More Evidence Points to Need for National Freight Strategy, Investment

Canadian trucks entering U.S. on Ambassador Bridge in Detroit. Image - Dave Chidley The Canadian Press AP Photo

USDOT reports that commercial truck crossings into the U.S. from Canada and Mexico grew 1.7% over 2010.  This follows a 9.4% increase in 2010, after two years of decline.

The 2011 border-crossing data was posted this week on the website of USDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA).

USDOT (FHWA) reported that in 2006 freight carriers incurred 226 million hours of delay just at the 40 major bottlenecks across the United States; the direct cost of that delay was estimated at over $7.3 billion per year in a 2008 report  by Cambridge Systematics (see below for source).

Why does this matter to the average person? Here’s just one reason. The Texas Transportation Institute reported that in 2009 American truck congestion alone cost $33 billion in wasted fuel and lost time, or 29 percent of the total direct costs of U.S. congestion). The majority of these costs are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.” 


Both citations are contained in a March 2012 report,  ”A Federal Role in Freight Planning and Process,”  from the RAND Supply Chain Policy Center.

Estimated Cost of Freight Involved in Highway Bottlenecks, Cambridge Systematics, Inc., Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, 2008.

Urban Mobility Report 2010, Texas Transportation Institute, 2010, Shrank, David, Tim Lomax, and Shawn Turner.