Since 2002, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has collected and processed truck GPS data in support of numerous U.S. DOT freight mobility initiatives. Using truck GPS data from over 1 million freight trucks, ATRI develops and monitors a series of key performance measures on the nation’s freight transportation system. Among its many GPS analyses, ATRI converts its truck GPS dataset into an ongoing truck bottleneck analysis that is used to quantify the impact of traffic congestion on truck-borne freight at over 300 specific locations. While other outside analyses may identify congested corridors, no dataset available today specifically identifies granular chokepoints in the nation’s truck freight transportation system.
Measuring the performance of freight movement across our nation’s highways is critical to understanding where and at what level investment should be made. The information provided through this effort empowers decision-making in both the private and public sectors by helping stakeholders better understand the severity of congestion and mobility constraints on the U.S. highway transportation system. With the November 2021 enactment of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, ATRI’s top truck bottleneck list is poised to guide investment decisions to address the nation’s supply chain challenges.
ATRI’s bottleneck analysis incorporates and synthesizes several unique components, including a massive database of truck GPS data at freight-significant locations throughout the U.S. and an algorithm that quantifies the impact of congestion on truck-based freight. In addition, the annual reports provide a chronological repository of mobility profiles, allowing congestion changes to be assessed over time. This allows transportation analysts and planners to conduct performance benchmarking, identify influential factors contributing to congestion, and understand the resulting consequences for freight mobility. Given the impacts on traffic congestion during the pandemic, this year’s list includes year-over-year average speed changes as well as a comparison of 2021 to 2019, which provides a pre-pandemic congestion benchmark.