Freight movement is the lifeblood of the American economy. To succeed here and around the world, our nation's businesses need to get goods from ship to train to truck quickly and efficiently.
On Tuesday, as part of our ongoing effort to establish a National Freight Strategic Plan, we invited stakeholders to the DOT Freight Policy Council's second listening session. We wanted to hear from those on the front lines of shipping about how we can improve the way we move the goods that drive our economy.
In his State of the Union address last month, President Obama laid out his plan to strengthen the middle class and grow the economy by making America a magnet for jobs and manufacturing. Safe and efficient freight movement plays a key role in that plan.
So at DOT, we're taking the lead on improving our nation's freight movement to help keep America's businesses competitive. Tuesday's listening session was just the latest step in that effort.
We’re working to designate a National Freight Network, a system of priority roads most critical for people and businesses moving freight.
We’re also working on a proposal that will track our progress as a nation, to let us know how our transportation systems are performing and to help us decide where to focus future investments.
And last month, we announced the establishment of a National Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC) to help guide our freight improvement efforts.
At DOT, we’re committed to engaging with the people who count on freight. That includes the states, the freight and logistics industries, businesses, consumers, and others. We want representatives from across the transportation spectrum to help us improve the way we move freight. Click here to nominate someone or yourself for the NFAC.
In 2010, we shipped more than 18 billion tons of freight in the U.S., but by 2040 we’re projecting that number to increase by 27 billion tons.
So if we want our businesses to remain competitive, we have no choice but to invest in a transportation system --including roadways, railways, waterways, and runways-- that supports our economy and gives it the opportunity to continue growing as fast as possible.
That's why Deputy Secretary Porcari and members of our Freight Policy Council spent Tuesday listening to the folks who know freight best. And that's why--through the new National Freight Advisory Committee--we'll continue to listen as we develop a national freight strategy that keeps America's economy moving forward.