FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 3, 2019
Report Available at: tripnet.org
SHARE OF FREIGHT TRAVEL ON NEBRASKA’S RURAL INTERSTATES AMONG HEAVIEST IN NATION, FREIGHT SHIPMENTS PROJECTED TO INCREASE SIGNIFICANTLY. INADEQUATE INVESTMENT, ADVANCES IN VEHICLE AUTONOMY, MANUFACTURING, WAREHOUSING & E-COMMERCE PLACE UNPRECEDENTED DEMANDS ON U.S. FREIGHT SYSTEM
Eds: This report’s appendix contains data for all 50 states for the following categories: value of freight shipped to and from the state, projected increase in freight shipment by 2045, fatalities in large truck involved crashes, fatalities among large truck occupants and non-occupants, and combination truck share of vehicle miles of travel. Click here for infographics.
Washington, D.C. – 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. At the same time, freight movement is being transformed by advances in vehicle autonomy, manufacturing, warehousing and supply chain automation, increases in e-commerce, and 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 top 20 states with the highest value of freight by all modes of transportation in 2016, the highest share of rural interstate vehicle miles of travel (VMT) by combination trucks, the largest average annual number of large truck fatalities per one million population from 2013-2017, and the largest projected increase in freight by value between 2016 and 2045.
|STATE||2016 Freight by Value All Modes (millions of dollars)||STATE||Share of Rural Interstate VMT by Combination Trucks||STATE||Average Annual Large Truck Fatalities 2013-2017 Per 1 Million Population||STATE||2016-2045 Increase in Freight Shipped by Truck by Value|
|2||California||2,596,985||New Mexico||30%||Wyoming||43||North Dakota||128%|
|4||New York||1,280,384||Illinois||28%||New Mexico||27||Montana||126%|
|12||Tennessee||700,598||North Dakota||24%||West Virginia||19||Washington||98%|
|13||North Carolina||672,439||Oklahoma||23%||Idaho||19||New Jersey||93%|
|19||Minnesota||474,487||Indiana||22%||South Dakota||18||North Carolina||82%|
|20||Missouri||468,855||Kentucky||21%||South Carolina||17||West Virginia||82%|
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. The TRIP report found that 23 percent of travel on Nebraska’s rural Interstate highways is by combination trucks, the 14th highest share in the nation. Each year, Nebraska’s freight system moves approximately $220 billion worth of freight. From 2016 to 2045, freight moved annually in Nebraska is expected to increase 56 percent by value (inflation-adjusted dollars).
“It’s also very important to realize the direct economic impact of truck traffic,” said Kent Grisham, President and CEO of the Nebraska Trucking Association. “Truck owners pay 47 percent of all fuel taxes owed by Nebraska motorists despite trucks representing only nine percent of vehicle miles driven in the state. The trucking industry is very willing to share in the cost of infrastructure, but it has to be part of a comprehensive and fair plan that doesn’t overburden the trucking sector.”
In Nebraska, from 2013-2017, an average of 22 people per one million population were killed annually in crashes involving a large truck, the eighth highest rate in the nation. Nationwide, 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). 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.
“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.”
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 including commercial trucks being stuck in traffic for 1.2 billion hours.
“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.”
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.
“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.”
“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.”
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 significant 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.”