Ways to Improve The Nation’s Freight Transportation

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In a recent article by Civil Engineering, editors examine ways to improve the nation’s freight transportation network. To give perspective, the United States Transportation system moved 17.6 billion tons of goods valued at more than 16.8 trillion dollars in 2011. However, the Federal Highway Administration anticipates a 60 percent growth over the next 30 years.

“To keep up with such demand, it is critical that Congress seek ways to increase the efficiency, safety, and overall condition and performance of the nation’s freight network,” concluded a report released in October of 2013 by the panel on the 21st Century Freight Transportation board.

This group was formed by leadership of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The bi-partisan panel was created to examine the current state of freight transportation in the US and how improving freight transportation can strengthen the US economy.

As part of their examination, the panel focused on four key factors:

  • The role played by freight transportation in the US economy
  • Ways to increase efficiency, safety, and overall condition and performance of the nation’s freight network
  • How technology assists in the movement of freight
  • Financing options for transportation projects

The report made several recommendations for addressing the nation’s challenges in freight transportation. Among the recommendations, the panel said Congress should “develop specific funding and revenue options for freight transportation projects.” In addition, they recommended that Congress authorize dedicated, sustainable funding to provide grants for projects deemed to have a regional or national impact on the overall performance of the freight network.

To read more about the recommendations, click here.