COVID-19 lets freight move more easily, study says

A new report by Kirkland-based INRIX examines the trend.

File photo

File photo

A new study by Kirkland’s INRIX has found the COVID-19 pandemic has affected both personal and freight travel.

Personal travel has been reduced by 46 percent nationwide, and freight truck travel is down 13 percent, according to INRIX, a company that analyzes transportation data. Freight-heavy corridors in urban areas have seem significant travel speed increases, allowing goods to reach their destinations faster.

Across the U.S., schools, factories, restaurants and more have scaled back services or shut down. As a result, traffic and congestion have plummeted, according to the report. Washington state has seen a 10 percent reduction in freight travel. Southern Gulf states like Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi have seen a 17 percent reduction.

In the Seattle area, morning commute speeds have increased by a quarter, and evening commute speeds have increased by 31 percent. San Francisco saw the greatest gains, with 51 percent and 60 percent for morning and evening commutes, respectively.

Before the pandemic, traffic congestion resulted in some $88 billion lost to time idling for commercial and personal drivers across the country. As a result of COVID-19, nearly half of nationwide freight movers have been able to shed some of the congestion costs.




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