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While passenger travel has declined nearly 50 percent since lockdown measures were implemented in mid-March, long-haul truck trips only declined by 13 percent – highlighting how freight has continued to move at nearly the same levels throughout the pandemic, a new study from data analytics firm INRIX found.
There were regional differences in the consistency of freight travel – though all areas experienced somewhat of a decline.
The western part of the country saw the smallest reduction in long-haul truck trips, down 6 percent when compared with the baseline as of April 17. Utah was the only state in the western part of the country that saw no decline in freight trips.
The Southern Gulf region of the U.S. saw the largest decline in trucking, at 17 percent during the same timeframe. Texas and Kentucky experienced the largest declines at 20 percent apiece.
Trucking in the North Central region fell 13 percent, 10 percent in the South Atlantic and 9 percent in the Northeast.
While detention times have proven to be a problem for truckers during the crisis, a decline in vehicle motor traffic has helped clear up congestion on the roadways, helping boost productivity. Some of the busiest highways, including the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in New York and Interstate 405 in Los Angeles, have shown dramatic declines in travel times – up to 68 percent during rush hour for the former and 73 percent for the latter.
The trucking industry has received a lot of praise for its work during the coronavirus crisis – which includes delivering everything from emergency medical supplies to essentials at local grocery stores. President Trump even held an event at the White House last month where he called truckers “foot soldiers who are carrying us to victory” in the “war” against the virus.
As previously reported by FOX Business, the public attention truckers have received has been a positive for the industry – which has had some success reaching the federal government as well as state governments when it comes to easing certain regulations and restrictions.