The National Freight Strategic Plan

Tractor trailers on a highwayBy L. Dennis Burns, CAPP

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao recently announced the release of the first National Freight Strategic Plan (NFSP). It is the latest effort by the department to strengthen America’s economic competitiveness. The NFSP lays out “a vision for long-term investments in infrastructure, the workforce, and other essential parts of the freight system.”

“The Department is unveiling the first-ever National Freight Strategic Plan so that the U.S. can maintain our competitive edge across major industries like agriculture, manufacturing, energy production and E-commerce,” said Chao. The release announcing the plan explained:

Every day, America’s transportation network moves more than 51 million tons of freight and energy products valued at nearly $52 billion via highways, railways, ports and inland waterways, pipelines, and airports. The growth in freight demand due to increasing use of e-commerce and global supply chains in recent years has strained our freight system and could threaten the competitive advantage of American businesses. As these supply chains continue to spread across the world, America’s ability to compete could be limited by inadequate infrastructure and a lack of preparation for incorporating innovative technologies.

The NFSP provides a clear goals and well-defined objectives to improve the safety, security, and resilience of the national freight system. It also details how we can modernize freight infrastructure and operations to grow the economy and increase competitiveness. Additionally, the NFSP lays out a plan to prepare for the future by supporting the development of data, technologies, and workforce capabilities that improve freight system performance.

From a parking and mobility industry perspective, this initiative intersects with established trends such as enhancing curb lane management and emerging trends such as smart loading zones. The full NFSP can be downloaded here.

The executive summary is an interesting and quick read and can be found here.

L. Dennis Burns, CAPP, is senior practice builder and regional vice president with Kimley-Horn, and a member of IPMI’s Board of Directors.