Ports applaud draft US freight strategy

by MM&D Online Staff

Washington, DC—The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)—the voice of seaports in the Americas—is applauding US Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx for releasing the Draft National Freight Strategic Plan.

Among its specific strategies, the draft plan emphasizes the importance of a dedicated freight program that would improve the movement of cargo and meet economic demands. It also includes a draft Multimodal Freight Network map to inform planners, private sector stakeholders and the public about where major flows occur and where special attention to freight issues may be most warranted.

Furthermore, the draft plan would have the US DOT continue to support local, state and interagency collaboration, including close cooperation with port authorities, private sector stakeholders and agencies in Canada and Mexico; sharing best practices for freight planning; supporting advisory committees and public forums with stakeholders; and encouraging effective use of funding available at the national level.

“We’re extremely encouraged that Secretary Foxx is moving forward with the National Freight Strategic Plan,” said AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle. “Mapping the future of our freight network and providing resources to build it is a top priority for AAPA and its member ports.”

Nagle went on to say that the Department of Transportation plan “is a timely document to highlight the importance freight investment plays in our communities and in the national economy as Congress moves forward with a multi-year transportation reauthorization bill.”

The most recent federal transportation bill – MAP-21, passed in 2012 – directed the US DOT to develop a National Freight Strategic Plan laying out a course of action to meet National Freight Policy goals designed to improve the movement of freight in the US. The draft plan includes next steps in improving the condition and performance of the national freight network and increasing America’s global economic competitiveness as well as aims to reduce the impact of freight movement to communities.