Infrastructure issues are more than bumps in the road

Chad Erchul

By Chad Erchul Business Development at King Solutions

congestion on roads

The trucking industry hauls about 71 percent of U.S. freight by weight, which adds up to about 80 percent of the nation’s freight bills each year ($738.9 billion in gross freight revenues in 2016). The nation’s trucks hit the roads hard every day of the year. In 2015 alone, more than 33.8 million trucks that are registered and used for business purposes (excluding government and farm) drove more than 450.4 billion miles.

That’s like driving to the sun and back over 2,422 times. That’s quite a beating for the 4,071,000 miles of roads in the U.S. to take.

It’s no wonder the state of the nation’s infrastructure is a hot-button issue. Everything from the condition of roads to traffic congestion is an obstacle for carriers to (physically) and shippers to (strategically) navigate. Thankfully, for every problem, there is a solution. At King Solutions, we work with clients to help them optimize their shipping and partner with the right carriers to combat the negative effects of poor infrastructure and congestion.

What are the negative effects of poor infrastructure and congestion?
We’ve all sat in traffic at one time or another, or every day of the week, depending on your commute. When traffic does move, drivers are met with potholes, uneven roads and other obstacles to dodge. These may be nuisances that commuters have to deal with, but they are substantial issues to carriers and shippers, issues that cost them time and money to constantly confront.

Poor road maintenance and congestion can lead to:

  • Additional wear and tear on vehicles
  • Slower/delayed shipments
  • Reductions in customer satisfaction rates
  • Lower productivity and efficiency
  • Increased fuel costs and emissions

These issues also take a toll on truck drivers because they increase their stress and dissatisfaction with their careers. In an industry that is already facing a shortage of 50,000 drivers, leading to a capacity crunch that is raising rates and slowing shipping speeds, infrastructure and congestion issues are having a compounding effect on the logistics industry.

The solution: drive less, ship more
As freight tonnage increases year over year, infrastructure maintenance become more important than ever. While the federal government is promising $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending, shippers and supply chain companies must supplement repairs by finding ways to ship more product efficiently, all while placing fewer trucks on the road.

Efficient route planning is allowing carriers to avoid well-established bottlenecks that cause excess congestion, and more shippers are leveraging LTL and Partial load shipping strategies to reduce the number of trucks they put on the road. At King Solutions, we also leverage rail lines to ship products for our clients, which can often be more efficient than over-the-road options. Everything we do at King is designed to make your shipping strategy more effective.

We can’t promise to reduce congestion or fix the nation’s roads, but we can promise to bring efficiency to your supply chain. Contact our team today to find the right solution for your company.