US Truck Congestion Costs Billions Annually

Opportunities in Intermodal May Ease Conditions

The American Transportation Research Institute’s (ATRI) 2019 Top 100 Truck Bottlenecks brochure sheds light on the state of American truck congestion on the nation’s highways, and worsening congestion across the country.

The Situation:

Riding on the back of record freight volumes, 2018 saw year-over-year truck speeds at the top 10 locations measured by ATRI decrease by nearly 9%. According to the report, growing congestion on America’s roads take a serious toll on the economy – losing 1.2 billion hours of productivity in the trucking industry each year, which is equivalent to 425,333 drivers sitting idle annually, costs a total of roughly 74.5B USD, and that number could potentially rise as overall speeds through the bottlenecks fall. Texas topped the bottleneck list with a total of 13 of the top 100 sitting within its borders, with California and Connecticut behind at 7 and 6, respectively. The most congested trucking bottleneck in America, one of only three named to the infamous title since ATRI’s bottleneck mapping project began in 2011, was the passage to the George Washington Bridge on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River in Fort Lee, NJ, at the intersection of I-95 and SR 4. “The fact of the matter is truck congestion is a nationwide phenomenon, not just at these points,” said Odyssey’s Glenn Riggs, senior vice president, corporate strategy and business development. “Carriers will bear the brunt of the costs derived from the congestion, and shippers will likely see rate increases on their end as a result.”

The Solution:

Apart from U.S. investment in a nationwide infrastructure overhaul, utilizing intermodal transportation as a supplement to OTR shipments can help with easing some of the extraneous costs incurred as a result of highway congestion. Environmentally conscious, readily available and cost-competitive, intermodal serves as a viable supplementing agent for the transporting of any type of freight. “Moving longer-haul loads typically destined for OTR transport via the rails takes trucks off the roads, and helps ease some congestion,” said Odyssey’s Mark Casiano, senior vice president,  sales and marketing. “It won’t solve the problem, but it can help shippers handle some of the costs that carriers may have to pass on.”

Odyssey is an expert in intermodal transportation, providing end-to-end, integrated logistics services for the transfer of any commodity over any mode. Our intermodal specialists are ready to provide you with industry leading service for your business.

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