than 14 million square feet of space.

CenterPoint Intermodal Center is also built with heavyweight roads able to withstand massive pressure and contains several other useful features such as water and utility systems, public bus service connections, no restrictions on trailer parking ratios and 24/7 on-site fire and police protection.  

The site contains a massive 785-acre Union Pacific Railroad complex just south of Joliet, while another enormous rail complex measuring 770 acres that is operated by BNSF lies farther to the southwest.

When all of this is taken into consideration, CenterPoint can rightly be referred to as Illinois’ intermodal epicenter.  

The state is also making waves in the port scene, with officials recently announcing a $110 million fund to modernize public ports across the territory. Illinois is home to a network of waterways that includes 19 public port districts and more than 400 private terminals along the Illinois, Kaskaskia, Ohio and Mississippi rivers.


The Lone Star State is also no stranger to port-based trade. 

Texas has no fewer than 11 deep-draft ports, eight shallow-draft ports and two recreational ports that combine to make a critical contribution to the economic growth of the state, and represent key components of the region’s transportation system. 

The southern state’s ports are backed up by some of the country’s largest interstate highways and an enormous network of railroads. 

According to figures released by the Association of American Railroads, Texas received 208.1 million tons of rail freight in 2019, the most of any state. To put that in context, Illinois, the second-ranked state, received 107.4 million terminated rail tons. Texas also, unsurprisingly, has by far the largest network of rail infrastructure in terms of outright length, measuring at 10,460 miles compared to second-placed Illinois, which has 6,883 miles of track.   

Over in Dallas, a fairly recent addition to the city’s intermodal transport infrastructure (opening in 2015) is the Wylie Intermodal Terminal. It is a $64 million development owned by Kansas City Southern Railway (KCS), and is set to capitalize on significant opportunities in cross-border activity with Mexico. 

Wylie itself is a city and northeastern suburb of Dallas, with the KCS terminal sprawling across 500 acres of land and servicing 12 gulf ports and one Pacific Ocean port, as well as more than 140 transload centers and 11 intermodal ramps. KCS also provides 181 interchange points with other railroads, including all U.S. and Mexico Class 1 railroads.


In a typical year, one without the disruptions caused by the pandemic, U.S. freight railroads move around 1.7 billion tons across nearly 140,000 miles of privately-owned infrastructure that run through 49 states.

Michigan is home to 28 such railroads and ranks 14th in terms of total rail miles, with 3,465 miles of track at its disposal. In 2019, it received 31.4 million tons of rail-based cargo and sent 21.2 million tons on its way to other parts of the country or abroad. 

The Detroit region offers extensive logistics options for businesses, including world-leading warehousing and what is often cited as the nation’s best undergraduate and graduate supply chain and logistics university courses.

Furthermore, the region’s strategic location on the Canadian border grants prime access to the wider U.S. and Canadian markets, with more than 47 million people within just a five-hour drive.

Detroit also contains more than 2,000 miles of interstates and highways, four Class 1 railroads, seven cargo ports and 15 airports. In total, the region moves $44 billion of goods evert year. 

According to the Michigan Freight Plan devised in 2017, the state has “an extensive transportation infrastructure system that supports more than $862 billion in economic activity on an annual basis, from ports to rail and highways to runways.”


Over on the West Coast, California boasts some of the most comprehensive logistics infrastructure in the country, especially when it comes to ports and railroads. 

Indeed, California is the third most popular destination for rail freight in the United States, receiving 94.9 million tons in 2019 – the state is also fifth in terms of total tail miles, with 4,971 miles of track spanning over two Class 1 railroads and 26 short-line railroads.  

Los Angeles is home to the West Coast’s busiest seafaring trade hub thanks to the adjoining ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. In total, California has one private and 11 public deep seaports and numerous private port and terminal facilities. These handle more than 40% of the total containerized cargo entering the U.S., and almost a third of the nation’s exports. 

Such formidable infrastructure is even further bolstered by 5,800 commercial miles of high traffic volume interstate and state highways, and 12 airports with major cargo facilities. 

All of this combines to present California as one of America’s most extensive, complex and interconnected freight hubs, a system which, according to the Californian government, employs 5 million people. 


In the Pacific Northwest, Washington boasts an extraordinary number of ports–some 75 that are found in 33 of the region’s 39 counties. These are supported by 465 miles of navigable waterways for barge traffic on the Columbia and Snake rivers.   

For companies needing logistics infrastructure for accessing the Pacific sea lanes, Washington represents the prudent choice, with many of the 75 ports a day’s sail closer to Asian markets than any others on the West Coast. 

Washington also has the second-largest concentration of distribution centers on the Left Coast, well supplied by 30 railroads (including the Union Pacific and BNSF) which, between them, account for 2,891 miles of track. This allows the state to rank seventh in the U.S. in terms of rail cargo received (65.8 million tons a year). 

Washington’s roads network is also well developed, with 7,000 miles of state highways and more than 39,000 miles of country roads that help reach the most remote parts of the region. In terms of air transportation, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is the state’s largest international airport and the ninth busiest in the country.

Much of this infrastructure has been subject to improvements and expansions as part of the $70 billion Connecting Washington program, a bill voted for in 2015 that supports several major projects on the state’s roads, railways, ferry terminals and more.


The Keystone State boasts of 61 railroads in operation, the most of any state in the country. These transport around 150 million tons of freight in and out of the region annually. 

The railroads feed a host of other important logistics infrastructure hubs, which include international airports at Erie, Harrisburg, the Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Along with nine other scheduled-service, domestic passenger airports, they move 560,000 tons of material every year. 

Pennsylvania’s three major ports are also extremely successful, exploiting their strategic position between the northeast and Mid-Atlantic and providing deep water, inland and Great Lakes access for convenient international importing and exporting. Indeed, the state’s foreign trade zone program has levelled the playing field and boosts U.S. competitiveness by reducing operational costs for businesses. 

Joining all the logistical dots are more than 120,000 miles of state and local highways which, along with airports and railroads, are part of the Act 89 transportation plan–a commitment to improve numerous transit passages and hubs to the tune of more than $60 billion. 


Our final stop is landlocked Wyoming, nestled in the Mountain West subregion of the western United States.

Despite being home to just six railroads spanning 1,877 miles, it tops the charts on originated rail tons by a long way. In 2019, 273.2 million tons of goods were sent from the state, more than double that of Illinois in second (125.9 tons). 

Wyoming’s location means it relies heavily on road transportation to move goods from points A to B and onwards to other parts of the country. Here, it is well catered for, with Wyoming motorists collectively traveling 10.2 billion miles annually and moving a large proportion of the $66 billion of commodities shipped to and from the state each year. 

The design, construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure supports around 13,000 full-time jobs across all sectors of the economy, including tourism, retail, agriculture and manufacturing. 

Wyoming’s airports also play an important supporting role. There are nine in total, the most significant being Jackson Hole Airport, located in the spectacular Grand Teton National Park.