National Freight Strategic Plan: Request for Information

The safe and efficient movement of freight is vital to the Nation's economic growth and to the creation of well-paying jobs for millions of Americans. The Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act required DOT to develop a National Freight Strategic Plan (NFSP) that includes eleven statutorily required components to address multimodal freight transportation. The Department of Transportation (DOT) seeks information from the public, including stakeholders (e.g., State and local agencies, private owners and operators, industry trade groups, shippers and beneficial cargo owners, etc.) to aid development of the NFSP.

Comments must be received on or before February 10, 2020. DOT will consider comments filed after this date to the extent practicable.

The nation's freight transportation system is a complex network of almost seven million miles of highways, railways, navigable waterways, and pipelines. The components of this network are linked through hundreds of seaports, airports, and intermodal facilities. This system accommodates the movement of raw materials and finished products from the entire spectrum of the agricultural, manufacturing, energy, retail, and other sectors of the United States' economy.

The FAST Act required DOT to develop a National Freight Strategic Plan (NFSP) that included:

(1) an assessment of the condition and performance of the National Multimodal Freight Network;

(2) forecasts of freight volumes for the succeeding 5-, 10-, and 20-year periods;

(3) an identification of major trade gateways and national freight corridors that connect major population centers, trade gateways, and other major freight generators;

(4) an identification of bottlenecks on the National Multimodal Freight Network that create significant freight congestion, based on a quantitative methodology developed by the Under Secretary, which shall include at a minimum—

(a) information from the Freight Analysis Framework (FAF); and

(b) to the maximum extent practicable, an estimate of the cost of addressing each bottleneck and an operational improvements that could be implemented;

(5) an assessment of statutory, regulatory, technological, institutional, financial, and other barriers to improved freight transportation performance, and a description of opportunities for overcoming those barriers;

(6) a process for addressing multistate projects and encouraging jurisdictions to collaborate;

(7) strategies to improve freight intermodal connectivity;

(8) an identification of corridors providing access to energy exploration, development, installation, or production areas;

(9) an identification of corridors providing access to major areas for manufacturing, agriculture, or natural resources;

(10) an identification of best practices for improving the performance of the National Multimodal Freight Network, including critical commerce corridors and rural and urban access to critical freight corridors; and

(11) an identification of best practices to mitigate the impacts of freight movement on communities.