Congestion: How Truckers Make a Big Difference

The Economic Upside of Traffic Jams

Nobody likes to get stuck in traffic, but it happens. To resolve that issue, there are a number of discussions taking place on how to reduce traffic congestion. Some of the more common recommendations include the expansion of highways, traffic tolls geared toward peak hour usage, and improving public transportation options. There is also a suggestion that those on the highway simply learn to “wait in line.”

The American Trucking Association recently published a report, titled, “Cost of Congestion to the Trucking Industry: 2017 Update.” According to officials conducting the research, congestion comes with a price tag of $63.70 an hour for truckers. They also found that congestion delays are responsible for 996 million hours of lost productivity a year.

Solutions to traffic congestion are not easy, as the problem is usually the result of population increases and economic upturns. What that means in everyday terminology is that the more congested an area is, the more successful businesses are in that location. As areas become more successful, people want to live and work in those places. As people relocate for work and become more successful, they often expand their families.

With all said and done, the upside of congestion is that it means there is economic prosperity. It is not that people want to wish away economic prosperity; it is that they want success, coupled with less congestion, but there are only so many ways to reduce the number of vehicles on the roadways. That is why car pooling, telecommuting, and online purchasing are often encouraged. Although they are encouraged practices, reports indicate they actually do little to change the day to day congestion challenges.

According to Access Magazineone of the primary reasons we continue to have traffic congestion is that people prefer driving vehicles instead of using public transit. Another reason is that people do not want to live in highly congested areas. They prefer more spacious living arrangements. One more consideration is that road building, for a long time, did not keep up with demands.  

The National Center for Policy Analysis reports that “congestion increases travel time, air pollution, carbon dioxide emissions and fuel use because cars cannot run efficiently.” The number of hours wasted in traffic quintupled between 1982 and 2005 and newer reports continue to show increasing costs.

While there are costs and hours lost to productivity, some say it is just the price of success. Truck drivers, however, are in a unique position to help minimize some of that congestion. Those engaged in regular eight to five workdays have little choice but to drive to work when they do. Truck drivers, on the other hand, have a lot of options. They usually have some type of flexibility in regard to when they drive into a particular area. Technology has also improved enough that drivers can navigate away from highways experiencing significant delays.

The bottom line is that decisions truck drivers make in regard to their loads usually tie into their works as good Samaritans. Not only for their decisions on where to drive, but when to drive. With that said, it is all just one more way truck drivers continue to expand on their roles as unsung heroes of the highway.  

About Millis Transfer

Millis Transfer, Getting It There Since 1936, has an impressive service record earning dozens of “Carrier of the Year” awards. Headquartered in Black River Falls, Wis., Millis is also a Certified Top Pay Carrier with some of the best equipment on the road. Maintenance facilities and drop yards are strategically located throughout the company’s operating area. Its sister company, Millis Training Institute, offers five school locations that provide students with quality training in order to earn their CDL-A license. For more information, please visit, or call 1-800-937-0880.