By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

The ability of the nation’s freight transportation system to efficiently and safely accommodate the growing demand for freight movement could be hampered by inadequate transportation capacity, according to an Oct. 3 report by TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit. The report also details institutional barriers to enhancing the nation’s freight facilities, lack of adequate funding for needed improvements to the freight network, and the driver shortage.

“At the same time, freight movement is being transformed by advances in vehicle autonomy, manufacturing, warehousing and supply chain automation, increases in e-commerce, and growing logistic networks being developed to accommodate consumer demand for faster delivery,” TRIP noted in its report release.

America’s Rolling Warehouses: Opportunities and Challenges with the Nation’s Freight Delivery System details the highest value of freight by all modes of transportation in 2016, the highest share of rural interstate vehicle miles of travel (VMT) by combination trucks, the largest average annual number of large truck fatalities per one million population from 2013-2017, and the largest projected increase in freight by value between 2016 and 2045.