Rebecca Brewster, ATRI President and COO, Joins Doug Marcello of Marcello and Kivisto to discuss ATRI’s Latest Analysis on Truck Movements During COVID-19

 ATRI Interviews, ATRI News and Media, ATRI Research  Comments Off on Rebecca Brewster, ATRI President and COO, Joins Doug Marcello of Marcello and Kivisto to discuss ATRI’s Latest Analysis on Truck Movements During COVID-19
Apr 012020

Rebecca discusses ATRI’s latest analysis on GPS data that shows truck flows increasing through the traditional hotspots during the COVID-19 emergency.

Mar 302020

Featured Articles:

  • GPS Data Shows Critical Truck Deliveries Continue Despite COVID-19New Research Designed to Quantify Trucking Impacts from COVID-19
  • New Research Documents Who Pays and Who Benefits From Toll System Revenue
  • New Research Helps Redefine the Role of Government Actions on Automated Trucking
  • Hugh Ekberg Appointed to ATRI Board of Directors
  • RAC Member Doug Marcello
  • The Nation’s Top Truck Bottlenecks
  • ATRI’s Newest Operational Costs of Trucking Research Shows Dramatic Increases in Industry Costs
  • ATRI Staff Updates
  • Out and About with ATRI
  • Thanks to Our 2019 Contributors!

Click here to view newsletter.

Mar 252020

March 25, 2020

ATRI Contact:  Rebecca Brewster (404) 247-8787
OOIDA Contact:  Tom Weakley (816) 229-5791

Minneapolis, MN – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) and the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association Foundation (OOIDA Foundation) are conducting a joint research study to understand the numerous impacts that the Coronavirus pandemic is having on trucking operations.  The research focuses heavily on a survey that solicits critical input from truck drivers and motor carrier staff who are encountering Covid-19 impacts such as limited shipper access, changing distribution patterns and traffic-related issues.

“This survey will help us confirm what we know anecdotally,” said Tom Weakley, Director of the OOIDA Foundation, “that the trucking industry is leading the charge in responding to food and medicine shortages among other critical supplies.  We need everyone’s input on this effort.”

The survey link can be found at:

Anyone involved in trucking operations is urged to respond.

“Our goal is to complete the data analysis as quickly as possible, as it can provide important guidance to public and private decision-makers.  The Covid-19 pandemic is a moving target, and we can’t afford to design policies and supply chains around guesswork,” said Dan Murray, Senior Vice President at ATRI.

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501c3 not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

OOIDA is the largest truck driver association in North America, representing more than 160,000 truck drivers and small fleets.

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Mar 242020

Contact: Daniel Murray
(651) 641-6162
March 24, 2020


Atlanta, Georgia – Today, the American Transportation Research Institute is releasing new data showing that trucks are continuing to move – in many cases faster than usual – to respond to the demands placed on the industry by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“ATRI’s real-time GPS data comes from more than a million trucks, allowing us to analyze freight flows, and so far in March, what we are seeing is an unprecedented level of truck movement,” said ATRI President and COO Rebecca Brewster. “Not only are trucks continuing to move, but they are doing so at speeds well in excess of normal traffic patterns.”

For example, according to ATRI’s data, at the intersection of I-85 and I-285 in Atlanta, known locally as Spaghetti Junction, afternoon rush hour truck speeds are typically less than 15 MPH due to congestion.  Last week, truck speeds averaged 53 MPH.

“Spaghetti Junction is typical of what we’ve seen across the country, especially in areas hit hard by the virus and subject to quarantines and lockdowns,” Brewster said. “As other traffic dissipates, trucks continue to move, delivering much-needed relief supplies to markets, hospitals, gas stations and other essential businesses.”

Among the hardest hit states, New York, California and Illinois, the data is showing similar changes.

According to ATRI’s analysis, the results can be explained by several COVID-19 related factors: first is the dramatic reduction in commuter traffic, allowing trucks to operate at higher speeds, particularly during traditional rush hours.  Second, is the continuous 24/7 truck operations that generate higher average truck speeds across nearly all hours of the day.

ATRI’s analysis used truck GPS data from more than a million heavy-duty trucks and the locations examined included some of the nation’s top truck choke points.

“Normally, ATRI’s bottleneck data is used to show us where the problems are on our highway system,” said American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear, “but during this period of extreme uncertainty, the data is showing us where the solution is – in the back of America’s trucks as professional drivers continue to quickly and safely deliver life-sustaining medical supplies, food, fuel and other essentials to Americans when they need it most.”

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501c3 not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

Mar 162020

ATRI publishes a compendium of current idling regulations by state, which is provided for free in two different PDF formats — the original compendium listing and as a foldable cab card for quick reference. ATRI updates the compendium regularly.

The information contained in these compendiums is for reference purposes only and should not be relied upon for regulatory compliance. This information may contain errors and omissions and is subject to change. Actual state, county, or city codes should be referenced for specific requirements. Online users may access these codes by clicking on the individual regulations listed.

Feb 182020

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
7:00 a.m. ET
Contact: Rebecca Brewster (404) 247-8787

Arlington, VA – The American Transportation Research Institute today released its annual list highlighting the most congested bottlenecks for trucks in America.

The 2020 Top Truck Bottleneck List assesses the level of truck-involved congestion at 300 locations on the national highway system.  The analysis, based on truck GPS data from over 1 million heavy duty trucks uses several customized software applications and analysis methods, along with terabytes of data from trucking operations to produce a congestion impact ranking for each location.  ATRI’s truck GPS data is also used to support the U.S. DOT’s Freight Mobility Initiative.  The bottleneck locations detailed in this latest ATRI list represent the top 100 congested locations, although ATRI continuously monitors more than 300 freight-critical locations.

The intersection of I-95 and SR 4 in Fort Lee, New Jersey is once again the Number One freight bottleneck in the country.  The rest of the Top 10 includes:

  1. Atlanta: I-285 at I-85 (North)
  2. Nashville: I-24/I-40 at I-440 (East)
  3. Houston: I-45 at I-69/US 59
  4. Atlanta, GA: I-75 at I-285 (North)
  5. Chicago, IL: I-290 at I-90/I-94
  6. Atlanta, GA: I-20 at I-285 (West)
  7. Cincinnati, OH: I-71 at I-75
  8. Los Angeles, CA: SR 60 at SR 57
  9. Los Angeles, CA: I-710 at I-105

“ATRI’s bottleneck analysis is an important tool for TDOT as we work to maximize the safety and efficiency of our transportation system, and ensure we are making the smartest investments possible,” said Tennessee Department of Transportation Assistant Bureau Chief Freight & Logistics Dan Pallme.  “The additional capacity we are providing as part of the ongoing I-440 Reconstruction Project should improve the safety and reliability of this important corridor, which we know is critical to freight movement.”

ATRI’s analysis, which utilized data from 2019, found that the number of locations experiencing significant congestion – with average daily speeds of 45 MPH or less – has increased 92 percent in just five years, far outpacing the 10 percent growth in traffic congestion for that same time period.

“ATA has been beating the drum about the continued degradation of our infrastructure, and thanks to ATRI’s research we can see exactly how decades of ignoring the problem are impacting not just our industry but our economy and commuters everywhere,” said American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear. “This report should sound the alarm for policymakers that the cost of doing nothing is too high, and provide a roadmap of where to target investments to really solve our nation’s mounting infrastructure crisis.”

For access to the full report, including detailed information on each of the 100 top congested locations, please click here.

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501c3 not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

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Feb 182020

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 trucks, ATRI develops and monitors a series of key performance measures on the nation’s freight transportation system. Among many GPS analyses, ATRI now converts its truck GPS dataset into an ongoing analysis that is used to quantify the impact of traffic congestion on truck-borne freight at 300 specific locations.

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. This is of particular importance as the nation weighs the needs and resources available for transportation funding.

On a state and local level, this research can inform local investment decisions that can directly improve supply chain efficiency. 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 and identification of influential factors contributing to congestion and the requisite consequences on freight mobility.

  • For the bottleneck brochure with a list of all 100 locations, click here.
  • For a description of the research methodology, click here.
  • The top 100 congestion profiles are listed in rank-order by congestion level in the table below.  You may view a location by clicking a location hyperlink.  You may also sort any column by clicking header in that column.

Location DescriptionStateAverage
Percent Change
1Fort Lee, NJ: I-95 at SR 4NJ29.722.432.45.1%
2Atlanta, GA: I-285 at I-85 (North)GA34.022.440.2-0.6%
3Nashville, TN: I-24/I-40 at I-440 (East)TN36.324.042.5-12.0%
4Houston, TX: I-45 at I-69/US 59TX30.920.536.1-8.6%
5Atlanta, GA: I-75 at I-285 (North)GA40.529.246.45.0%
6Chicago, IL: I-290 at I-90/I-94IL21.716.123.8-2.6%
7Atlanta, GA: I-20 at I-285 (West)GA42.636.445.2-0.8%
8Cincinnati, OH: I-71 at I-75OH43.936.047.0-5.1%
9Los Angeles, CA: SR 60 at SR 57CA40.233.143.3-1.9%
10Los Angeles, CA: I-710 at I-105CA35.425.240.9-4.1%
11Hartford, CT: I-84 at I-91CT42.732.846.5-2.1%
12San Bernardino, CA: I-10 at I-15CA41.932.546.0-2.9%
13Rye, NY: I-95 at I-287NY42.940.843.4-11.7%
14Houston, TX: I-10 at I-45TX37.924.945.4-4.5%
15Denver, CO: I-70 Central ProjectCO36.028.339.8-10.4%
16Austin, TX: I-35TX27.415.732.3-8.7%
17Houston, TX: I-45 at I-610 (North)TX38.726.146.0-12.9%
18Dallas, TX: I-45 at I-30TX38.527.843.4-2.8%
19Portland, OR: I-5 at I-84OR30.723.034.8-6.7%
20Indianapolis, IN: I-65 at I-70 (North)IN45.034.550.5-8.5%
21Denver, CO: I-70 at I-25CO38.129.742.4-3.4%
22Nashville, TN: I-40 at I-65 (East)TN37.226.441.9-7.8%
23Houston, TX: I-10 at I-610 (West)TX43.631.249.8-2.1%
24Atlanta, GA: I-20 at I-285 (East)GA45.038.347.9-1.2%
25Greenville, SC: I-85 at I-385SC45.937.949.6-11.5%
26Chicago, IL: I-90 at I-94 (North)IL29.016.636.14.1%
27Baton Rouge, LA: I-10 at I-110LA37.429.441.50.02%
28Chicago, IL: I-90 at I-94 (South)IL40.531.844.0-3.1%
29Queens, NY: I-495NY24.
30Phoenix, AZ: I-17 at I-10AZ42.829.649.3-2.0%
31Brooklyn, NY: I-278 at Belt ParkwayNY35.025.439.1-3.0%
32Chattanooga, TN: I-75 at I-24TN50.547.751.6-5.9%
33St. Louis, MO: I-64/I-55 at I-44MO45.441.846.810.7%
34Vancouver, WA: I-5 at Columbia RiverWA41.635.444.1-2.5%
35Tacoma, WA: I-5 at I-705/SR 16WA39.131.742.7-11.4%
36Oakland, CA: I-880 at I-238CA39.632.143.5-1.7%
37Stamford, CT: I-95CT39.831.442.2-0.5%
38Providence, RI: I-95 at I-195RI39.631.743.3-3.9%
39Federal Way, WA: SR 18 at I-5WA42.132.946.9-9.1%
40Minneapolis - St. Paul, MN: I-35W at I-494MN43.233.748.2-1.3%
41Corona, CA: I-15 at SR 91CA42.033.844.9-7.9%
42Indianapolis, IN: I-65 at I-70 (South)IN44.334.949.2-5.9%
43Dallas, TX: US 75 at I-635TX43.832.648.9-5.8%
44Seattle, WA: I-5 at I-90WA32.725.636.35.2%
45Philadelphia, PA: I-76 at I-676PA29.023.331.1-3.2%
46Chicago, IL: I-80 at I-94IL51.147.252.7-6.8%
47Gary, IN: I-65 at I-80IN50.348.650.9-7.3%
48Atlanta, GA: I-20 at I-75/I-85GA37.326.941.8-3.1%
49Norwalk, CT: I-95CT42.830.447.3-3.1%
50Baltimore, MD: I-695 at I-70MD44.034.248.5-0.7%
51Chattanooga, TN: I-24 at US 27TN47.
52Philadelphia, PA: I-76 at US 1PA31.021.935.51.0%
53Houston, TX: I-610 at US 290TX42.430.649.14.4%
54Kansas City, MO: I-70 at I-670 at US 71MO45.938.549.10.0%
55Houston, TX: I-10 at I-610 (East )TX49.
56Charlotte, NC: I-85 at I-485 (West)NC49.540.554.1-11.1%
57Charlotte, NC: I-77 at I-485 (South)NC50.641.854.7-0.4%
58Bronx, NY: I-678NY31.625.834.42.3%
59Detroit, MI: I-94 at I-75MI44.738.247.822.9%
60Auburn, WA: SR 18 at SR 167WA43.735.747.4-6.0%
61Minneapolis - St. Paul, MN: I-35E at I-94MN42.333.247.0-8.3%
62McDonough, GA: I-75GA51.649.352.4-2.7%
63Los Angeles, CA: I-110 at I-105CA37.928.542.32.0%
64Boston, MA: I-95 at I-90MA43.032.147.8-5.3%
65Philadelphia, PA: I-476 at I-95PA42.733.147.3-2.7%
66Milwaukee, WI: I-94/I-794 at I-43WI42.432.448.11.5%
67Cincinnati, OH: I-75 at I-74OH46.938.150.6-4.4%
68Denver, CO: I-25 at I-76CO46.437.450.8-5.6%
69Phoenix, AZ: I-10 at US 60AZ47.737.852.1-3.3%
70Piscataway, NJ: I-287NJ45.533.851.4-3.7%
71Atlanta, GA: I-75 at I-85GA34.923.540.20.01%
72Washington, DC: I-95 at I-495 (North)DC45.633.050.6-5.2%
73Houston, TX: I-610 at I-69/US 59 (West)TX37.928.642.0-13.8%
74Nashville, TN: I-65 at I-24TN47.936.853.0-5.2%
75Oakland, CA: I-80 at I-580/I-880CA31.623.735.55.4%
76Seattle, WA: I-90 at I-405WA36.628.640.41.0%
77Minneapolis - St. Paul, MN: I-35W at I-694MN45.235.950.5-9.5%
78Pittsburgh, PA: I-70 at I-79 (East)PA47.546.747.9-2.3%
79Elmsford, NY: I-287 at I-87NY47.035.851.43.5%
80Baltimore, MD: I-95 at I-395MD43.533.748.0-8.8%
81Nyack, NY: I-287NY46.535.650.70.1%
82Philadelphia, PA: I-76 at I-476PA44.635.448.7-0.1%
83Manhasset, NY: I-495 at Shelter Rock RoadNY41.832.445.91.2%
84Boston, MA: I-95 at I-93 (North)MA41.731.846.4-3.9%
85Minneapolis - St. Paul, MN: I-94 at US 52MN34.227.438.0-4.5%
86Boston, MA: I-93 at SR 3MA36.124.543.4-4.0%
87Cincinnati, OH: I-75/I-71 at I-275OH50.143.153.3-4.4%
88Portland, OR: I-5 at I-205 (South)OR45.736.051.1-6.5%
89Baltimore, MD: I-695 at I-83MD47.237.751.0-4.2%
90Ft. Worth, TX: I-35W at I-30TX45.836.450.12.1%
91Tampa, FL: I-4 at I-275FL39.228.044.8-4.9%
92Charleston, SC: I-26 at I-526SC43.833.949.0-2.4%
93Indianapolis, IN: I-465 at I-69IN49.641.753.20.7%
94Nashville, TN: I-65 at I-440TN43.030.149.9-16.0%
95Minneapolis - St. Paul, MN: I-35W at I-94MN37.930.441.8-1.4%
96Charlotte, NC: I-77 near Lake NormanNC43.533.848.721.8%
97Columbus, OH: I-71 at I-70OH44.237.346.8-0.8%
98Harrisburg, PA: SR 581 at I-83PA48.241.950.9-3.2%
99Washington, DC: I-495 at I-66DC43.133.046.4-7.1%
100Baltimore, MD: I-95 at I-695 (South)MD49.039.353.3-4.9%

Jan 292020

Contact: Daniel Murray
(651) 641-6162
January 29, 2020


Arlington, Virginia – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today released new research that documents the collection and distribution of $14.7 billion in U.S. toll revenue, representing 82 percent of U.S. toll collections. The research sheds light on many questions about tolling, including how much toll revenue is generated versus reinvested in toll facilities, and contrasts truck-generated toll revenue versus truck utilization of toll roads.

This study was identified as the top research priority for the industry by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee in 2019.

To better understand tolling, researchers collected public financial data from Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) published by toll systems, and attempted to standardize financial comparisons across systems. Key metrics included toll facility charges by user type, toll facility expenditures and toll revenue diversion to non-toll entities.

ATRI’s research found that the 21 major toll systems analyzed collected more than $14.7 billion in revenue with nearly 50 percent of toll revenue diverted to other uses. In addition, toll revenue increased more than 72 percent over the last decade compared to inflation growth of just 16.9 percent.

The report includes a first-of-its-kind data analysis to better understand the relationship between interstate commerce and toll road utilization. Through an analysis of truck GPS data, the researchers were able to quantify toll revenue impacts on local truck activity versus interstate commerce.

“It is clear from this research that highway funding mechanisms that return our tax investments to highways are far superior to tolling,” said Darren Hawkins, YRC Worldwide Chief Executive Officer. “We need greater oversight and transparency to ensure that the billions of dollars paid by our industry goes back into the roads and bridges that generate the revenue.”

You can download the full report and Executive Summary of Key Findings – A Financial Analysis of Toll System Revenue: Who Pays & Who Benefitsby clicking here.

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501c3 not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

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Jan 292020

For a free copy of the full report or executive summary of key findings electronically, please provide the information below. Once your information has been submitted, you will be directed to a page where you may download the report and/or one-pager. Please note the files are large so it may take a few minutes once you click the links:

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Jan 132020

Contact: Daniel Murray
(651) 641-6162
January 13, 2020

Arlington, Virginia – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today released new research that identifies both the positive and negative impacts associated with numerous government policies, programs and regulations that target autonomous truck development and testing. ATRI’s study proposes a framework by which autonomous truck standards could be developed.

This study was identified as the top research priority for the industry by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee in 2018.

More specifically, the report documents the dozens of local, state and federal activities that guide and regulate autonomous truck activities. While most attempt to create a framework for the safe testing of autonomous trucks, the myriad state and local activities ultimately impede the creation of a seamless and standardized autonomous truck (AT) network. Even those government rules that ostensibly support autonomous truck development often are too prescriptive to generate meaningful outcomes. For example, multiple vendors highlight Level 4 testing, even though regulations require constant control of the vehicles by both drivers and onboard engineers – making it difficult for motor carrier executives to accurately assess the real value of ATs.

“The pace of technology development in the autonomous truck sphere is moving at lightning speed,” said Jeff Reed, Skyline Transportation President and chair of the ATA Automated Truck Subcommittee. “Our industry needs states to collaborate on seamless policies and regulations, and we need more proactive federal guidance on AT development. Government activities at all levels must be dynamic enough to address the constantly evolving technology landscape.”

You can download the report – Redefining the Role of Government Activities in Automated Trucking – by clicking here.

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501c3 not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

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