The Department of Transportation published National Freight Strategic Plan, intended to guide policy, programs, initiatives and investments at the federal, regional and state levels across all modes.
“The department is unveiling the first-ever NFSP so that the U.S. can maintain our competitive edge across major industries like agriculture, manufacturing, energy production and ecommerce,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao when she announced its release on Sept. 3.
DOT says the plan provides a clear path to improve the safety, security, and resilience of the national freight system. It also details how to modernize freight infrastructure and operations to grow the economy and increase competitiveness.
The NFSP lays out a detailed plan to help prepare for the future by supporting the development of data, technologies, and workforce capabilities to improve freight system performance.
“Focused attention on the freight system is especially urgent in light of supply chain challenges caused by the recent pandemic,” said Wiley Deck, deputy administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. “W we need a holistic plan for our freight system. The NFSP is such a plan.”
Freight interests were pleased. American Trucking Associations said the plan recognizes the promise of technological solutions to safety, environmental and mobility concerns while acknowledging the need for significant infrastructure investments.
Leslie Blakey, president of the Coalition for America’s Gateways & Trade Corridors, commented, “We applaud DOT in releasing this National Freight Strategic Plan, which has been a longstanding policy goal for our organization.”
She added that GATC also looks forward to the department releasing the new National Multimodal Freight Network map in the near future. “When infrastructure fails – whether a failure of condition or capacity – safety, efficiency, performance and security all fail.”