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

Thursday, March 13, 2003
Contact: Jim Pinkelman
Tel: 202-366-0660
FHWA 5-03

Transportation Secretary Mineta Announces New State Freight Profiles To Assist State and Local Groups to Examine Freight Movements

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today announced the release of State Freight Profiles, a series of short reports that provide a snapshot of freight flows, including maps, and expected forecasts of tonnages and traffic patterns in each state.

"America's freight network is a lifeline for our nation's manufacturers, farmers and businesses," Secretary Mineta said. "Understanding the nature of freight flows will help ensure our ability to remain competitive in the global marketplace and to continue to meet the economic and transportation challenges of the 21st century."

USDOT estimates that America's transportation system by 2020 will handle cargo valued at almost $30 trillion, compared with $9 trillion today. Volumes, in tons, will increase by almost 70 percent over current levels of 15 billion tons. The department also says that international freight volumes will almost double by 2020. As a result, each state will experience large freight volumes on its transportation infrastructure over the next 20 years, with the potential for increased congestion and greater inefficiencies throughout the nation's transportation system.

By using the State Freight Profiles, state and local decision-makers can determine which transportation corridors are experiencing, or will experience, large freight volumes. State and local agencies then can select the appropriate congestion alleviation strategies or develop targeted multi-state or regional approaches to help reduce bottlenecks and improve freight operations.

The information in the State Freight Profiles was developed using the Freight Analysis Framework (FAF) databases. USDOT in 2002 created the Freight Analysis Framework (FAF), a collaborative effort of 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 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. 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 state profiles are posted at http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/state_profiles.htm. Some of these images are online, and the rest will be posted soon. 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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