Friday, September 14, 2012

US Govt. Creates Freight Policy Council

US Department of Transportation has announced the launch of a freight policy council to focus on improving the condition and performance of the national freight network to ensure the ability of the United States to compete in the global economy.

The council is tasked with developing a national, intermodal plan for improving the efficiency of freight movement. It will 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 Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “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.”

The DOT’s Freight Policy Council will implement key freight provisions of the recent federal transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21, which was signed by President Obama in July. MAP-21 established a national freight policy and called for the creation of a national freight strategic plan.

The council will be chaired by Deputy Transportation Secretary John Porcari and is expected to include DOT leadership from highways, rail, ports and airports and economic and policy experts from across the Obama Administration.

The freight and logistics industries, consumers and other stakeholders will also play an advisory role, according to the DOT, and states will be asked to offer proposals for improving the freight system in their region.

“With increasing competition abroad, Washington businesses require a 21st century approach to moving goods,” said US Senator Maria Cantwell, D-WA, who joined LaHood for the announcement at the PCC Logistics Duwamish Facility in Seattle. “This new Freight Policy Council provides the roadmap our nation needs to stay competitive and grow our trade economy.”