Pandemic slows down Brazilian highways

brazilian highways
Photo: Dado Photos/Shutterstock

All 27 Brazilian states have seen a stark decrease in highway traffic since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in March. On some of these major roadways, the drop in passenger and cargo transport reaches almost 50 percent, according to regular surveys carried out by the National Land Transportation Agency (ANTT). The decreased movement on intercity highways illustrates the economic slowdown of the country as a whole.

The states with the largest decreases are Rio de Janeiro — where the number of cargo lorries fell 46 percent — followed by Santa Catarina, 41.9 percent, and Paraná, 40.5 percent.

In the state of São Paulo, deemed the driving force of the Brazilian economy, the amount of heavy vehicles on highways has fallen 35.7 percent. In neighboring Minas Gerais — the country’s second-largest economy and the state with the biggest road network — one-quarter of cargo and passenger vehicles have stayed off highways.

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