I-40 BRIDGE CLOSURE ESTIMATED TO COST TRUCKING $2.4M PER DAY. SHIPPERS SHOULD PREPARE FOR LONGER TRANSIT TIMES, SURCHARGES
LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (5-14-2021) – With the I-40 Hernando de Soto Bridge connecting Arkansas and Tennessee expected to be closed to traffic for months, new estimates are arising regarding the economic impact of the closure.
“Around 12,500 trucks traveled over the I-40 bridge each day and an additional 14,000 trucks cross the I-55 bridge daily. The closure of the I-40 bridge creates bottlenecks and delays impacting all 26,500 trucks relying on this major freight corridor connecting east and west,” said Arkansas Trucking Association President Shannon Newton.
Operational cost data provided by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) indicates the average cost of operating a truck to be $71.78 an hour or $1.20 a minute.
“Using GPS data, we can discern that a previous 8-minute drive is now averaging 84 minutes. This additional transit time at $1.20 a minute for 26,500 trucks is costing the trucking industry more than $2.4 million each day that the bridge is closed,” Newton said.
During a press conference on Wednesday in Memphis, Tennessee Department of Transportation Chief Engineer Paul Degges said it was too early to tell when the bridge will reopen. “Certainly, it’s plausible that this could be months rather than weeks,” he said. “We are hopeful that we can find a solution that would allow us to proceed with some opening of traffic, but right now we just don’t know.”
“Freight is like water,” Newton said. “It will continue to flow. Our industry will continue to make deliveries. But if the additional expense is prolonged, it is likely to be passed on to consumers.”
The supply chain and trucking in particular has already been operating at maximum capacity for the past several months. “Driver shortages, equipment shortages, fuel shortages and now a major roadblock through one of our country’s busiest trade corridors – an impact to consumers is inevitable.”
Shippers should prepare for longer transit times and surcharges until the flow of traffic is restored.
About the Arkansas Trucking Association: Since 1932, the Arkansas Trucking Association (ATA) has served as the voice of the trucking industry, promoting the vitality of this industry on which nearly 87 percent of Arkansas communities exclusively rely to move their goods. Made up of approximately 300 trucking and service companies, ATA helps members grow their business and profits while protecting the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas. Visit arkansastrucking.com for more information.