Freight bottlenecks cost US economy $42 billion

Freight shipments also suffered from 660 million hours of delay on the nation’s roadways, according to a review of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) data

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In a new study from The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), freight shipments are shown to have suffered over 600 hours of delay on the nation’s highways, and caused a $42 billion cost on the US economy.

The study also found the cities hit hardest by the freight bottlenecks were New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Austin.

The cost of congestion on the Interstate Highway System alone has also grown 25% over the last two years—from $12 billion in 2017 to over $15 billion in 2019. Twenty-six states also face more than $500 million or more in congestion costs annually.

The cost of congestion on the top 10 bottlenecks also increased by 11% in just one year - from $761.8 million in 2018 to $848.4 million in 2019.

FHWA calculates the delay per mile to quantify the cost of bottlenecks across major corridors and compares performance from year to year.  Almost 73% of the value of domestic freight is shipped via truck and the value of truck shipments is expected to more than double by 2045, according to ARTBA's analysis of FHWA's data.

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