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Transportation Secretary Announces National Freight Strategic Plan

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced on September 3 the release of the first-ever National Freight Strategic Plan.  The NFSP lays out a vision for long-term investments in infrastructure, the workforce and other essential parts of the freight system.

“The department is unveiling the first-ever National Freight Strategic Plan so that the U.S. can maintain our competitive edge across major industries like agriculture, manufacturing, energy production and e-commerce,” Chao said. The report said agriculture contributes one-third of all the products moving in the freight system.

“The NFSP provides a clear path to improve the safety, security and resilience of the national freight system,” the U.S. Department of Transportation said in a press release. It also details how freight infrastructure and operations can be modernized to grow the economy and increase competitiveness. Additionally, the NFSP “lays out a plan to prepare for the future by supporting the development of data, technologies and workforce capabilities that improve freight system performance.”

The plan presents four guiding principles of action for federal involvement in freight policy:

• modernize or eliminate unnecessary or duplicative regulations that inhibit supply chain efficiency, reduce incentives to innovation, delay project delivery or raise costs to shippers and consumers, while protecting safety and environmental outcomes;

• improve cross-sector, multi-jurisdictional and multimodal collaboration to enhance intermodal connectivity and first- and last-mile connections, streamline interstate policies and regulations and support multi-state investment;

• provide targeted federal resources and financial assistance to support freight projects that provide significant benefits to the national economy; and

• invest in freight data, analytical tools and research to enhance the abilities of state, regional and local agencies to evaluate and address freight issues.

To learn more about the NFSP, visit transportation.gov/freight/NFSP.

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