Tag Archive for 'The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI)'

TRIP Report: INCREASED DEMAND FOR U.S. FREIGHT SHIPMENTS HAMPERED BY LACK OF ADEQUATE INVESTMENT IN NEEDED HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS

INCREASED DEMAND FOR U.S. FREIGHT SHIPMENTS HAMPERED BY TRAFFIC CONGESTION AND BOTTLENECKS AND LACK OF ADEQUATE INVESTMENT IN NEEDED HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS; FATAL TRUCK CRASHES INCREASING AT A TIME WHEN ADVANCES IN VEHICLE AUTONOMY, MANUFACTURING, WAREHOUSING & E-COMMERCE ARE PLACING UNPRECEDENTED DEMANDS ON THE NATION’S FREIGHT SYSTEM

 The ability of the nation’s freight transportation system to efficiently and safely accommodate the growing demand for freight movement could be hampered by inadequate transportation capacity, institutional barriers to enhancing the nation’s freight facilities, a lack of adequate funding for needed improvements to the freight network, and a shortage of drivers, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit. This is happening as freight movement is being transformed by advances in vehicle autonomy, manufacturing, warehousing and supply chain automation, increasing e-commerce, and the growing logistic networks being developed to accommodate consumer demand for faster delivery.

TRIP’s report, America’s Rolling Warehouses: Opportunities and Challenges with the Nation’s Freight Delivery System, examines current and projected levels of freight movement in the U.S., large truck safety, and trends impacting freight movement. It concludes with a series of recommendations to improve the nation’s freight transportation system. The chart below shows the states with the highest value of freight by all modes of transportation in 2016, states with the highest share of rural interstate vehicle miles of travel (VMT) by combination trucks, states with the largest average annual number of large truck fatalities per one million population from 2013-2017, and states with the largest projected increase in freight by value between 2016 and 2045.

TRIP’s report found that freight delivery is expected to increase rapidly as a result of economic growth, increasing demand, growing international trade, changing business and retail models, and a significantly increased reliance on e-commerce by businesses and households. Each year, the U.S. freight system moves approximately 17.7 billion tons of freight, valued at $16.8 trillion. Trucks carried 72 percent of freight by value in 2016 and 66 percent by weight. From 2016 to 2045, freight moved annually in the U.S. by trucks is expected to increase 91 percent in value (inflation-adjusted dollars) and 44 percent by weight.

“The new TRIP report again highlights the urgent need for federal action to modernize America’s infrastructure,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce Vice President for Transportation Infrastructure Ed Mortimer. “The future of our country’s ability to compete in a 21st century economy by providing the safe movement of commerce is at stake, and this report helps bring a spotlight to the issue.”

The TRIP report also found that 12 percent of travel on Interstate highways and 21 percent of travel on rural Interstate highways is by combination trucks.

“TRIP’s report makes an important contribution to a growing body of evidence that our deteriorating infrastructure is putting the brakes on our economy,” said Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Association. “The cost of doing nothing is too high and will only get higher if our leaders do not step up and put forward a comprehensive investment package backed by real funding.”

While the amount and value of goods being shipped has risen to unprecedented levels, mounting traffic congestion is increasing the cost of moving freight and reducing the economic competitiveness and efficiency of businesses that require reliable, affordable freight transportation. Traffic congestion resulted in $74.5 billion in additional operational costs to the trucking industry in 2016 as a result of commercial trucks being stuck in traffic for 1.2 billion hours.

“Infrastructure issues lead to increased shipping costs, delayed delivery times, and decreased productivity for U.S. manufacturers,” said Doosan Bobcat North America President Mike Ballweber. “Whether it’s a hauling 7,500-pound skid-steer loader to a customer in Georgia or a shipment of attachments to a dealership in Arizona, we depend on the U.S. freight transportation system to deliver our products efficiently and safely. I encourage our lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to make transportation infrastructure a priority and fund needed repairs and upgrades to our roads, highways and bridges.”

According to the TRIP report, traffic fatalities as a result of crashes involving large trucks (10,000 lbs. or greater) increased 20 percent, from 2013 (3,981) to 2017 (4,761) in.  Approximately five-out-of-six people killed in crashes involving a large truck were occupants of the other vehicle involved in the crash or pedestrians or bicyclists.  The most frequent event prior to fatal crashes between large trucks and another vehicle is the entering or encroaching into a large truck’s lane by the other vehicle.

“It’s clear that the safe and efficient movement of goods and services depends on a well-funded national transportation system,” said Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. “Without strong investment from our federal partners, state departments of transportation won’t be able to meet the growing demands on the system.”

Advances in vehicle autonomy, manufacturing, warehousing and supply chain automation have transformed freight delivery, along with increases in e-commerce and the growing logistic networks being developed by Amazon and other large retailers. A lack of adequate parking for large trucks and a shortage of available truck drivers, particularly for long-haul trips, challenge the safety and efficiency of the nation’s freight system.

TRIP’s report concludes with a series of recommendations to improve freight transportation by increasing capacity on the nation’s freight transportation system, particularly at major bottlenecks; improving the reliability and condition of intermodal connectors between major highways and rail, ports and waterways; continued development of vehicle autonomy and the further automation of warehousing; improving roadway safety and providing additional truck parking spaces to ensure adequate and timely rest for drivers; providing funding for freight transportation improvements that is substantial, continuing, multimodal, reliable, and, in most cases, specifically dedicated to freight transportation projects; and, providing a permanent, adequate and reliable funding fix to the federal Highway Trust Fund as a critical step towards funding a 21st Century freight transportation system.

“As consumers demand faster deliveries and a more responsive supply chain, the nation’s freight transportation network is facing unprecedented roadblocks in the form of increasing congestion and a lack of transportation funding to improve the nation’s transportation system,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP.  “Fixing the federal Highway Trust Fund with a long-term, sustainable source of revenue that supports needed transportation investment will be crucial to improving the efficiency and safety of our freight transportation system.”

Executive Summary

The nation’s freight transportation system plays a vital role in the quality of life of Americans, providing the timely movement of raw materials and finished products that are vital to the health of the U.S. agricultural, industrial, energy, retail and service sectors.

The amount of freight transported in the U.S. is expected to increase significantly as a result of further economic growth, changing business and retail models, increasing international trade, and  rapidly changing consumer expectations that place an emphasis on faster deliveries, often of smaller packages or payloads.

The ability of the nation’s freight transportation system to efficiently and safely accommodate the growing demand for freight movement could be hampered by inadequate transportation capacity, a lack of adequate safety features on some transportation facilities, institutional barriers to enhancing the nation’s freight facilities, a lack of adequate funding for needed improvements to the freight network and a shortage of drivers.

The need to improve the U.S. freight network is occurring at a time when the nation’s freight delivery system is being transformed by advances in vehicle autonomy, manufacturing, warehousing and supply chain automation, increasing e-commerce, and the growing logistic networks being developed by Amazon and other retail organizations in response to the demand for a faster and more responsive delivery and logistics cycle.

This report examines current and projected levels of freight movement in the U.S., large truck safety, and trends impacting freight movement. It concludes with a series of recommendations to improve the nation’s freight transportation system.

U.S. FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION TRENDS

The delivery of freight – merchandise or commodities that are moved by a mode of transportation either for a fee or by a private fleet – is expected to increase rapidly as a result of economic growth, increasing demand, growing international trade, changing business and retail models, and a significantly increased reliance on e-commerce by businesses and households. 

  • Freight transportation impacts every business and household. It is critical to the nation’s economy, which depends on efficient freight movement to connect businesses, manufacturers, customers and households with the U.S. and the world.
  • The nation’s 327 million residents, 126 million households, 7.7 million business establishments and 90,000 governmental units are all part of an economy that requires the efficient movement of freight.
  • The freight transportation system in the U.S. relies on an extensive system of highways, railroads, waterways, pipelines and waterways. This system includes 958,000 miles of Federal-aid highways, 141,000 miles of railroads, 11,000 miles of inland waterways, more than 19,000 airports, more than 5,000 coastal, Great Lakes and inland waterway facilities, and 1.6 million miles of pipelines.
  • The nation’s freight system moves a daily average of approximately 51 million tons freight valued at approximately $55 billion. The U.S. freight system annually moves approximately 17.7 billion tons of freight, valued at approximately $16.8 trillion.
  • Trucking accounted for the largest modal share of freight movement in 2016, carrying 72 percent of freight by value and 66 percent by weight.
  • The following chart details modal freight movement in 2016 by value and weight.

  • Modern society is likely to become even more reliant on trucking and other types of shipments as international trade continues to increase, domestic demand for freight movement increases, and commercial and retail models increasingly rely on timely and efficient freight deliveries.
  • From 2016 to 2045, freight moved annually in the U.S. is expected to increase by 104 percent in value (inflation-adjusted dollars) and 44 percent by weight.
  • From 2016 to 2045, freight moved annually in the U.S. by trucks is expected to increase by 91 percent in value (inflation-adjusted dollars) and 41 percent by weight. The following chart indicates the anticipated percentage increase in freight by value and weight from 2016 to 2045, by mode.
  • In 2016, the share of overall U.S. freight shipments to or from another country was 11 percent measured by weight and 21 percent measured by value. By 2045, the share of U.S. freight shipments to or from another country is projected to be 18 percent by weight and 39 percent by value.

IMPACT OF EMERGING TECHNOLOGY ON FREIGHT

Freight delivery is being transformed by a convergence of advances in vehicle autonomy, manufacturing, warehousing and supply chain automation, and by increases in e-commerce and the growing logistic networks being developed by Amazon and other large retailers.

  • The development of autonomous trucks is expected to proceed in stages from currently deployed driver assist tools such as cruise control and lane-assist to a level that will allow large trucks to mostly drive themselves with a driver monitoring the vehicle, to full autonomy in certain environments, such as major highways, and finally to full autonomy.
  • Improved automation of manufacturing and warehousing facilities is increasing the competitiveness of domestic manufacturing and increasing the need for timely freight movement to and from sites that are able to operate 24 hours per day.
  • Digitization is significantly improving the efficiency of the nation’s supply chain by allowing freight brokers, carriers, shippers and receivers to exchange real-time data to more efficiently use freight capacity.
  • From 2014 to 2018, U.S. e-commerce increased by 69 percent, from $298 billion to $505 billion, and is expected to increase another 39 percent by 2022, to $706 billion. Since 2016, Amazon has built 20 new distribution centers in the U.S. and continues to expand its logistics system domestically and globally, including the development of truck, aircraft and shipping fleets.
  • Advancements in vehicle autonomy and improvements in vehicle and supply chain automation are anticipated to result in reduced shipping costs.

STATE FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION

The health of a state’s economy and quality of life are impacted greatly by the quality and reliability of a state’s transportation system and its ability to provide efficient, safe freight movement.

  • The following chart ranks the 10 states with the greatest amount of freight shipped to or from sites in their state (including to or from foreign locations) by truck and by all modes, measured by value in millions of dollars. Data for all 50 states is available in the Appendix.

  • The following chart ranks the 10 states with the greatest amount of freight shipped to or from sites in their state by truck and by all modes, measured by weight in thousands of tons. Data for all 50 states is available in the Appendix.

  • The following chart ranks the 20 states that are expected to realize the greatest percentage increase in freight (by all modes and by truck only) shipped to and from sites within their state from 2016 to 2045, in inflation-adjusted dollars. Data for all 50 states is available in the Appendix.

  • The following chart ranks the 20 states that are expected to realize the greatest percentage increase in freight (by all modes and by truck only) shipped to and from sites within their state from 2016 to 2045, in weight. Data for all states is available in the Appendix.

IMPACT OF TRAFFIC CONGESTION ON FREIGHT DELIVERY

Rising levels of traffic congestion are increasing the cost of moving freight and reducing the economic competitiveness and efficiency of businesses that require reliable, affordable freight transportation.   

  • The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) estimates that traffic congestion on the nation’s major highways resulted in the addition of $74.5 billion in operational costs to the trucking industry in 2016, including 1.2 billion hours of lost productivity as a result of trucks being stuck in traffic.
  • Fifty-three percent of vehicle miles of travel by large trucks (10,000 lbs. or greater) in 2016 occurred on Interstate highways. Forty-six percent of urban Interstates are congested.
  • Twelve percent of travel on Interstate highways and 21 percent of travel on rural Interstate highways is by combination trucks.
  • The following chart ranks the 20 states in 2017 with the greatest share of vehicle miles of travel on all Interstate highways and on rural Interstate highways which is by combination trucks. Data for all states is available in the Appendix.

  • Using a freight congestion index developed by the Federal Highway Administration, in 2019 the ATRI compiled the following list of the nation’s worst freight highway bottlenecks based on the number of trucks using a particular highway facility and the impact of congestion on the average speed of those vehicles.

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation forecasts that between 2012 and 2045, the miles of major U.S. highways that are congested during peak periods will quadruple from 19,200 miles to 78,500.
  • The following map indicates major highways that carry more than 8,500 large trucks per day and/or on which more than 25 percent of daily traffic is comprised of large trucks.

  • The miles of major highway segments with more than 8,500 large trucks per day and where at least 25 percent of vehicles are large trucks is expected to increase by 140 percent between 2012 and 2045, from 5,560 miles to 13,480 miles.

LARGE TRUCK SAFETY

Traffic fatalities as a result of crashes involving large trucks (10,000 lbs. or greater) increased significantly over the last five years.  Approximately five-out-of-six people killed in crashes involving a large truck were occupants of the other vehicle involved in the crash or pedestrians or bicyclists.  The most frequent event prior to fatal crashes between large trucks and another vehicle is the entering or encroaching into a large truck’s lane by the other vehicle.

  • Large trucks account for four percent of all registered vehicles and nine percent of all vehicle miles of travel annually. Twelve percent of traffic fatalities occur in crashes in which a large truck was involved.
  • Approximately three-quarters – 76 percent – of large trucks that were involved in fatal crashes in 2016 weighed more than 33,000 lbs.
  • From 2013 to 2017, fatal traffic crashes involving large trucks resulted in the deaths of 21,114 people. This included 3,582 drivers or passengers of large trucks and 17,532 drivers or occupants of other vehicles, or non-motorists, such as pedestrians or bicyclists.

  • From 2013 to 2017, the number of fatalities in large-truck involved crashes in the U.S. increased 20 percent, from 3,981 to 4,761.
  • Eighty percent of fatal crashes involving large trucks from 2013 to 2017 were multiple-vehicle crashes, compared to 61 percent for fatal crashes involving only passenger vehicles.
  • In 62 percent of fatal large truck crashes from 2013 to 2017, the most critical pre-crash event was either another vehicle’s encroachment into a large truck’s lane (38 percent) or another vehicle entering a large truck’s lane (26 percent).
  • A 2018 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that analyzed 2016 two-vehicle fatal crashes involving a large truck found the following: in 43 percent of the crashes both vehicles were proceeding straight, in nine percent of the crashes the other vehicle was turning left or right regardless of the large trucks maneuver, in 10 percent of the crashes the truck and the other vehicle were negotiating curves, and in seven percent of the crashes either the truck or the other vehicle was stopped in a traffic lane (five percent and two percent, respectively).
  • In large truck-involved fatal crashes in 2016, two percent of large truck drivers had blood alcohol concentrations above .08 f/dL, while the share for drivers of passenger vehicles, light trucks and motorcycles with blood alcohol concentrations above .08 f/dL was 21, 20 and 25 percent, respectively.
  • Fatal large truck crashes are more likely to occur on rural roads, two-lane roads and roads with speed limits 55 miles per hour or higher.
  • The following chart ranks the top 10 states with the largest annual average number of fatalities in large truck involved crashes from 2013 to 2017. It also includes the average number of large truck non-occupant fatalities, which includes non-motorists, and large truck occupant fatalities. Data for all 50 states is available in the Appendix.

  • The following chart ranks the top 20 states with the largest annual average number of fatalities in large truck involved crashes per one million population from 2013 to 2017. Data for all 50 states is available in the Appendix.

CHALLENGES IMPACTING THE FUTURE OF U.S. FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION

A lack of adequate parking for large trucks and a shortage of available truck drivers, particularly for long-haul trips challenge the safety and efficiency of the nation’s freight system.  

  • A significant lack of adequate truck parking along major U.S. highways reduces the efficiency and safety of freight movement. Tired truck drivers may continue to drive because they have difficulty finding a place to park, or they may choose to park at unsafe locations such as a highway shoulder, exit ramps or vacant lots.
  • A 2014 survey evaluating the adequacy of truck parking capacity in the U.S. found that 38 states reported having truck parking problems, particularly along major freight corridors and in large metropolitan areas. Truck drivers surveyed said truck parking problems exist in all states and 75 percent of truck drivers surveyed reported having difficulty finding safe and legal parking during mandated rest periods.
  • The American Trucking Associations estimates there is a current shortage of 63,000 truck drivers in the U.S. and the shortage is expected to increase to 174,000 by 2026.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING U.S. FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION

Achieving a 21st century freight transportation system capable of efficiently and safely meeting the nation’s freight transportation needs will require implementation of a freight transportation plan that addresses the following infrastructure, institutional and financial bottlenecks.

Infrastructure Bottlenecks

  • Increase the capacity of the nation’s freight transportation system, particularly at major bottlenecks, including portions of Interstate Highways and major trade gateways and corridors, rail facilities and ports, and including the addition of general purpose highway lanes as well as the construction of truck-only lanes when viable, such as the planned addition of 40 miles of truck-only lanes on a portion of I-75 in Georgia.
  • Construct additional intermodal connectors and improve the reliability and condition of intermodal connectors between major highways and rail, ports and waterways. The number of intermodal connectors in the U.S. increased 30 percent from 2000 to 2014 from 616 to 798.
  • Approximately two-thirds (68 percent) of intermodal connectors are congested and 56 percent of intermodal connectors have pavements in poor condition.
  • Continue to develop vehicle autonomy and further automate warehousing.
  • Improve roadway safety, particularly along highways and at major intersections, and provide additional truck parking spaces to insure adequate and timely rest for drivers.

Institutional Bottlenecks

  • Further streamline the planning, review and permitting of transportation projects.
  • Facilitate greater multijurisdictional collaboration on multimodal freight transportation solutions.

Funding bottlenecks:

  • Provide funding for freight transportation improvements that is substantial, continuing, multimodal, reliable, and, in most cases, specifically dedicated to freight transportation projects.
  • Provide a permanent, adequate and reliable funding fix to the federal Highway Trust Fund as a critical step towards funding a 21st Century freight transportation system.

All data used in this report is the most current available.  Sources of information for this report include:  The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), The American Trucking Associations (ATA), The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) the Freight Analysis Framework (FAF), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the U.S. Census Bureau.