Traffic and Congestion Costs Truckers Billions

From our previous articles and your experience on the road, you know that there are a ton of costs associated with being a trucker—tires, repairs, gasoline, insurance… the list goes on.

But did you know that aside from being a major headache, traffic, too, can take a significant toll on your finances?

The Traffic Tariff

Traffic is annoying. It can turn a five hour trip into a ten hour trip, it causes accidents and it tests everybody’s patience. But now, there is also reason to believe that it costs billions of dollars.

A new study by the research group TRIP found that motorists in Wisconsin waste over $6 billion per year waiting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. This is consistent with previous studies that discovered that the United States’ trucking industry loses nearly $50 billion each year as they are caught in traffic all across the nation. That equates to 728 million hours of delivery time spent sitting in traffic jams each year, or to 264,500 commercial truck drivers getting paid to do nothing for an entire week, according to Forbes.

What causes the traffic?

Both the studies on the Wisconsin traffic problem and the greater American traffic issues blame the crumbling transportation infrastructure. According to Forbes, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that the government needs to invest over $1.7 trillion into roads and bridges by 2020 in order to revamp the highway system. The U.S. has long ignored its deteriorating roads and freeways, and as a result, traffic cannot flow efficiently, causing major congestion and costing truckers a pretty penny.

Other Effects of Traffic Congestion

  1. Delays and Reduced Productivity:
    • Traffic congestion leads to delays in deliveries and longer transit times, reducing the overall productivity of truck drivers. Trucks spend more time idling in traffic instead of making deliveries, which affects the number of loads they can transport in a day.
    • Longer delivery times can disrupt supply chain schedules and result in late deliveries to customers, potentially leading to financial penalties and a damaged reputation for trucking companies.
  2. Increased Operating Costs:
    • Congestion increases fuel consumption as trucks are forced to move at lower speeds or idle in traffic. This translates into higher fuel costs for trucking companies.
    • Wear and tear on vehicles also increase due to stop-and-go traffic, leading to more frequent maintenance and repair expenses.
  3. Driver Fatigue and Stress:
    • Traffic congestion can lead to driver fatigue and increased stress levels. Spending extended periods in congested traffic not only reduces driver job satisfaction but also affects their safety and well-being.
    • Fatigued drivers are more likely to make mistakes, which can result in accidents, damaged cargo, and costly insurance claims for trucking companies.

What can truckers do to combat traffic?

Truck drivers can employ various strategies to combat traffic and mitigate its negative effects on their schedules, productivity, and well-being. Here are some practical tips for truck drivers to navigate traffic more effectively:

  1. Route Planning and Navigation:
    • Utilize GPS navigation systems designed for commercial vehicles to find the most efficient routes, considering factors like traffic conditions, road closures, and weight restrictions.
    • Plan routes during off-peak hours whenever possible to avoid rush-hour traffic.
  2. Stay Informed:
    • Use real-time traffic apps and services to monitor traffic conditions and receive updates on accidents or road closures ahead.
    • Listen to traffic reports on the radio for timely information.
  3. Maintain Safe Following Distances:
    • Keep a safe following distance between your truck and the vehicle in front of you to allow for sudden stops and reduce the risk of rear-end collisions.
  4. Time Management:
    • Plan your trips with ample time for potential delays. Avoid the temptation to rush, as speeding or aggressive driving can lead to accidents and fines.
  5. Avoid Distractions:
    • Stay focused on the road and avoid distractions like texting, talking on the phone, or using in-cab entertainment systems.

You would be surprised at how much money you waste sitting in traffic as a professional truck driver. You would also be surprised at how much money you can save by using freight factoring—call us today, speak to our factoring experts and start combatting the costs of traffic congestion!

Freight Factoring
Fuel Discounts
Contact Us