Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the conference call. During the presentation, all participants will be on a listen-only mode. I would now like to turn the conference over to Jennifer Seplow please go ahead.
Good afternoon or good morning to those of you to the West. Welcome to the Talking Freight Seminar Series. My name is Jennifer Seplow and I will moderate today's seminar. Today's topic is Uses of Freight Technology. Please be advised that today's seminar is being recorded.
Today we'll have three speakers, Rich Biter of the Secretary's Office of lntermodalism, U.S. Department of Transportation, Mike Onder of the Federal Highway Administration and Joe DeLorenzo of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Rich Biter is the Deputy Director, Secretary's Office of lntermodalism. Mr. Biter is responsible for coordinating Federal policy on intermodal transportation and initiating policies to promote efficient intermodal transportation in the United States. In addition, he has played a key role in crafting the freight related legislation in both the Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century (TEA-21) and its potential successor; the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2003 (SAFETEA).
Mr. Biter plays an active role in helping public and private transportation providers and users improve mobility in their transportation and logistics systems through safer, more efficient, better-integrated connections and choices. He and his staff place a particular emphasis on identifying and resolving specific process or infrastructure obstacles that inhibit intermodal transportation.
Mr. Biter serves as co-chair of the Intermodal Freight Technology Working Group, a public/private partnership which seeks to apply intelligent transportation system technologies to intermodal freight movements. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the International Trade Data System for consolidating the U .S. International Trade reporting requirements of over 120 Federal agencies into a single customer-oriented submission.
Mike Onder is the Chief of Technology and Operations in the FHWA Office of Freight Management and Operations. He is responsible for overseeing the intermodal freight technology program within the Office of Freight Management and Operations. The program primarily supports the adaptation of ITS technology to motor carrier and other freight operations to improve safety, security and productivity. It does this by conducting operational tests of intelligent transportation system technologies, supporting the development of tools to evaluate infrastructure and operational needs at border crossings, and promoting the development of standards for information exchange. Prior to his employment at FHWA, Mr. Onder was the Southeastern Sales Manager for Amtech Systems, where he helped develop the Sunpass system in Florida, electronic toll system on turnpike and other toll roads throughout the state. He also served as the Deputy Executive Director of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, where he helped implement AAMVAnet, a private network connecting all administrators in US and Canada, and as Deputy Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles for the State of Florida, where he directed the development of the International Registration Plan, a prorated fee plan for motor carriers.
Joe DeLorenzo is the Hazardous Materials Specialist for the FMCSA Midwest Service Center and has been working in the hazardous materials area for over 10 years. His current responsibilities include providing technical expertise on all areas of hazmat within the FMCSA, and to other Federal, State and local partners and the regulated industry with his primary responsibility being the 10 Midwest states. Joe has managed several major research projects relating to hazmat safety and security, including the National Hazardous Materials Risk Assessment and the Hazardous Materials Safety and Security Technology Operational Test. He has published and presented many papers and articles on hazardous materials research issues, and spoken on these topics throughout North America, as well as in Europe and Asia.
I'd like to go over a few logistical details prior to starting the seminar. Today's seminar will last 90 minutes, with 60 minutes allocated for the speakers, and the final 30 minutes for audience Question and Answer. The Operator will give you instructions on how to ask a question over the phone during the Q&A period. However, if during the presentations you think of a question, you can type it into the smaller text box underneath the chat area on the lower right side of your screen. Please make sure you are typing in the thin text box and not the large white area. Presenters will be unable to answer your questions during their presentations, but I will use some of the questions typed into the chat box to start off the question and answer session in the last half hour of the seminar. Those questions that are not answered will be posted to the Freight Planning LISTSERV. The LISTSERV is an email list and is a great forum for the distribution of information and a place where you can post questions to find out what other subscribers have learned in the area of Freight Planning. If you have not already joined the LISTSERV, the web address at which you can register is provided on the slide on your screen.
If at anytime you would like to zoom in on the slide that is showing on your screen, you can click on the zoom icon at the top of your screen. It looks like a magnifying glass with a plus sign in it.
Finally, I would like to remind you that this session is being recorded. A file containing the audio and the visual portion of this seminar will be posted to the Talking Freight Web site within the next week. To access the recorded seminar, please visit Talkingfreight.webex.com and click on the "recorded events" link on the left side of the page and then choose the session you'd like to view. Due to the size of the file, recorded files are available for viewing/listening purposes only and cannot be saved to your own computer. We encourage you to direct others in your office who may have not been able to attend this seminar to access the recorded seminar.
The PowerPoint presentations used during the seminar will also be available within the next week. I will notify all attendees of the availability of the PowerPoints, the recording, and a transcript of this seminar.
We're going to hang on until 1:00, to give a few more people a chance to join. At 1:00, we'll start with the first presentation of the day. Operator, we can go ahead and put the attendees in hold mode for now.
I'd be happy to do that for you. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. During the presentation, all participants will be in a listen-only mode. Afterwards we will conduct a question-and-answer session. I would now like to turn the conference over to Jennifer Seplow. Please go ahead.
Thank you. It's now about 1:00, I see we've had others join us. Today's topic for those of you who did just join us is Uses of Freight Technology. Our first presentation of the day will be that of Rich Biter of the Secretary's Office of Intermodalism. If you think of questions during the presentation please go ahead and type them in the chat area on your screen. Questions will be answered in the last 30 minutes of the seminar. With that, I will turn it over to Rich Biter.
Thank you, Jennifer. Hi, my name's Rich Biter. Today we're going to be talking about technology and the national freight agenda which I will get into in a second. First off I want to kind of start off and talk about the secretary's initiative in issuing a call to action regarding what we're looking at in the U.S. transportation system. Currently we have the system carries 900 tons of freight valued at 1 trillion. We look at an increase anywhere up to 40% in the next 20 years, it's imperative now that we begin looking at a comprehensive freight action plan. Just a quick overview of what I'm going to be talking about this afternoon is ITS freight and its tie in to our community. What is the role of the U.S. department of transportation and our national Freight Action Agenda followed by some of the high priority freight initiatives that we have undertaken. First off, I don't think we've given the audience that is listening in on this, that there's any doubters as to the tie-in between transportation and our national economy. Over 200 jeers our economy has been built on transportation. From the expansion into the west to the railroads, the airline industry. All modes of transportation. Our economy is absolutely based in it. The investments that we have made in transportation infrastructure over the years plus the deregulation of the early 1980s of the trucking railroad and airline industries have had a tremendous boost in efficiency. And also improving roof structures to better suit business needs. However, this is -- I'm going to be hitting on this theme several times throughout this presentation. We're at a point now that unless we start thinking about some changes in the way we plan, fund and build and/or maintain transportation infrastructure, nothing less than the future of our national economic well being is at stake. Bottom line is, if the transportation structure starts to crumble around us or becomes inefficient, hence that will have a direct nexus on our economy. As an example, because of improvements that we've made in the freight industry and logistics over the years from 1980 to 2000, we solved a total freight logistics cost of GDP drop from roughly 16.1% to about 10%. And at a $2 trillion economy, those are some serious dollars that we're talking about. On average, if you want to spread it out by American households, just because of those efficiencies that we put into the system, we figure American households have saved over $1,000 annually just on the reduction in logistics costs. Now, some of the challenges that we're facing, notwithstanding these improvements, we're at a part in the pun -- pardon the pun, a crossroads if you will, as to what we do next in both to maintain what we have, and hopefully also to grow our economy. First our growing congestion at ports, at urban areas are our major intermodal connecters is getting worse, not better. We're looking at increasing economic globalization, more and more of our economy is based on global economics. Over 26% of our economy is based on imports, exports. We have severe safety challenges, significant numbers of highway fatalities, and, of course, we all have security concerns that must be addressed as well. Focusing in on technology and information technology is some of the challenges that we can look forward to in leveraging technology to optimize system performance. We have here within the department that was initially formed under the ice t act the intelligence transportation system that we're looking at full deployment across the region with linkage to support trains. Anything that goes from financial transactions down to credentialing. And, of course, the data needs, in other words, we're generating this information and more and more technology is being used in real-time to track goods and freight movement, both equipment and the goods themselves, and how can we use that generation of data to better serve both public needs, be it security, be it public infrastructure planning and that information can also be collected and gathered and used for private sector needs for business forecasting. Route volumes and so forth. To respond to these challenges, listed here, some of our top priorities, safety has always been our top priority in this administration and of previous administrations, as long as dot has been in existence. In 2002, we still had over 43,000 people killed. Over 3 million people injured on our nation's highways, that's totally unacceptable. And quite frankly unneeded. We can do something about that, and technology is a way that we can address that. I'll talk a little built more about that in a second. Global connectivity as I mentioned is on the increase. We've been becoming a much smaller world, and that -- we must ensure, particularly on our port system, where the bulk over 90% of our trade comes in and out, that we do have efficient systems and connecter's to our inland transportation systems. Of course, security has emerged as a major concern. And our focus here within the department of transportation is that while we recognize that the department of homeland security is the agency that is -- has been tagged by both the congress and the administration as having the major responsibility for security. Nevertheless, it's the department of transportation role is to work hand-in-hand with DHS to ensure that -- kind of like the Hippocratic Oath, do no harm. We don't put security to the point where we slow down or shutdown trade. But, in fact, how can we use technology that is being utilized for security purposes. How can we use that in actuality to possibly even help efficiencies? So the role of the dot within this is to provide a safe, secure and efficient transportation infrastructure needed to support the U.S. economy. Toward that end we're working hard to develop safer, simpler and smarter transportation solutions. As part of this, we have introduced last year the secretary has put forth our administration has put forth to Congress the SAFETEA legislation, which is the reauthorization of the highway trust fund which was administered under TEA-21. Through a number of extensions that congress has put on, they have as yet failed to enact another six-year funding bill. And instead have put the extension through May of 2005. Notwithstanding that, and there's been a number of freight provisions, some of which deal with technology that we had put in that act and has been in fact favorably received both by congress and the private sector. But rather than wait, sitting back for the final bill to come forward, the secretary has directed the department to take whatever we can do within existing authorities to look at developing a national Freight Action Agenda that we can work with our partners and our stakeholders in state and local governments as well as the private sector in helping to address some of the freight challenges that we've talked about. Particularly, you know, the recommendations that we're coming in -- I'll get into more of this in a second. But developing better freight data and tools, building professional capacity. And particularly improving intermodal freight research and technology. And also facilitating nationally significant freight projects, like the CREATE project in Chicago for cross town rail.
Intermodal exchanges. Within the Freight Action Agenda, we've identified six priority freight initiatives, the first is to facilitate the development and planning of the major freight projects which I just spoke about. Promote the intelligence transportation technologies. Improve intermodal connectivity by improving the coordination and planning across dot programs. Enhance dot's professional capacity program. Improve the timeliness and quality of freight data. Using these technologies to meet the freight needs in particular on the intelligence priorities is promoting communications, such as the 5.9 gigahertz frequency. For those of you that are, perhaps, unfamiliar with this, I hear you will be hearing more and more of this in the months and years ahead. The FTC has allocated these gigahertz which is a very, very wide spectrum of 5.9 specifically dedicated for transportation use. Without getting into the weeds on this. So many applications that can be used are making our highway smarter and the vehicle smarter. Some of the public safety would be allowing vehicle to vehicle communication at highway speeds. Vehicle to roadside communication that CVO applications that would tie in. Many of us are seeing the new innovations of cars coming out, as well as commercial vehicles, with all types of technology that are there, 5.9 is been set aside with the means with which these devices can communicate with one another. Positive train control which would allow trains to operate at velocities that are much closer to one another. So you can get more capacity out of existing track. Also we're working on a freight manifest. Mike Onder will be specifically talking much more in detail about that particular initiative.
Improving freight data timeliness quality. Freight data has been lagging and/or missing through all levels in both public and private sectors. Much of what we base -- how many times have we heard we build a road and before you cut the ribbon the road is obsolete because it just wasn't built for what the future demand would be. We need to get better use, a better handle on data that is generated. Certainly technology is a major major, major focus of how we can generate this data. Not only in the quality but also in the speed. Many of you may be familiar with the commodity flow survey that we do every five years, well, by the time we get that information out and it becomes meaningful, it's anywhere from 5 to 7 years old and may not reflect the changes in the market. Some of the initiatives that we have formed with the private sector in looking at technology and how we can apply it involves several organizations, one is the intermodal freight technology working group, which I have had the privilege of co chairing with the private sector co chair, currently Mr. Ben Shelton from up railroad. The purpose of the IFTWG since its founding in 1998, the IFTWG is a consortium of public agencies and private sectors that share a common goal. How can we get enhanced efficiency and technology to make comprehensive use of the intermodal freight net work. How can we get various systems working together and use this to increase U.S. economic competitiveness in the global community plus meet our security and important domestic needs. Another organization that we work cooperatively with the private sector is the cargo handling cooperative program run out of our maritime administration. Here we are working to increase the productivity, customer service of marine freight transportation customers and -- companies and their connectivity with the inland transportation system. I also want to mention the Operation Safe Commerce, shortly after 9/11 we saw what happened on the air industry, where as a result of the terrorists turning commercial airliners into flying fuel-laden cruise missiles, we didn't know what was happening after that. And the secretary and the administration really had no other alternative than to shut down the entire air system over a period of a week. Just to sort out and determine what happened. Well, we can imagine what would happen, what the scenario would be similarly if that would happen to our marine system if we were to shut down our port system. We've been diligently working on that, but there's still much more way to go before we can adequately address the vulnerabilities in our supply chains. As a result of that, we worked many organizations, customers, dot, commerce, state department, so forth, worked cooperatively in developing a program called Operation Safe Commerce. Up to date, we've invested over $58 million into a program to improve cargo security and reduce the risk of congestion at U.S. ports and seaports. By looking at the vulnerabilities in over 20 international supply chains, identifying what they are, and then looking at solution sets which includes technology as to -- to see if it can address those vulnerabilities. We're currently in phase -- finishing up phase 2 of Operation Safe Commerce and about to begin a phase three of it. And the information that we get out of this, the lessons learned out of this, both good and bad will apply to eventual rule making that will be done and eventually applied to supply chains on goods coming into and out of the United States. In conclusion, let me just say that other than the spotlight which by the way was invented over 100 years ago, most technology advances in the past century in highway infrastructure have been in road building materials and techniques. We can't build our way out of today's condition guest on, let alone tomorrow's challenges. We have to find a way to make better use of existing infrastructure across all modes. Not just surface or rail or maritime, but all modes working together. And also, as we're developing new technologies again for security, again for tracing, tracking, anywhere from RFID to DSRC, we need to think about the overall end for this is that technology must integrate both smart vehicles and smart infrastructure, and what I would call visible transportees, whether they're people or freight. This all must be integrated so that -- I've often heard that. I'm sorry, we're having some feedback on the phone line right now. Okay. Anyway, the final thought is, as we have different technologies, we must learn to look at how we can integrate this into a full system to gain all the efficiencies that we can. Thank you very much. And after the presentations, I'll be happy to entertain any questions. Jennifer?
Thank you, Rich. I want to encourage you, if you do have questions, please go ahead and type them in the chat area, and we'll get to them in the last half hour of the seminar. And we'll be opening up the phone lines for questions as well. I'm now going to turn it over to Mike Onder of the Federal Highway Administration.
Thanks, Jennifer. And thanks, Rich for laying the groundwork that I'm primarily going to get engaged with here. Let me just say to everyone, that we're going to dig a little deeper into the technology arena that Rich was talking about, and talk a little bit about how we may be able to deploy some of this, and how it may become adaptable and adoptable within the supply chain of today and hopefully tomorrow. Let me also just say that I'm going to talk to you about -- put this in kind of four categories of discussion. Primarily talk about program overview, the concept of operation as it relates to this electronic freight manifest initiative. Let me just start off by saying that the whole idea of this electronic freight manifest initiatives are to improve very much in the same vein that Rich was talking about, operational efficiencies, productivity and security. Looking for a balance there. Something that we can balance security with efficiency, so we're not adversely interrupting the progress of our commercial system in the United States, and at the same time, we're enhancing the security of it. We're looking at meeting these objectives by applying some things, I think that are intuitive in trying to move forward on these objectives. Primarily the data standards, biometric technology and web portals which is a whole new activity that's coming into play with regard to information technology on the supply chain. We're looking at how that might fit with carrying out some of these objectives. This program we're working on is building on previous freight tests. The major one is primarily a test we finished back in 2002 called the electronic supply chain manifest. That project identified that there could be a savings of labor that amounted to $1.50 to $3.50 per shipment with regard to each actor or supply chain partner that was involved in supply chain activity . What it actually showed us when we applied these numbers to the number of transactions that were occurring on an annual basis is that the industry and possibly government could save well over $1 billion a year -- if we would adapt to some of knees new best practices that were being proposed. Also we're looking to facilitate the Freight Action Agenda of the United States department of transportation that Rich talked to you a little bit earlier. We can't build ourselves out of this problem. Just to emphasize that, primarily what Rich had mentioned as the freight volumes are rapidly increasing, we're seeing upwards of close to 100% increase within probably the next 16 years, in all of our gate access systems, all of our gateways, all of the terminals, seaports,and airports. Every one of the facilities are challenged by some of this -- these freight volumes of the future, we're also very heavily engaged in trying to avoid any other kinds of terrorist situations that might occur that would have the effect of shutting down our commercial enterprise system. Our whole electronic freight manifest initiative certainly does respect all these observations I just made to you about the business environment. We know that there are international institutional and technical barriers, we're working -- and I'll explain to you how we're doing that in a few minutes. The stakeholder community is very broad and very difficult to get your arms around some of this stuff. Primarily what we're trying to do is use outreach and Rich mentions the intermodal freight technology working group. IFTWG is one of those that's helping to facilitate this whole idea of bringing the stakeholder community together on some of these issues. We know that there are partial technology solutions that already exist in the marketplace, and I'll explain to you and you'll see, I'll depict it in graphic detail on how some of the solutions are already working, but the fact that they are not actually working to satisfy the entire supply chain partnership on transactions is an area that we're trying to address. And we're doing that with the -- we're about to get engaged with it on this particular initiative. We're also dealing in the standards area, and we know that there are numerous bodies throughout the country -- not only this country, but also other countries in the world that are addressing these things as well. So we have to stay in synch with those folks as we move through this process. Let me now give you kind of an idea of this concept of operation that we're looking at with the electronic freight manifest initiative. Primarily, we're looking at a physical flow, and we're also looking at information flow. But we're looking primarily at what we call the truck air truck supply chain. Primarily things that are moving through the system that have high value and they have time sensitivity. So we're looking at the pickup of a package moving through a motor carrier to an air carrier, back to a motor carrier and on to its end destination. Certainly time and all of the other elements that you want as you can -- you want when you receive a package at your home are certainly those conditions that exist throughout all the packages that are being delivered through the supply chain or any other kind of freight for that matter. This next slide is primarily -- may look to you like a switch system and a telephone central switchboard. But primarily what we're trying to convey here, and under this concept of operation, it's some kind of a virtual message conduit. Something that would be able to supply and not require anybody to keep a monstrous database, something that could supply information to and between all supply chain partners for every transaction that's going through the supply chain activity. We call this conduit for right now a freight information highway. I'll talk to you a little bit more about the details on that as we go through this presentation. As part of this. I mentioned we have an information flow of activity between supply chain partners as the goods move through the supply chain to its end destination. And we also have that physical supply chain. The two of those certainly have to work very close in hand and sometimes the physical supply chain was interrupted or barriers were there because the information supply chain was primarily paper based and you had to wait on the paper before you could actually move the goods, so we're looking and, of course, that's the trend, is to make this all an electronic business environment and we're certainly working together with the industry to see how we move that idea forward. Additionally, we're looking in this concept of operations as being able to periodically peak into the supply chain and take a snapshot out at a point in time. Such as a bill of lading or other particular information that might be of interest to the supply chain partners or even the governmental entities that might be engaged in the security piece of this as well. And that brings me to some of the current activities that are already under way with the point solutions for certain entities within the supply chain. There are companies that provide information technology solutions already in place, and we're very much aware of that, and trying to work in the same vein of trying to advance the ball without interrupting any of those particular processes. Also, within the customs arena, we're very much aware of the automated commercial environment that's already being built by the U.S. customs and very much aware of world customs organization also, trying to develop what they call a single window concept for all the nations of the world. We also are aware of modally driven solutions such as cargo 2000 and try to work with them as we try to branch through all of this on an intermodal type of arrangement. Primarily what we're saying is that the electronic freight manifest initiative is designed to be compatible with all these existing systems and try to keep from disrupting the investments that have already been made and try to build on those investments for our future system. Now, let me give you an idea of some of the developmental components that are part of this electronic freight manifest initiative. I think I've touched on some of these already, but I think it's important also to review that we're looking at standardized end-to-end consignment level data using existing data elements that have already been standardized. There's a united nations trade element directory (UNTDED). That's kind of the mother of all trade data elements, and we recognize that fact and we're looking at how we use existing data standards that can be packaged in a different format for this particular freight information highway. We're also looking at something that came out of -- we would refer to it as proposed best practice that came out of our operational test, and that was a chain of possession system, where each party or each segment of the supply chain had a party that was identified as -- responsible for that segment of the move, and they would be positively and they were positively identified with their fingerprint for each stage of the move, so you knew exactly who was responsible for each segment of it. And the handoff then was recorded to the next possessor. We're looking at trying to adopt that within this deployment test that we're working on now with one of our partners know as the Limited Brands. We're also looking at harmonizing and making sure this is harmonized with existing government data requirements. We're looking like I said, to willing supply chain partners and we have found limited brands and several of its supply chain partners are willing to step up to the table and work with us on this portion of the design test. By this time next year we'll know whether they're willing to move forward to test new procedures for their operations. We're hopeful that if we can attract early adopters to this new approach to handling things in an efficient manner in the supply chain. The market will observe those successes and actually advance everyone forward until we actually have this ubiquitously covered throughout the freight movement arena within the United States. And hopefully it will be adopted in other countries as well. We have been under the developmental components, we've been resting primarily -- or trying to build this building or the design right now on three pillars, and primarily that deals with the data standards pillar, the security pillar, and the information technology infrastructure pillar. Let me kind of go through each one of those for you. Even though this is the next slide, it's a busy slide, it's primarily our first pillar. It depictures the paper work that we've actually presented to our partners within the international standards organization. We have 7 other countries that are working with us on this and trying to create an intermodal freight data dictionary for this particular truck-air- truck activity. That takes data standards from other arenas and repackages those for this particular initiative. In this repackaging, we primarily have been looking at working with a standard or presenting data. And it primarily deals with five structures that we got too deep in the woods on this, we'd all fall asleep. Primarily it deals with building from data elements into data frames, going from the bottom, working to the top, through messages and then interface dialogues. And this is primarily to keep the data standard neutral from technology so that it can be applied to EDIFACT or XML, whatever the data standard happens to be. But looking at it from a technology neutral perspective. We've been looking at building this data standard primarily in five functional areas. From the build level consignment data which would primarily be from the shipper's perspective, line item level detailed items about the goods. The conveyance data, who actually is moving these goods, what is the carrier and what type of carrier is it. The possession data, which would have primarily the information about the possessor and not only the particular possessor, but also who they work for and why they're there for those particular goods at handoff time. And then referential data that deals with everything about that event;the date and the time and the location for pickup. As I mentioned before, this next slide is extremely busy, and I wouldn't expect you to be able to make out all the detail in the boxes, but let me just primarily, it's meant to show you, it's kind of an eye chart to show you some of the many actors that are involved in some of these standards activities throughout the world. We're looking at across that top line, primarily dealing with what's referred to as an e-business MOU. Primarily it's an international electronic business memorandum of agreement between a lot of various international organizations. Primarily world customs is involved here, we've got the international electrotechnical commissions involved. International standards organization. You got the united nations economic commission for transportation. You've got the international telecommunications union, which are all the FCC's of the world and then the international maritime organization, all very much engaged in trying to work together as we advance this whole idea of e-business throughout the world. This standard we're working on is ISO 24533. Primarily we're dealing right now with the trucking and air modes and working forward as we also include rail and ocean. Security as I mentioned earlier, is extremely important in this whole process. We know that security activities are needed to reduce the vulnerability in the supply chain. And primarily, we're looking at working with TSA and customs in trying to help make sure that those get positively identified and we work those through this operational test or deployment test that we're coming up with. We do have TSA and customs that have people that have been assigned to work with us on this. We're also making ourselves available to work on other projects that both TSA and the customs have going as well. Primarily we're looking at this from the standpoint of the visibility of end-to-end supply chain. And those are the pieces that we think are extremely important as you have visibility right from the very beginning of the manufacturing process all the way to the end until the end person, the customer actually accepts delivery of those particular goods. We have been primarily, and this is another depiction of the chain of possession concept we've been working it with. And as I mentioned to you, it's primarily one possessor handing off to another possessor through the whole supply chain until it reaches its end destination. We've been primarily looking at the consignment level. It's not down to the package level. This is primarily at the consignment level. Which could be a package or it could be several containers. One of the things I talked about earlier as well. And said I'd talk to you in a little more detail is the idea of this freight information highway. It's a virtual manifesting of data. We're talking about a conceptual framework primarily for supply chain partners to work together. I'm going to switch to the next slide primarily because of the graphic capability that it has. Although you might not be able to see everything in the boxes on this one. I will let you know that it primarily deals with all of the actors in the supply chain. It also includes the governmental entities that need to deal with the supply chain partners too as they move goods into and out of the United States. The graphic that you see on the upper left-hand corner is primarily what is the today picture. Primarily the one-to-one relationship that the supply chain partners would have with each other, primarily it could be electronically, it could be paper. With this one-to-one relationship, primarily, there could be a 3rd party involved that might receive a message and they would have to print that out and probably re-enter that data into their system because it didn't come to them in a format that their system understands. The lower left-hand corner is a depiction of what we are trying to come up with a concept for tomorrow. And that concept for tomorrow primarily allows all the supply chain partners to operate equally. Everyone in the supply chain for that particular transaction with, of course, the privacy pieces in place primarily for that particular transaction, you would have to have a need to be participating in this activity in order to be able to have this free fly -- flow of information. But primarily, this idea of a freight information highway, a virtual web or web services for tomorrow is what we've been working on and we expect to have a concept of operations on that finished sometime about the summer of next year. The next slide gives you a better idea of what were in the boxes in the previous slide. Primarily dealing with a lot of different actors and players here, and a lot of activity going on within this cloud that's referred to as the freight information highway. Primarily we do have homeland defense, we have technology which primarily would be tracking resources that could be used as well. Carriers and a facilities, we have shippers and receivers, third parties and the governmental entities that are all engaged here. And as I mentioned before, customs and TSA are very much a part of trying to help them move this concept forward. This particular slide primarily is also dealing with this cloud of the freight information highway in the center of this, we have what's referred to as existing vans, those are value added networks or companies that are already providing what we call translation and transmission services for the entities in the supply chain. One of the services that they might perform would be the third party that I talked about earlier where they would receive an electronic information from one or two others in the supply chain, but wouldn't be able to put that into their own information system. A van or a value added network provider would actually be able to do the translation for them for a fee and would be able to help them put that into their own system then. We're not talking about any of these vans that are existing right now, being disrupted or moved from the commercial value they provide to their clients right now. There's still a place for them. We see a place for them actually as a conveyor of this information, and working with them on the web services type of environment. So we don't see any disruption to existing services that are currently helping move freight through the system, through the supply chain partners. Now, let me kind of wrap this up with a couple of slides on what we see the value to the stakeholders. Primarily all of the stakeholders, we see information flow being expedited. Better end-to-end freight visibility. The visibility should reduce not only the threat of security implications, but also cargo theft as well. Now, what does it mean and how do we look at the various supply chain partners these stakeholders are on a one-to-one basis looking at a supplier, outbound trucker. Freight forwarders, the broker, air carrier, import customs, the inbound truck and the customer at the other end. What we've done is categorized these into four classes called supplier, intermediary and authority, and consignee. The supplier primarily dealt with the original supplier or manufacturer of the goods, intermediaries are dealing with the carriers, the freight forwarders and the brokers. The authorities primarily dealing with the customs authority and the TSA authorities, and the consignee would be the ultimate customer. The potential benefits we see to the suppliers are support for quick and timely shipment, minimizing the need for paper-based communications, we see error reduction due to the less repeated -- some of this comes in electronic form and it gets reconverted back to manually and then back to electronics. The freight forwarders are looking at more flexibility for reacting to last-minute changes, prior to any load being closed out. There's always last-minute changes and the information is always the last thing to make it into the system. More complete and timely advanced shipment information, helping on planning as well for resource activities. Resource availability, which is certainly a problem in most ports and terminals now, because real estate is certainly running out. People drowning in paper, I've seen it for myself and many of my visits to the ports and terminals around this country and also in other countries. Electronic freight manifest initiative could help with regard to that as well. Security features and driver identification, actually knowing who's coming in and out of your particular facility. Better managed advanced notification requirements. And then EFM might be more preferable to actual physical screening and slowing down the movement of goods. And then having improved human resource management due to having work load data on a quicker basis. And then leveling the playing field, which we think is also very important since small business really does provide our future for us. Authorities primarily helping to prevent public incidents. Enforcement of safety regulations. Enhanced enforcement of those safety regulations. Any incident that might occur, it can be pinpointed hopefully much quicker and cause -- and hopefully not cause a description to the whole system. And then the government authorities might be able to have a better standard platform for analysis, for something like this. On to the end customer. We're looking for the improved shipment visibility to be able to see what's happening to their goods all the way through the process, and then helpful in making dynamic decision-making where they'd be reacting on a near real-time basis. With that, I'm going to end my discussion and we'll move on to our next speaker. I just wanted to mention that there's information that we have on our web sites and Rich had in his presentation all of the web site that you may want to have access to for further inquiry into some of the things we're talking about here as well as Joe DeLorenzo's information he's going to be presenting to you next. So I believe at the end of our discussion, Jennifer will probably put that slide up for everybody to see. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Mike. And, yes, that's correct I will bring up that slide after Joe's presentation which does have all those web addresses on it. Thank you again to those who have posted questions into the chat area. We'll get to those following this presentation. I'm now going to turn it over to Joe DeLorenzo.
Thanks, Jennifer. Today the topic that I wanted to discuss a little bit on this call is FMCSA's hazardous materials safety and security operational test. I'm planning on going over with everybody the basics of the test. What we did and what we were trying to do. And a little bit of discussion about what type of results you can expect to see from this test. We're not quite completely done yet. But I want to give you a little bit of a preview into what types of things you may expect to see when everything is complete. The test was an end-to-end test in the highway hazardous materials trucking, starting with the pickup and the end route transportation and ending with the delivery of the hazardous material. We tested a whole host of different functional requirements, all of which are listed there, I'm not going to go over each of those, but I'm going to touch on some of those as we get into the rest of the presentation. Throughout that whole process, we also looked at how the technologies that we were testing interacted with the public sector and how the public sector would interact with those technologies, I'll touch more on that as we get further down in the presentation. The real questions we were trying to answer, big questions we had is, number one, are the industry benefits -- the efficiency benefits of this technology significant enough that the industry will be driven toward widespread deployment? If they're not, are the safety and security benefits large enough that the government needs to get involved in the situation in one way or the other? I'm going to now tell you how we tried to answer those questions. The first thing that we did in developing the test is we conducted a threat and vulnerability assessment of the hazardous materials trucking environment. That allowed us to target the vulnerabilities that were out there with the technologies that we were going to test. We also, when we developed the test, looked to try to cover as large of a segment of the hazardous materials industry as we could in order to see how the technologies would interact with different business types and those sorts of things. We ended up breaking the technologies up and testing them in four different scenarios, a bulk fuel scenario, truckload explosives, less than truck load scenario and a bulk load scenario. We had about 13 different technologies within those. The technologies that we tested were existing technologies, we weren't testing things that were new, but we were trying to look at them in a little different light than they had been in the past. And we also developed the 13 suites I just mentioned of technologies to try to address multiple vulnerabilities with a single group of technologies. We had 100 trucks from about 9 carriers, we had shippers, consignees and state agencies as well as very various other federal agencies involved in the project. I'm going to walk now through the individual technologies that we tested. We started with the base technology of a wireless and mobile communications system. Systems that we tested, we tested both a satellite and a terrestrial or cellular based system with global positioning system. We determined which would be the most appropriate, the cellular or satellite based and then went ahead and tested that functionality. We also looked a little bit at what kind of gains can be gotten simply from a digital cell phone without global positioning capabilities. Along with that, and the GPS comes vehicle and trailer tracking. Obviously the first thing we had available was automatic vehicle location using the GPS. We also had the ability to do geo fencing, which we did with one of our carriers, we tested both route based geofencing and a keepout geofence, where a particular area can be designated with a geofence and we would be able to get off route alerts or alerts when the vehicle crossed through the geofence. We tested both tethered trailer tracking -- the tether trailer tracking gave us events like hook and unhook events. So we knew when the trailer was still attached to the tractor and when it wasn't. And we also tested a basic untethered trailer tracking functionality. Where once the trailer was disconnected it would have location capabilities along with geofencing capabilities. The next group of technologies is panic buttons. We tested both an in-dash and a wireless remote panic button. The remote had the ability to do a local vehicle disable. There were two functionalities that on board computers gave us. One was remote vehicle disables and the other is locking and unlocking. We looked at a loss of signal disable which is the -- someone unplugs the cable for the GPS system so that it's no longer functioning properly. What the onboard computer does in this case is it's set with a carrier with a time and speed and distance parameter. If those parameters are exceeded without signal, the onboard computer locally takes over and affects a vehicle disable. A disable means that the truck loses throttle control, throttle power and capability. All other functionalities remained in tact except that there was no response from the throttle. We also tested a dispatch initiated disable. And 9 local disable. The local disable did not use an on-board computer it was a simple low cost vehicle shutdown that worked 150 or so feet from the vehicle. And secondly, remote locking and unlocking, which gave the dispatcher the capability to be able to verify where the driver is before actually unloading the cargo. The driver would have to radio back or via wireless communication or whatever the case may be to the dispatcher, ask for permission to open the door, the dispatcher could verify their location, then initiate the command from dispatch and once that happens, then the driver had a minute or so to go ahead and open the door or it would lock again. The next technology group we looked at is driver and cargo identification and verification. For the driver's side of it, we looked at global log-in which is a user name and password, utilizing the wireless communications system. We also tested a biometric fingerprint system and a smart card along with that. We also tested the electronic supply chain manifest which is now to the EFM system that Mike was discussing in the previous presentation, which contained a link on the smart card to the actual manifest information on the vehicle. And we also looked at electronic seals to see if we could tie those in with the wireless communication system and then be able to get tamper alerts and those sorts of things from the electronic seals. Lastly, this is a little bit of a busy slide, but the real focus here is how did we tie all this in with the public sector, and the middle box on the slide is really what brings this all together. And that is that we had all of the data that was generated from the test, the tracking data, the driver id data positioning and geo fencing, manifest information. All those things into a single database. The user be it a public sector user or a private sector user, the carrier themselves, would then set a set parameters when they wanted to get notified. Please tell me when my hazardous materials vehicle is off route or when an un -- I get three bad log-ins in a row. That alert would then be transferred to that individual via whatever means they chose, whether it was phone, cell phone, PDA, e-mail, pager, whatever the case may be. So that was -- it was more of an exception-based reporting, rather than having to track and watch the vehicle at all times. >> in the evaluation process, we went through the whole process of developing test plans and all that. What I really want to focus on is the right-hand side, the green boxes, we looked at three impact categories which are the three everybody to this point in the call has talked about. The safety, security and efficiency impacts. In the evaluation, one of the things we realize is that we did have to be conservative because we really wanted to err on the side of caution. We included things like the cost for the systems that were already deployed and the benefit cost portion of it so we could look at the full industry. We calculated minimum benefit scenarios, a couple other things that we had too deal with is in determining security benefits, it was a little hard to determine exactly when security benefits start to accrue, we assume they are at or near full deployment when that starts to occur. And we also found out really early on we didn't have any previous work to rely on so we had to develop a new approach, and that was one of the other reasons why we tried to lean toward the conservative side whenever we could. In terms of technical performance, we had some lessons learned and the technologies to this point functioned as we thought they would. There are two cases we had to work with in order to get them to functioned way we wanted to in the trucking environment, and that's the biometrics and the electronic seals. Although those are existing technologies, they're not something that we've seen to date get widespread use in the regular trucking environment, not in containers, so that's one area that we're looking at to try to figure out how exactly to get those to perform the way we would like them to. And the trucking industry in order to get some benefits from that. On the efficiency side, it's probably not a surprise that we think the wireless communication with the global positioning is going to give some operational efficiency gains. The other technologies that we have are really not deployed in such a way that they would offer us any significant efficiency benefits. That's not to say that there may not be some from other technologies, but the way that we looked at it did not yield -- or will not yield that sort of analysis. What we're looking at to see is, are those pay back periods going to be with the industry standards? And knowing that not all operations are going to be able to gather the maximum benefits, not everybody's going to be able to take another load or hire another driver or whatever, another dispatcher, whatever the case may be, we did look at a minimum benefit scenario for that. And that's what we're trying to figure out. On the safety side, the public sector looked at two areas, improved response times through faster notification, through panic buttons and off route detections and improved detection. The alerts will provide the manifest driver information. That's what we're focusing on in the safety and public sector areas. One thing that we do know already is that we are only looking at 100 trucks in a limited test environment, and that whatever our findings turn out to be in this area, that the broader implications of those findings really need to be considered. The number that's always thrown around is 800,000 shipments of hazmat a day. It's probably significantly higher than that by now. It's a 19898 number. What do you do if you did have all of these technologies employed on all these vehicles or a significant group of those vehicles. The participants also expressed an interest in this, in what we originally looked at and targeted as a public sector. As a public sector benefit. Mainly because they see they can gain some efficiencies through not having to watch their vehicles all the time. And in an exception-based reporting program for them would -- that was interesting as well. The last category of benefits is the security benefits. And this was a tricky area, it really hadn't been any work done before. What we did is we put together an expert panel that was co chaired by TSA and by SAIC who is our independent evaluator and we had representatives from various industry associations and other experts, security experts, all sorts of people in that group to really guide us in the evaluation, to make sure we're going down the right road and figuring out how we were going to determine what the security benefits are. We used an a Delphi process where there panel identified a wider range of -- a wider group and they were queried with two sets of questionnaires, the first set came before the technologies were implemented and they could look at the vulnerabilities to be -- we identified and consider those vulnerabilities they then took another series of surveys after the technologies were applied in order to measure what the threat and vulnerability reductions actually are. Again, the security benefits were initially measured through the vulnerability reductions, that was the first step in the process. And then what we're looking at are really three methodologies to look at what the overall benefits are. Because there are a lot of ways to look at this. We looks at kind of traditional benefit cost ratios, a net benefit ratio, and lastly, we're looking at break even points. And the break even points are more of a nontraditional method. We brought those in to really account for the uncertainty in security benefits. And not knowing exactly when they accrue, what the break even points will do is allow the reader to go ahead and make a determination about the results on their own. Do they feel the probabilities are within that break-even range, and if so, then your investment in any given technology would be sound. So that's kind of what we can expect to see. Again, the security benefits will be identified in the form of vulnerability reductions and we're expecting, again, as we -- probably it's not a surprise to anybody that the initial reductions will be from the wireless communications system since everything else will key off of the wireless communication system and then the incremental gains from the other technologies will be -- will then pile on top of that as well. In the end we do feel that the final analysis is growing to show industry and societal benefits from the wireless communication system, partially again, that's not a -- shouldn't be a big surprise to anybody. Deployment levels already are closing in on the 50% range according to some previous studies that had been done. The interesting part I think will be when we're able to determine what the ratios are and, you know, do some comparisons with the other technologies and those sorts of things. We also are seeing initially that there is a stratification within the four scenarios that we tested between the load types and the technologies that -- it's not one size fits all. And again, as I indicated, deployment levels on wireless communication are already increasing over the years that it's been being tracked. Finally. It is important to note that no matter what the final answers are that we come up with, it's already evident that no matter what you do with technology, technology is only going to be one piece of the puzzle. Although there may be vulnerability reductions to be gained. That technology cannot be utilized in a vacuum and only with sound security practices, outreach, training and other security programs will we be able to really get additional vulnerability benefits from vulnerability reduction benefits from that. And so with that, I'll turn it back over to Jennifer, and that is the end of my presentation.
Thank you, Joe, as we move into the Q&A session, there's a few questions that relate to your presentation. I'm going to start with those. The first question is, what is geofencing?
Sure, geofencing, I apologize for skimming over that term a little bit. What it does is it's really routing, utilizing the GPS system. It allows the user to do one of two things. The first method would be a route-based geofence, you're traveling from San Francisco to New York City on route 80, you program in the software route 80 as your route, and then geofence it. If the vehicle strays off of that route and the signal -- and gets a signal from the satellite communications system, an automatic alert would go back to the carrier saying this truck is not where it's supposed to be. The other methodology for doing geofencing is what we call a keepout geofence, you could establish using the software program a geo fence, a virtual fence around the area. If the vehicle enters the area and is queried by the satellite system, once that occurs, a message would come back saying that the geofence has been broken and that truck is somewhere that it is not supposed to be.
Okay. Thank you. And the next question for you is, what is the typical industry-accepted payback period?
Yeah, that's a good question. It seems to fluctuate a little bit. But from the studies that we looked at and from the folks that we talked to, it's less than 2 -- it's less than 23 to 3 years . We're looking at costs spread out over a 3-year period.
Thank you. I'm going to get to more of the questions that were posted. I have a slide showing now that has web sites for all of the participating agencies and most of the initiatives that you heard about today, can you find more information about those through any of these web sites We do have a few questions posted that I think we can probably direct -- let me take a look through here we'll start with the first question. Mike, I think this is probably directed toward you. Public/private dialogue has historically seemed to relate primarily on carriers, jointly explore interests in facilitating reoptimized distribution of freight across modes. It would seem shippers would be a valuable addition to the overall dialogue, but they are a more diffuse stakeholder. The freight manifests that Mr. Biter spoke of would engage shippers and policy initiatives with regard to more specific initiatives.
I think that could be a very short answer. I think the answer is yes. In fact, in all of the dialogues that we've been having with the freight industry, it's the shipper that's very difficult to bring to the table and I think with being able to get limited brands to the fable on this particular deployment test, we're going to be able to find out a little more about how this initiative will do what you're suggesting there. Adopting freight across the modes. Certainly, they are -- they have the most to say about what actually happens with the goods they're the owner of. So that's -- I think we're going to be seeing that materialize as we move forward with this deployment test. We're certainly working on trying to get more shippers to the table in some of the work that we're doing. I think we're going to have a chance to explore this a lot further. Thanks for your question.
The next question for you, Mike, what may be the opportunities to access data with privacy concerns addressed from the electronic information highway for federal, state and MPO planning of major freight projects?
That's a good question. There is some legal analysis that's going on right now in conjunction with this overall deployment test. And I think we'll have some more answers on that as we move forward over the next 4 or 5 months. And one of the things that I think is important to note right here, a lot of what we're looking at with this freight information highway is real-time data being exchanged on a query basis or a push basis. Primarily I would think the data you're talking about would probably be data that would go through some kind of a filtering process that would remove any kind of information that would be related about the movement of goods and a particular carrier or the particular manufacturer. You wouldn't be able to get the specific information that might be harmful to the competitiveness already out there. So I think you're talking about data that's going to be probably batched after the process, but that you would at least have a source for being able to go to that data. And all the particulars about how that would get bundled and how the costs and everything else associated with that are still to be realized. But at some point in time I'd say after we realize d some success with this deployment test, we should be looking at that closer.
Thank you. Rich, we have a few questions for you. The first being, what are the three "I's" you referred to in your presentation.
I guess that's what happens when you meld old presentations into the new one. I took out I's and highlighted it, it was information technology. The other two are intelligence transportation systems which are anything that deals with smart vehicles to fiberoptics to smart infrastructure, and the information technology is how do we interconnect all of this. What are the linkages? The third would be intermodal connectivity . Integrated and sharing information amongst itself. If did doesn't have that horizontal aspect to it. And we can't have that intermodal connectivity. We can't make -- we really don't have a true system at that point. We have a large breakdown. Information technology and intermodal connectivity.
Let's see what other questions we have here. Rich, I'll ask this of you, but Mike or Joe, if you have any input as well. Feel free. KDOT is in the process of developing a division of multimodal transportation. I've been asked to put together a view of how the division should be organized. I need to address the public and private concerns. Do you have any ideas, recommendations, persons I may contact or any other material contained. Have there been any studies addressing intermodal departments and where can that information be obtained?
Very good questions. First off, let me just say that when you're looking at multimodal, intermodal. whatever, even an office or department, within an organization, that what we would say are silo oriented. I would tend to look at it in two ways. One is a policy piece, in other words, what is the policy of the state in this example, the state department of transportation in regards to other modes of transportation. In regards to passenger freight movement, looking at transportation as a total system there's again the role would be to set policy and also look to be sure that what other modes of operation are doing, that there's a check and balance system that if a decision is made on the rail side, it does not have a ripple effect on what is being done on the surface side. Secondly, I would put a project oriented aspect to it as well. There's many in the private and public sector that are looking, that have identified a particular problem. It can be anywhere from a need for traffic lights on intermodal connecters or wider turning radiuses to much bigger projects as I spoke about before, like in Chicago, how do we move -- how do we increase the efficiencies of rail goods movement moving through the city of Chicago. How do we address major concerns of goods movement through major urban areas, nose are more project oriented and it's -- an office I would say would have a role in putting together a team of -- a facilitation team, if you will, that represent all stakeholders and bringing people together to talk through the issue and deal with such things as innovative financing. In other words, if there aren't tools out there, can you make tools that can do it. So in summation, it would be really policy and projects. With regards to particular studies, I see that there's been some information that's been posted on the chat portion here which I think are excellent resources, additionally, I would offer any additional follow-up to let me know what I can share some stuff with you that we've done in our department. My e-mail is Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let me just mention that I certainly subscribe to what Rich has already mentioned. But you might also, one of the things that we've noticed, there's quite a number of states that are grappling with this right now. And we've put together a freight council within the department to try to deal with issues. We have resource centers in four locations around the country. We also have the vision offices that are trying to -- they're trying to help the states put together their thoughts and ideas. I think you have to look at it from your own particular perspective. You may have a team that's doing some studying on this within your state. There are a lot of states already that have put together freight offices or if you want to call them intermodal or multimodal. We call ours a freight office. But it's a hybrid, because primarily your focus of attention comes from modal perspective. You have to have a hybrid policy office in there that's dealing with all these things together and how you approach it from a comprehensive view. Especially as it relates to, you know, from the state perspective with regard to port connecters or terminal connecters or things of that nature. And how traffic is actually moving through your communities and how the goods move and also -- I'm not sure exactly how much states -- I'm still grappling with this issue, I'm not sure how much states actually get involved in supply chain activities. It certainly as it relates to goods movement and physical movement of things throughout the various communities, those are real critical issues, maybe it's something the federal government and the states can work together on as we move forward.
Joe, did you want to add anything in there?
No, nothing. That was a better question for Mike and Richard.
Okay, I'm going to go ahead and put up a slide that does have the contact information for the speakers if you do want further information. Let's see what else we have here. Mike, this one's for you as well. And the question is, with regard to owner/operator truckers, there's so much turnover, how could you practically implement the EFMs?
Well, that's a very complex question, and I'm not sure that we have quite the right answer for it. I don't think there is a particular answer for it, but I would say that the EFM activity that we're working on certainly addresses the turnover with record to the trucking activity. As you get more efficient with your moves, certainly in and out of terminals and yards and things of that nature, you're not going to be faced with as much need for the driver issues. So I think you're probably -- it's probably going to be a plus as it relates to the driver turnover activity. But I can tell you that our -- and maybe you might want to come to our next intermodal freight technology working group to visit with the industry on some of these issues, because this last meeting we had in san Antonio last week did try to grapple with this particular issue. So it's not easy, but we do think that it's a step forward with the kind of EFM initiative we're looking at to facilitate this particular problem. It's a huge problem as it relates to the industry.
This next question is probably best answered by you as well. The question is, regarding freight data, do you have an update on the framework analysis too that you request provide us. What are major changes are planned for the next release and will regional or localized data that contains closure avoidance become available ?
You know, I really don't have an update on that. But I think the best person that could talk to you about that would be Rolf Schmitt in our office. You can certainly forward to me any comments you have on that, and I'll give you my e-mail address. It's Michael.email@example.com. And I'll forward your comments or questions on to Rolf so he can give you a better update on that. I can tell you that he does have an answer to this. That would probably be about the best I can do right now.
Thank you. Let's see if we have any other questions posted here. We do have one other question, not sure who may be able to answer it. The question is south central Pennsylvania is starting an 8-county freight study. During our development phase we have learned that Virginia and Maryland are undertaking rather large studies to learn how to better move freight. Is there a resource reference? We have our presenters thinking here.
Yeah. Okay, this is Rich Biter, I'm not particularly familiar with the specific studies that either Virginia or Maryland are doing, I know, for example, Virginia, they've done several studies are in the works, one is looking at a expanding a rail corridor adjacent to I-81. And as a way of relieving truck traffic on hi-81. They're looking also at, for example, expanding the possibility of a truck lane, an exclusive toll truck lanes as part of I-81. Anyway, those are ongoing studies, and I know that the Federal Highway Administration has been involved with that. I would do a -- you know, follow-up with Mike's office and/or my office with questions. We can certainly give you some more specific information on that and point you in the right direction. Maryland, I'm not familiar with a particular freight project that they're doing. But I would mention, you might want to check with the I-95 corridor coalition, they have a web site I don't know the actual web site reference here, but again, if you contact me, I'll be able to point you in the right direction on that. They had sponsored a study along with NS Railroad, CSX and Amtrak in looking at the mid-Atlantic rail study. And about what can be done over the next 20 years to improve the movement of rail goods. Basically from Virginia up through New York. And plus they've been very active in doing some -- they have currently a short shipping study that they've undertaken that's currently still in the process of being done.
Actually, I might add also the seminar next month is focusing on multijurisdictional coalitions and we're going to have a representative from the I-95 corridor coalition speaking at that seminar. If you are interested, you can register for that seminar on the talking freight web site I have had a few questions on how to obtain the PowerPoint slides that were used during the presentation. They will be available on the freight planning web site within the next week or so. And I will send out an e-mail who all who are in attendance, letting you know when the PowerPoint presentations are available and giving you the link to download those. In the interest of time, I don't think we're going to be able to open the phone lines today for questions, but I don't see any other questions typed in here. If you have other questions, please go ahead and post them to the freight planning LISTSERV. The recorded version of this event will be available within the next week. And as I said, I'll send out an e-mail when it does become available. Again to reiterate, the next seminar will be held on December 15th, and is entitled multijurisdictional coalitions. We'll have speakers that have participated in various coalitions and who can share best practices and experiences. If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to visit the talking freight web site to sign up for this seminar. We have posted the seminars from January through June and you can register for those seminars as well. In the next year, many of our seminars will be focusing on providing case studies and notable practices. I also encourage you to register for the freight planning LISTSERV if you have not done so already. Thank you to our three speakers. Enjoy the rest of the day, everybody.