- Trucking congestion throughout the nation costs of $49.6 billion dollars, or 728 million hours, in lost productivity each year, the equivalent of 264,500 truck drivers sitting still for a full year, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) reported recently.
- To better help transportation planners address this issue, the ATRI compiled a list of the nation's top 100 bottlenecks based on GPS data from the Federal Highway Administration's Freight Performance Measure. The list reveals well over 60% of the nation's top bottlenecks are east of the Mississippi River.
- As a result of the initiative, some agencies have taken the lead in allocating resources to related infrastructure projects. The Chicago Circle Interchange, for example, was the nation's top bottleneck in 2012, but will be revamped by 2019 through a $500 million infrastructure project.
While bottlenecks may seem impossible to avoid when shipping to a major city, the list of the nation's top 100 bottlenecks (and changes therein) provides both an opportunity for stakeholders to visualize where the largest infrastructure needs exist and visualize the nation's growing freight network.
It is no coincidence the states with the most bottlenecks are also experiencing record low industrial vacancy rates due to the logistics boom. These regions, from North Texas to Atlanta to the Lehigh Valley, are quickly becoming logistics hubs as supply chains adjust to more regional warehousing to cut fulfillment times.
It should also not be surprising the major bottlenecks occur most often near major ports: Los Angeles, Oakland, the outskirts of New York and Houston alone account for well over 20% of the top 100. Furthering this theory, the inland ports along the Ohio River also appear to be heavily trafficked with three bottlenecks, and at least 8 bottlenecks exist along the Great Lakes.
Examining the top bottlenecks can help public transportation, logistics and supply chain managers alike visualize how supply chains are shifting over the years and better address businesses' infrastructure needs.