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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 3, 2002
Contact: Jim Pinkelman
Tel: 202-366-0660
FHWA 41-02

Transportation Secretary Mineta Announces New Database to Help Public, Private Sectors Analyze and Plan for Growing Freight Movement

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today announced the release of the Freight Analysis Framework, a database and analytical tool that will help improve planning, operations and decision-making to better manage freight movement across the country.

"The smooth flow of freight in the United States and across its borders is vital to our economy," Secretary Mineta said. "The Freight Analysis Framework underscores the importance of freight movements to the nation's economy by providing government and the private sector with a valuable tool for analyzing the relationship between moving freight and congestion relief."

USDOT estimates that the nation's transportation system by 2020 will handle cargo valued at almost $30 trillion, compared with $9 trillion today. Volumes, in tons, will increase by nearly 70 percent over current levels of 15 billion tons. The department also says that international freight volumes are growing faster than domestic volumes and will almost double by 2020. These huge increases in freight movement are and will continue to result in increased congestion and greater inefficiencies throughout the nation's transportation system.

To respond to this challenge, USDOT created the Freight Analysis Framework (FAF), a collaborative effort by the Department's Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Maritime Administration, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and the Secretary's Office of Intermodalism.

The FAF examines four key transportation modes: highway, railroad, water, and air. To evaluate the effect of expected volumes on the transportation network, FAF includes economic forecasts for 2010 and 2020. It translates these economic data into transportation demand and then assigns that demand to the networks.

The FAF is a policy analysis tool aimed at helping decision-makers to understand the geographic relationships between domestic and international trade flows and the nation's intermodal transportation system. By using this tool, state and local government and the private sector can determine which transportation corridors are or will become heavily congested in the future and better plan solutions to help alleviate these bottlenecks in the intermodal transportation network.

Additional information on the Freight Analysis Framework is available at the Office of Freight Management and Operations website, http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight.

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