Stuck in Traffic Costs


Traffic Costs

When we are stuck in traffic, it can be a frustrating thing in terms of things being lost. What is lost exactly? Well, it can be just about anything really, including things you would, should, or could be doing like doing something productive, spending time with your family, working, exercising or any number of other things.

As for the impact on freight transportation, specifically trucking, data published this week by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) puts the impact of being stuck in traffic, or more accurately, congestion into stark terms with a single data point: traffic congestion on the U.S. National Highway System added over $49.6 billion in operational costs to the trucking industry in 2014.

As for how ATRI came to this $49.6 billion figure, it said it utilized various data sources and a revised methodology that facilitated the expansion of its previous cost of congestion research from the Interstate System to the entire NHS (National Highway System) network.

And that leads to another stark data point: it resulted in a calculated delay totaling more than 728 million hours of lost productivity equaling to 264,500 commercial truck drivers sitting in idle for a working year.

Here is what was learned: “More than a dozen states experienced increased costs of over $1 billion each due to congestion, with Florida and Texas leading with over $4 billion each.  As expected, traffic congestion tended to be most severe in urban areas, with 88 percent of the congestion costs concentrated on only 18 percent of the network mileage, and 95 percent of the total congestion cost occurring in metropolitan areas.

The analysis also demonstrates the impact of congestion costs on a per-truck basis, with an average increased cost of $26,625 for trucks that travel 150,000 miles annually.

So, the next time you are stuck in traffic and see a truck next to you remember that you are not the only one suffering. We are all in this together, and, unfortunately, there is no immediate remedy on the horizon.