Donald Broughton, principal and managing partner of Broughton Capital, most notable for predicting in 2007 that an economic recession was just around the corner, has said at the Commercial Carrier Journal’s Solutions Summit in Arizona that the supply shortages holding back the trucking industry are the only thing between it and an economic boom.
A Broughton Future
“Pick up any newspaper and look at any headline,” Broughton said in his presentation. “Every single one is indeed growing pains if you look at them and devolve them. In 20 or 30 or 40 years, historians will call this period the great post-COVID boom, and we’re only in the first inning. The first pitch has just been thrown out.”
Broughton’s words seem to have some merit to them. Before the supply shortages started hitting the trucking industry, it was already making strides in recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.
Broughton also compared the post-COVID boom to booms after the Spanish Flu and World War II, though we would take that with a grain of salt since both of those killed a larger percentage of the population than COVID-19 has and probably ever will.
He also predicts that supply chains will become shorter in terms of the physical distance a product has to travel from raw goods into the hands of the final consumer. Considering how “they can’t get any longer”, as Broughton said himself, due to the sheer number of imported goods we get from China, this is a relatively safe bet. Should there be an onshoring revolution, the demand for trucks to ship more raw materials will increase tremendously.
A lot of Donald Broughton’s predictions make perfect sense, but some of them are reminiscent of a solar eclipse blotting out the sun. As nice as returning to American manufacturing would be, it would be reversing course from forty years of business practices.
As with all things in the realm of prediction, we will just have to wait and see what happens. Broughton was proven right about the Great Recession in less than two years, so it is fair to give him until the start of 2024 to see if his predictions come true.
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