In 2017 the trucking industry will be faced with many changes in regulation, trade, technology, and infrastructure. Many of the changes are originating from government leadership changes, starting with the new President, but also with the new Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao
, and the new administrator
of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA
). Currently the FMCSA is being run by Deputy Administrator Daphne Jefferson, the Trump administration has not indicated when a new administrator will be nominated.
Before looking ahead to the changes the new administration must face, it is important to note the accomplishments of last year’s administration. The Department of Transportation (DOT
) recently released its Transportation Statistics Annual Report (TSAR
) for 2016. This pocket guide to transportation contains a comprehensive guide of numbers relevant to the transportation industry. Below are some highlights to consider: Freight Movement
• For domestic shipments by value, Alaska and North Dakota had the highest rates of exporting goods to other states than they imported. This could be because of the low population in the states and the role of oil as a major export. California, Connecticut and Illinois were among the other states exporting more than importing.
• Besides Hawaii, Florida and Arizona had some of the highest rates of importing more than exporting freight.
• From 2000-2015 international trade increased from $2.4 trillion to $3.4 trillion (adjusted for inflation). Five of the top ten trading partners were in Asia. China is the leading trade partner, followed by Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Germany.
• The number of traffic deaths has decreased over the last 50 years. In 1966 there were 5.5 deaths per hundred million miles of highway travel, in 2015 there were 1.12.
• Truck parking is a major concern as current regulation requires a certain amount of rest after a maximum 11 hours driving. There are parking shortages along major corridors and metropolitan areas. More than 75% of drivers reported having difficulty finding safe and legal parking during rest periods.
Condition of Transportation System
• In 2014 there were more than 200,000 trucks were registered than the previous year.
• Out of all the surface conditions of the nation’s interstates, 2.2% of rural interstates were in poor condition in 2014. For urban interstate conditions, 5.4% were in poor condition in 2014, a slight increase from 2013.
• Bridge conditions are improving. Structurally deficient bridges have decreased from 15.2% in 2000 to 9.6% in 2015. Functionally obsolete bridges reduced from 15.5% in 2000 to 13.7% in 2015.