Congestion costs on U.S. highways rise 27% for trucking industry

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 121 views 

Operational costs of traffic congestion for the trucking industry rose 27% to $63.4 billion in 2015, from $49.6 billion in 2014, according to the American Transportation Research Institute.

On Tuesday (May 16), ATRI, a nonprofit research organization of the American Trucking Associations, completed a study on traffic congestion on the National Highway System after analyzing several information sources including truck GPS data.

In 2015, delays on U.S. highways resulted in “more than 996 million hours of lost productivity, which equates to 362,243 commercial truck drivers sitting idle for a working year,” according to ATRI. In 2014, the delay resulted in more than 728 million hours of lost productivity, equating to 264,500 commercial truck drivers sitting idle for a year.

ATRI broke down the study by the states and metropolitan areas most impacted by the delays and costs. The top 10 states experienced costs of more than $2 billion each. Florida and Texas led with more than $5 billion each. In Arkansas, the cost of congestion rose 27% to $729.87 million in 2015, from $572.39 million in 2014. Clark County, with 93 miles of U.S. highways, had the ninth largest per-mile congestion cost increase nationwide, rising $569,768 or 255% per mile of congestion. And, Arkadelphia, which is in Clark County, was the metropolitan area with the largest per-mile congestion increase, rising $627,994 or 255% per mile of congestion. Arkadelphia also had the second highest cost of congestion per mile at $887,749, ahead of areas like Miami ($859,593), San Francisco ($653,561) and New York ($630,003).

“Traffic congestion tended to be most severe in urban areas, with 88% of the congestion costs concentrated on only 17% of the network mileage and 91% of the total congestion costs occurring in metropolitan areas,” according to ATRI.

Congestion costs $22,676 per truck traveling more than 100,000 miles annually.