Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Senator calls on LaHood to augment federal role in freight mobility

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
May 31, 2012

In a letter to Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) stressed the need for America to have a “clear strategy to improve freight mobility and the movement of goods from farm and factory to market.”

The senator called on LaHood to establish a high-level and coordinated multimodal freight initiative at the U.S. DOT, which would report directly to LaHood and focus on federal freight policy, planning, and investment across all modes of transportation.

The federal freight initiative, wrote Cantwell, would be comprised of freight elements from all U.S. DOT administrations and charged with:
1-improving coordination and multimodal freight planning across all modes and U.S. DOT operating administrations;
2-assisting in the evaluation, cost-benefit analysis, and prioritization of proposed federal freight investments and loan programs and their strategic importance to the interconnected national freight network of highways, railways, waterways, seaports, and airports, including the national freight strategic plan included in Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21, the two-year, $109 billion transportation bill, which the Senate signed off on earlier this year);
3-facilitating coordinated freight corridor planning between state, local, and port entities, and private sector stakeholders;
4-identifying the unique process issues that arise in completing freight projects due to their public-private nature and creating an action plan to improve efficiencies; and
5-establishing a defined, meaningful and collaborative advisory partnership with private, non-profit, and public sector freight stakeholders in highway, rail, maritime, port, and aviation sectors.

“A high level freight initiative could eliminate duplication and ensure America’s federal freight priorities are coordinated across all modes, helping the nation to prioritize and focus our investments on projects that have the maximum benefit to the economy and taxpayer,” wrote Cantwell. “This initiative could also help alleviate the problem resulting from the fact that many freight projects are multimodal and sometimes require redundant approvals for a single project.”

The concept of a national freight policy has been broached myriad times in previous incarnations of transportation bills

The Senate’s MAP-21 is comprised of various freight- and supply chain-related components, including a National Freight Network Program that provides formula funds to states for projects to improve the movement of freight on highways, including freight intermodal connectors and a National Highway Performance Program that consolidates the Interstate Maintenance program, the National Highway System program and part of the Highway Bridge Program into a single program that focuses on the most critical 22,000 miles of roads in the country, among others.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Director of Transportation Infrastructure and head of its Let’s Rebuild America campaign Janet Kavinoky recently told LM that if the political process is able to move forward on a new transportation bill, an ideal situation would be for a bill that goes through at least September 2013 at current funding levels and includes policy reforms that both the Senate and the House were going to advance, including: speeding up project delivery, consolidating programs, streamlining the environmental process, focusing on freight, and doing more in the way of performance management and accountability.

In late March, the House and Senate signed off on respective bills to keep federal funding for surface transportation intact at current levels, through the end of June. Since the previous transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU expired in September 2009, funding has remained intact at the same levels due to a series of continuing resolutions that have been passed by Congress.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
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. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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!

Recent Entries

In the third-party logistics (3PL) sector, the ongoing trend of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity never seems to take a break. That is apparent in recent weeks alone, with XPO Logistics recent acquisition of Norbert Dentressangle for $3.53 billion, Echo Global Logistics scooping up Command Transportation for $420 million, and Kuehne+Nagel buying ReTrans for an undisclosed sum.

During this webcast attendees will learn about technology that is delivering real-time tracking on freight and putting an end to the all too common question of “Where’s My Brokered Load?”. Whether you’re a broker, 3PL, shipper, or carrier, find out how you can gain automated, TMS-integrated visibility on all your shipments.

FedEx recently took another step in its plans to acquire Netherlands-based TNT-NV and a provider of mail and courier services and the fourth largest global parcel operator for $4.8 billion, which it announced in early April. The company said it has “submitted the required filing to the European Commission to obtain regulatory clearance in connection with the intended recommended public cash offer all issued and outstanding ordinary shares in the capital of TNT Express.”

The American Trucking Associations last week praised Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) for her bill that takes some positive steps towards alleviating the current environment regarding the truck driver shortage.

Global third-party logistics (3PL) services provider Kuehne+Nagel (KN) said this week it has entered into an agreement to acquire ReTrans Inc., a Memphis-based provider of multimodal transportation services.

Article Topics

News · Transportation · Infrastructure · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA