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Minimizing Traffic Jams

Or: Getting Out of Town.

“They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot.”
—  Joni Mitchell

NATCO: Managing Traffic

Paradise? Parking Lot?

At NATCO, transportation logistics are always front and center on our minds.

Those thoughts begin early enough on any given day. As we wrote about recently, just getting to work here in Arlington, TX—negotiating that HWY 360/I-30 interchange—gives us logistical challenges.

Beyond that, our business and our customer requirements demand that we at least meet the challenges of a deadline for each and every movement of freight. Nobody likes or wants a delay.

As we coordinate the logistics of freight from point A to point B across the nation, it’s traffic—and traffic congestion—that’s of major concern.

A large percentage of our deliveries originate and terminate in highly-populated urban and/or industrial locations. In addition, even if they begin and end in less-populated areas, chances are good that a delivery will travel through a densely-populated area.

So, our strategy includes timing. When does the truck leave? When does the load need to arrive? Where are the usual or likely traffic jam locations?

With good coordination, it’s possible (and necessary) to minimize service disruption. That involves excellent communication between NATCO, carrier, and dispatch.

And there’s the rub. While everyone involves does their best to anticipate the unanticipated, when something happens, we’ve all experienced delays. Like a fender bender ahead that brings highway traffic to a standstill. It’s inconvenient. It’s disruptive. It impacts customers and reputations.

The Washington Post published an analysis of how long it might take to literally get out of town if you’re in a major metropolitan area. This is a fascinating read. They write:

“There are vast swaths of America that are not easily accessible from America’s largest cities. And if you limit travel time to an hour, you might not get far from city limits. How far you get in an hour often varies based on when you decide to leave.”

The Post pulled information for the article from a company called HERE Technologies, a company that creates mapping and in-vehicle navigation systems. Their mission: “to create a digital representation of reality to radically improve the way everyone and everything lives, moves and interacts.”

We’re impressed. (We just wish they could’ve improved the service at our restaurant the other night.)

Bottom line: traffic happens. We’re always looking to improve ways to minimize the repercussions.