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
Face security threats head-on. Protect data beyond perimeter.
Traditional Data Loss Protection (DLP) solutions present a number of serious shortcomings and challenges for companies deploying them, creating a clear gap in the market.
Download Today!
From the January 2018 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
Industry experts agree that costs across all sectors worldwide will continue to rise in 2018, and the most successful shippers will be those that are able to mitigate their impact on profitability. And, the right technology will play an increasingly vital role in driving efficiencies across the global logistics network.
The Future of Retail Distribution
Navigating the Reverse Supply Chain for Connected Devices
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
IAM, IoT and the Connected Supply Chain
There are three primary models of Identity and Access Management (IAM) technology that CTOs, CSOs, and Supply Chain executives are using to enhance their trading partner communities. While each leverages IAM and the IoT as core components only an “Outside-in” approach truly connects people, systems and things reliably and securely across the supply chain.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
State of Global Logistics: Delivering above and beyond
Industry experts agree that costs across all sectors worldwide will continue to rise in 2018, and...
2018 Rate Outlook: Economic Expansion, Pushing Rates Skyward
Trade and transport analysts see rates rising across all modes in accordance with continued...

Building the NextGen Supply Chain: Keeping pace with the digital economy
Peerless Media’s 2017 Virtual Summit shows how creating a data-rich ecosystem can eliminate...
2017 NASSTRAC Shipper of the Year: Mallinckrodt; Mastering and managing complexity
An inside look at how a large pharmaceutical firm transformed its vendor and supplier relationships...