FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 3, 2019
Report Available at: tripnet.org

Contact:
Rocky Moretti (202) 262-0714 (cell)
Carolyn Bonifas Kelly (703) 801-9212 (cell)

TRIP office (202) 466-6706

SHARE OF FREIGHT TRAVEL ON OKLAHOMA’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
1 Texas 2,685,364 Arkansas 32% North Dakota 52 California 134%
2 California 2,596,985 New Mexico 30% Wyoming 43 North Dakota 128%
3 Illinois 1,410,240 Wyoming 29% Oklahoma 31 New Mexico 126%
4 New York 1,280,384 Illinois 28% New Mexico 27 Montana 126%
5 Pennsylvania 1,073,402 Texas 28% Mississippi 27 Texas 115%
6 Ohio 1,042,209 Tennessee 28% Arkansas 26 Louisiana 112%
7 Michigan 999,766 Missouri 27% Kansas 23 New York 108%
8 New Jersey 905,382 Utah 25% Nebraska 22 Florida 106%
9 Florida 865,243 Pennsylvania 25% Alabama 22 South Carolina 106%
10 Georgia 843,173 Iowa 25% Texas 20 Michigan 102%
11 Indiana 726,082 Oregon 24% Iowa 20 Arizona 100%
12 Tennessee 700,598 North Dakota 24% West Virginia 19 Washington 98%
13 North Carolina 672,439 Oklahoma 23% Idaho 19 New Jersey 93%
14 Kentucky 578,482 Nebraska 23% Kentucky 19 Vermont 92%
15 Washington 575,482 Minnesota 23% Louisiana 19 Virginia 92%
16 Wisconsin 510,050 Ohio 23% Montana 18 Utah 92%
17 Louisiana 502,544 Louisiana 23% Indiana 18 Georgia 89%
18 Virginia 496,790 Mississippi 23% Tennessee 18 Maryland 88%
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 Oklahoma’s rural Interstate highways is by combination trucks, the 13th highest share in the nation. Each year, Oklahoma’s freight system moves approximately $294 billion worth of freight. From 2016 to 2045, freight moved annually in Oklahoma is expected to increase 61 percent by value (inflation-adjusted dollars).

“An efficient and modern infrastructure network plays a critical role in any state’s economy, but especially in Oklahoma’s with its large transportation, logistics, and distribution sectors,” said Cordon DeKock, vice president of political affairs for the State Chamber of Oklahoma. “It is paramount that we continue to invest in infrastructure and freight networks so that we are able to continue operating with safety and proficiency.”

In Oklahoma, from 2013-2017, an average of 31 people per one million population were killed annually in crashes involving a large truck, the third 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.

“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 including commercial trucks being stuck in traffic for 1.2 billion hours.

“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.”

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.

“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.”