Diesel prices have increased nearly 74% nationally since June 2021 and over 53% since January 1, 2022 according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. With fuel prices – both gas and diesel – hitting a highest-ever national average, we set out to see how the increased prices have impacted the travel of long-haul trucks across the country.
Since June 2021, the nationwide change in long-haul Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) has decreased more than -3%. This change is affecting most states across the country, with the biggest declines of truck VMT being in Nebraska with a -12% decline, Florida falling more than -11%, and New Mexico falling just under -11%. However, some states have also experienced a slight increase in long haul truck VMT such as Delaware with over a 10% increase, Rhode Island with a 4% increase, and Nevada seeing nearly a 2% increase.
For reference, a depiction of long-haul truck volumes is pictured below. This shows that the most popular routes for freight traffic go through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Texas, all of which are experiencing a decline in long-haul VMT. The decrease of VMT in these areas likely reflects multiple issues rippling through the U.S. supply chain, including inflation, labor shortages, and supply disruptions due to COVID-19.
Still, the rise in fuel prices is a compounding factor to the aforementioned problems. Trucking companies are likely looking to alternatives, like freight rail or key waterways, to distribute goods. INRIX will continue to use its mobility data to monitor long-haul truck VMT as it relates to fuel prices, to bring the most current, up-to-date information on this vital concern.