The Cost Of Traffic Congestion On The Trucking Industry

July 24, 2018 | by Marketing Team

Trucking and Traffic Congestion | Thunder Funding

Traffic congestion and bottlenecks are the bane of every fleet owner’s existence. Not only does their overall efficiency decrease, fuel consumption can increase at astronomical rates.

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released a report on the 100 worst bottlenecks on U.S. highways, based on mined GPS data. Until an infrastructure bill gets passed, drivers are stuck dealing with these top 10 bottlenecks and all the other 90+ in the U.S.:

  1. Atlanta’s Spaghetti Junction: I-285 and I-85 North
  2. Fort Lee, NJ: I-95 at SR 4
  3. Chicago: I-290 at I-90/I-94
  4. Atlanta: I-75 at I-285 North
  5. Los Angeles: SR 60 at SR 57
  6. Boston: I-95 at I-90
  7. Baltimore: I-695 at I-70
  8. Queens, NY: I-495
  9. Cincinnati: I-71 at I-75
  10. Louisville, KY: I-65 at I-64/I-71


In 2017, the ATRI added a 2017 Update to its Cost of Congestion to the Trucking Industry report. The report attached a dollar figure on the cost of congestion and the number is shocking. In 2017, congestion contributed $63.4 billion in additional operational costs to fleets. The ATRI goes on to note that in 2015, the trucking industry experienced more than 996 million hours of delays caused by congestion. “This delay is the equivalent of 362,243 commercial truck drivers sitting idle for an entire working year,” the report says.

Route Optimization To Help Mitigate Costs

Fleet owners are turning to route optimization software to help avoid these bottlenecks. A balance essentially needs to be struck between eliminating miles from the route and the amount of time your drivers will lose sitting in a bottleneck.

No one said it would be easy, but a good route optimization software can assist you in your quest to achieve optimal freight efficiency. Who wouldn’t like real-time traffic alerts to help you re-route drivers around accidents or areas of heavy congestion? Exactly.

Improving freight efficiency isn’t just about adding aerodynamic devices to your trucks, ensuring good tire maintenance and brake usage, or reducing idle time. Increased freight efficiency is all about examining HOW your trucks get to where they need to get to so that you can get the most miles for every gallon of fuel.

For more information about trucking technologies be sure to check out this blog post:3 Trucking Technologies You Need Right Now

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