DOT rolls out Freight Policy Council

An effort focused on national domestic freight initiatives was introduced this week by United States Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood.

By ·

An effort focused on national domestic freight initiatives was introduced this week by United States Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood.

Entitled the Freight Policy Council, DOT said its objective is to focus on improving the condition and performance of the national freight network to better ensure the ability of the U.S. to compete in the global economy. It added that the Freight Policy Council will develop a national intermodal plan for improving the efficiency of freight movement and also work with states to encourage development of a forward-looking state freight strategy.

“Our freight system is the lifeblood of the American economy, moving goods quickly and efficiently to benefit both businesses and consumers across the country,” said LaHood in a statement. “With the launch of the Freight Policy Council, we have an opportunity to make not only our freight system, but all modes of transportation, stronger and better connected.”

This effort comes of the heels of the recently-passed national transportation bill Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), which calls for the development of a National Freight Strategic Plan which encourages state freight plans and advisory committees, and provides incentives for states that fund projects to improve freight movement, focusing on reducing congestion, increasing productivity, improving the safety, security and resilience of freight transportation. The Freight Policy Council will implement provisions of this bill, according to DOT.

DOT said that the Freight Policy Council will be led by Deputy Transportation Secretary John Porcari and DOT leadership from highways, rail, ports and airports, and economic policy experts in the White House, with the freight and logistics sectors, consumers and other stakeholders serving as advisors, and states will be asked to offer proposals for improving the freight system in their respective locales.

Transportation infrastructure experts told LM that the Freight Policy Council has the potential to make a significant impact.

“Creation of a high-level, multimodal Freight Policy Council will go far in ensuring MAP-21’s freight provisions increase efficiency across all modes of the national freight network,” said Coalition for America’s Gateways and Corridors (CAGTC) Chairman Mortimer Downey. “Establishment of this Council signals a praiseworthy commitment to our national economy and global economic competitiveness. We look forward to working with Deputy Secretary Porcari and members of the Freight Policy Council to continue the progress made in the goods movement space through TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) and other Administration initiatives.” 

CAGTC Executive Director Leslie Blakey explained that one of the aspects of this announcement by USDOT that is most significant is that they are clearly determined to interpret the MAP21 mandate for a National Strategic Freight Plan as a multimodal endeavor and not just limited to highways.

“This is what we encouraged them to do, but MAP21 left it ambiguous and they could have chosen to go with a much narrower approach,” she said. “Also, the high-level commitment explicit in this announcement is a great sign that they are not going to delay during the coming months, despite the election fog.”

DOT highlighted that it is making strong investments through its freight and loan programs, including: more than $953 million in TIGER funding dedicated to 50 freight-related projects; and the Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing Program which provides up to $35 billion in loans and loan guarantees. DOT also highlighted that through MAP-21 freight projects can qualify for $1.75 billion through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) for the next two years. 


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

DOT · Freight · MAP-21 · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Six Ways Cloud ERP Supports Rapid Innovation
Kenandy is a new approach to ERP that lets you and your team focus on driving innovation, creating new product lines, and expanding your customer base even as you improve your business operations.
Download Today!
From the November 2016 Issue
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL) provider that could successfully combine transportation services and technology capabilities under one roof.
Warehouse & DC Operations Survey: Ready to confront complexity
2016 Quest for Quality Awards Dinner
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Best Practices: How to Efficiently Leverage APIs to Increase Your Net Income
Both legacy and modern technology leaders agree that leveraging API connectivity is critical in keeping up with the pace of a world that demands not only speed and agility, but also a deep level of visibility. During this session a panel of technology and industry experts discuss impact APIs can have on annual net income and market capitalization.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...
Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...

Motor Carrier Regulations Update: Caught in a Trap
The fed is hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits....
25th Annual Masters of Logistics
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and...