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Congestion equals 51,000 truck drivers idled for a year, ATRI finds

May 1, 2014
Lost productivity and other costs associated with drivers idled by congestion on interstate highways cost the trucking industry than $9.2 billion in 2013, according to a report released by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI).  Not surprisingly, congestion costs rose with truck mileage, ATRI found. A truck driven for 12,000 miles in 2013 saw an average congestion cost of $408, while a truck driven for 150,000 miles had an average cost of $5,094.

Lost productivity and other costs associated with drivers idled by congestion on interstate highways cost the trucking industry than $9.2 billion in 2013, according to a report released by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI).  Not surprisingly, congestion costs rose with truck mileage, ATRI found. A truck driven for 12,000 miles in 2013 saw an average congestion cost of $408, while a truck driven for 150,000 miles had an average cost of $5,094.

Using motor carrier financial data and billions of anonymous truck satellite data position reports, ATRI calculated congestion delays and costs on each mile of Interstate roadway.

Congestion delays totaled more than 141 million hours of lost productivity – equivalent to more than 51,000 truck drivers sitting idle for a working year, ATRI concluded.

California led all states with more than $1.7 billion in costs, followed by Texas with more than $1 billion.  The Los Angeles metropolitan area led metro areas at nearly $1.1 billion, edging out New York City at $984 million.  Congestion tended to be most severe in urban areas, with 89% of the congestion costs concentrated on only 12%.

"Congestion is an unfortunate byproduct of our just-in-time economy, and it’s a significant roadblock to our country’s productivity as well as its global competitiveness,” said Jack Holmes, President of UPS Freight. “ATRI’s analysis quantifies congestion in a way that clearly shows the urgent need for highway investment.”

Click here to request for a copy of the study results.

About the Author

Avery Vise | Contributing editor

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