Action Needed to Reduce Traffic Congestion’s Impact on Drivers, Businesses and Local Economies

America’s traffic congestion recession is over. Just as the U.S. economy has regained nearly all of the 9 million jobs lost during the downturn, a new report

produced by INRIX and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) shows that traffic congestion has returned to pre-recession levels.

According to the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard, travel delays due to traffic congestion caused drivers to waste more than 3 billion gallons of fuel and kept travelers stuck in their cars for nearly 7 billion extra hours – 42 hours per rush-hour commuter. The total nationwide price tag: $160 billion, or $960 per commuter.

Washington, D.C. tops the list of gridlock-plagued cities, with 82 hours of delay per commuter, followed by Los Angeles (80 hours), San Francisco (78 hours), New York (74 hours), and San Jose (67 hours).

The problem has become so bad in major urban areas that drivers have to plan more than twice as much travel time as they would need to arrive on time in light traffic just to account for the effects of irregular delays such as bad weather, collisions, and construction zones. For example, drivers on America’s Top 10 worst roads waste on average 84 hours or 3.5 days a year on average in gridlock – twice the national average. Of these roads, six are in Los Angeles, two are in New York and the remaining two are in Chicago. Nine other cities have roads ranked among the 50 worst.

Scorecard findings also illustrate how traffic congestion isn’t just a big-city issue. Cities of all sizes are experiencing the challenges seen before the start of the recession – increased traffic congestion resulting from growing urban populations and lower fuel prices are outpacing the nation’s ability to build infrastructure. Of America’s Top 10 Worst Traffic cities, 7 of them experienced population growth outpacing the national average of 0.7 percent last year, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Houston and Riverside, CA. Additionally, some of the worst traffic cities also experienced some of the largest decreases in fuel prices (-4.1 percent nationally) including Riverside, Houston, Los Angeles, San Jose, Boston and Chicago. The result, the average travel delay per commuter nationwide is more than twice what it was in 1982. For cities of less than 500,000 people, the problem is four times worse than in 1982.

“Our growing traffic problem is too massive for any one entity to handle – state and local agencies can’t do it alone,” says Tim Lomax, a report co-author and Regents Fellow at TTI. “Businesses can give their employees more flexibility in where, when and how they work, individual workers can adjust their commuting patterns, and we can have better thinking when it comes to long-term land use planning. This problem calls for a classic ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach.”

Recent data from the U.S. Department of Transportation shows that Americans have driven more than 3 trillion miles in the last 12 months. That’s a new record, surpassing the 2007 peak just before the global financial crisis. Report authors say the U.S. needs more roadway and transit investment to meet the demands of population growth and economic expansion, but added capacity alone can’t solve congestion problems. Solutions must involve a mix of strategies, combining new construction, better operations, and more transportation options as well as flexible work schedules.

“Connectedness, big data and automation will have an immense impact over the next decade on how we travel and how governments efficiently manage the flow of people and commerce across our transportation networks,” says Jim Bak, one of the report’s authors and a director at INRIX. “This report is a great example of how data and analytics are evolving to provide transportation agencies with the insight needed to not only make our existing transportation systems work smarter but more quickly pinpoint where investment can have a lasting impact.”

The report predicts urban roadway congestion will continue to get worse without more assertive approaches on the project, program, and policy fronts. By 2020, with a continued good economy:

  • Annual delay per commuter will grow from 42 hours to 47 hours.
  • Total delay nationwide will grow from 6.9 billion hours to 8.3 billion hours.
  • The total cost of congestion will jump from $160 billion to $192 billion.

Findings in the Urban Mobility Scorecard are drawn from traffic speed data collected by INRIX on 1.3 million miles of urban streets and highways, along with highway performance data from the Federal Highway Administration. The vast amount of information, INRIX and TTI say, makes it possible to examine problems in greater detail than before, and to identify the effect of solutions at specific locations.

About INRIX

INRIX is one of the fastest growing big data technology companies in the world. The company leverages big data analytics to reduce the individual, economic and environmental toll of traffic congestion. Through cutting-edge data intelligence and predictive traffic technologies, INRIX helps leading automakers, fleets, governments and news organizations make it easier for drivers to navigate their world. Our vision is simple – to solve traffic, empower drivers, inform planning and enhance commerce.

Whether through an in-car or smartphone navigation application, a local newscast or our INRIX Traffic app, our up-to-the-minute traffic information and other driver services help millions of drivers save time, fuel and frustration. INRIX delivers traffic and driving-related insight, as well as sophisticated analytical tools and services across six industries covering nearly five million miles (7.9 million km) of road in 41 countries. For more information visit us at INRIX.com or download our INRIX XD Traffic App for iOS and Android.

About the Texas A&M Transportation Institute

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute is the largest university-affiliated transportation research agency in the U.S. and a member of the Texas A&M University System. Since 1950, the Institute has been dedicated to saving lives, time, and resources by addressing problems related to all modes of transportation. See more information about the study at mobility.tamu.edu.

 

http://mobility.tamu.edu/ums/

Bill Law has been appointed Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications at Volvo Construction Equipment

Effective immediately, Bill Law has been appointed Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications at Volvo Construction Equipment. Bill brings over 20 years of experience in corporate communication roles both within the Volvo Group and outside the company.

Bill Law

Bill Law

As part of the senior executive management team, Bill will be responsible for leading the development, coordination and delivery of Volvo CE’s corporate communication strategy both internally and externally. Based at the company’s global headquarters in Brussels, Belgium he will replace Klas Magnusson who announced earlier this year that he will retire on 1st October after more than 17 years of service.

Bill, 47, is from Scotland, UK and holds a degree in Law. He originally joined Volvo in 1998, where he held a number of senior positions in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Most recently Bill was Director of Corporate Communications at global fashion retailer C&A.

Commenting on his appointment, Bill says: “I am very excited about this opportunity and look forward to driving our corporate communications at this important time for the business.”

Terex Corporation (NYSE:TEX) recently announced the following senior executive changes

logo_terex_rTerex Corporation (NYSE:TEX) recently announced the following senior executive changes:

  • Tim Ford, currently President, Terex Cranes, is leaving the Company to pursue other opportunities.
  • With Mr. Ford’s departure, Ken Lousberg, currently President of Terex China, will take on the role of President of Terex Cranes as well as the responsibility for Latin America previously with Mr. Ford. While Mr. Lousberg will retain responsibility for China, a Country Leader for our Chinese business will be named as soon as possible to help coordinate our business in China reporting to Mr. Lousberg. Mr. Lousberg joined Terex through the Genie acquisition in 2002 and has held several senior management positions at various Terex operations.
  • George Ellis will take on a new role as Senior Vice President, Operations Planning and President, Terex Construction. In addition to retaining his current responsibilities for Terex Construction, Government Programs and India, Mr. Ellis will assume global responsibility for the Terex Business System, sourcing, transportation, logistics, and manufacturing footprint. Mr. Ellis also joined Terex through the Genie acquisition in 2002 and has held several senior management positions at various Terex operations.
  • Scott Hensel, now Vice President, Terex Services North America has been named to the newly created position of Vice President and Managing Director, Terex Utilities and Services reporting to Ken Lousberg. In this new role, in addition to his current responsibility for managing and growing the North American services business, Mr. Hensel will also have management responsibility for the Terex Utilities business. Mr. Hensel was previously a partner at McKinsey & Company and joined Terex in 2014 to improve and grow the Terex Services North America business.
  • Kieran Hegarty, President, Terex Materials Processing will assume management responsibility for the Terex Fuchs business which will become part of the Terex Materials Processing segment.

Ron De Feo, Terex Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “While we expect to achieve substantial synergies with the announced merger with Konecranes, as we think ahead and help position the company for the merger we must continue to organize the company and operate Terex in a way that is best for the business.”

“We thank Tim Ford for his dedicated service and leadership within both the AWP segment and his current position with Terex Cranes, and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” remarked Mr. De Feo. Commenting on the new assignment for Mr. Lousberg, Mr. De Feo continued, “Ken Lousberg is the right person to lead our efforts to continue to improve our global cranes business. Ken has previously served in multiple leadership roles within our Cranes business and will be in an excellent position to start immediately with the important work of growing our Cranes business. Ken has demonstrated strong leadership skills during his tenure with Terex and I believe his increasing responsibilities will serve us and our customers well.”

Terex Corporation and Konecranes Plc have approved an agreement to combine their businesses in a merger of equals

terex_corp_headerTim Ford – President, Terex Cranes and Utilities:

We are pleased to inform you that the respective Boards of Directors of Terex Corporation and Konecranes Plc have unanimously approved an agreement to combine their businesses in a merger of equals. The new company will be called Konecranes Terex Plc and will be a global leader in Lifting and Material Handling Solutions.

The transaction is subject to approval by both Terex and Konecranes shareholders, regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Based on the outcome of these decisions, we are expecting closing in the first half of 2016. Until then, the two companies will continue to operate as separate and independent companies.

We are convinced that bringing these two highly complementary businesses together will create significant value for you, our customers, by enlarging our family of leading brands and broadening our geographic presence. Through this combination, you will benefit from a highly complementary product portfolio. Konecranes Terex will be the parent to a family of leading brands in the Industrial Lifting, Port Solutions, Aerial Work Platforms and Cranes sectors, including Demag®, Konecranes®, Terex® and Genie®. Our Terex®, Powerscreen®, CBI®, Terex®Fuchs and Terex®Finlay brands will continue to serve the materials processing, recycling and construction sectors. Our combined range of highly innovative products will allow us to offer you comprehensive solutions that are tailor-made for your specific needs.

Bringing together the R&D competencies of the two businesses will unleash great potential. Konecranes Terex will be well positioned to further drive technology innovation and new solution developments.

Leading up to the completion of the merger, we will continue serving your needs with our utmost dedication. Once integration is underway, we are fully committed to having a seamless transition process in place so that you will benefit from the enhanced business capabilities of the combined organization going forward.

Your contact person will be happy to answer any further questions you may have. Further details on today’s announcement are available on our website: www.terex.com/en/investor-relations.

Construction Input Prices Trend Lower in Jul

CEU2“Key input prices fell or were flat in all but one category in July and further downward pressure on input costs is likely to be reflected in next month’s report.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

PPI July 2015Prices for inputs to construction industries declined 0.1 percent in July after increasing 0.2 percent in June, according to the Aug. 14 producer price index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Year-over-year prices were down 3 percent in July and have been down on an annual basis for each of the past eight months. Prices of inputs to nonresidential construction industries declined 0.3 percent on a monthly basis and are down 3.9 percent on a yearly basis.

“Key input prices fell or were flat in all but one category in July and it is important to note that further downward pressure on input costs is likely to be reflected in next month’s report, as well,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

“The state of affairs today is unprecedented,” said Basu. “Nonresidential construction spending has been recovering robustly in the U.S. in recent months—up more than 11 percent on a year-over-year basis. On top of that, the multifamily building boom continues in most major U.S. metropolitan areas.

“All things being equal, these circumstances should correspond with rising construction materials prices,” said Basu. “But as a reflection of how global the economy has become, America’s nonresidential construction recovery is taking place in the context of collapsing commodity prices. The latest round of commodity price decreases has been spawned by softening growth in China and ongoing increases in production of key inputs worldwide, including oil. However, this form of deflation should not be troubling to contractors. If anything, it will tend to boost profit margins for the average contractor, though falling commodity prices do not represent good news for construction firms heavily invested in oil and natural gas segments. These falling prices also imply slower increases in interest rates going forward, which will help extend the ongoing nonresidential construction recovery.”

Below are the key input prices for the month and the year.

  • Prices for plumbing fixtures remained flat on a monthly basis and are up 1.2 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Softwood lumber prices expanded 6.2 percent in July, but are 3.7 percent lower than a year ago.
  • Concrete product prices fell 0.1 percent in July, but are up 3.8 percent on a yearly basis.
  • Crude energy materials prices declined 6.2 percent in July and are down 37.8 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Fabricated structural metal product prices fell 0.7 percent for the month and have declined 0.4 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Natural gas prices declined 1.9 percent in July and are 38.4 percent lower than the same time one year ago.
  • Iron and steel prices were down 1.1 percent in July and are down 15 percent from the same time last year.
  • Prices for prepared asphalt, tar roofing, and siding fell 0.1 percent for the month and are down 0.4 percent on a year-ago basis.
  • Steel mill products prices fell 1 percent for the month and are 13.2 percent lower than one year ago.
  • Crude petroleum prices fell 12.3 percent in July and are down 48.8 percent from the same time one year ago.
  • Nonferrous wire and cable prices fell 1.3 percent on a monthly basis and are down 5.2 percent on a yearly basis.

To view the previous PPI report, click here