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I-35, Waco one of the slowest freight routes in the country, experts say


A recent report from the Federal Highway Administration shows that the freight route through Waco is one of the slowest in the country, putting a strain on truckers. 

The FHA report was conducted in 2020 and shows the path through Waco as the slowest in the state of Texas, and the 18th slowest route in the entire United States, despite Waco not making the 2019 or 2018 lists for top freight bottlenecks, reported KCEN News.

Nicole Katsikides, a research scientist at Texas A&M Transportation Institute, says that she believes a 2021 report to place Waco amongst the top 10 freight bottlenecks. Katsikides says that the freight backups aren’t the sole cause of current supply chain issues, but that they definitely contribute to the issue. 

“Unfortunately, the supply chain is extremely intricate and there’s lots of pieces tied together,” she said. “It’s like a major intricate domino system.”

“Even transitioning from traditional models that businesses have to the new models is changing and can add to the cost and delays. A lot of us are now using e-commerce or delivery. We’re not really going to the store so that has changed the way supply chains are set up. That reactive activity has created a change in the ability to get products where they need to be, so that is also contributing to the problems.”

She says the increase in shipping has not only clogged the port, but clogged Interstate 35 through Texas in general, creating traffic issues for anyone in the area. 

“The corridor on I-35 is critically important to not just Texas, but national supply chains,” Katsikides said.

The 2021 study is expected to be released soon.


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