waiting-freight-timeGoods Movement Coalition Unveils Research & White Paper Highlighting Growing Freight Needs and the Network’s Link to Manufacturing

White paper explores impact of evolving manufacturing on freight network, new “Freight Can’t Wait” highlights meritorious projects

With the 96th Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting as a backdrop, the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC) today unveiled a new research project accompanied by a white paper, both explaining why our national freight infrastructure must be improved to meet  the demands of a growing economy.

Throughout his campaign, President-elect Trump prioritized both domestic manufacturing and transportation infrastructure – the two are intrinsically linked. CAGTC’s new research explores how the manufacturing landscape is evolving and demanding improvements of the freight network.

In addition, CAGTC has compiled examples of freight projects across the country that stand to benefit manufacturing supply chains, and the economy as a whole, should they receive federal partnership and priority.

America’s 21st Century Manufacturing Relies on 20th Century Infrastructure

America’s 21st Century Manufacturing Relies on 20th Century Infrastructure reviews how manufacturing is changing – quickly – to decrease costs while meeting increased consumer demands. This White Paper provides a look at challenges that domestic manufacturers have met head-on to remain competitive in the global marketplace and notes that shifting manufacturing patterns demand improved capacity and reliability of the U.S multimodal freight system.

“Domestic manufacturing growth requires strong infrastructure,” stated Fran Inman, Senior Vice President of Majestic Realty Co., nationally-recognized supply chain expert and co-author of America’s 21st Century Manufacturing Relies on 20th Century Infrastructure.
“The U.S. spends less on transportation infrastructure as a percentage of GDP than any of its major trading partners and currently the U.S. ranks 13th in the world in quality of overall infrastructure. While the private sector has shifted to meet demand, our national freight infrastructure network– once the envy of the world – has stalled due to years of neglect and underinvestment, challenging economic growth potential.”

Unique from other types of infrastructure investment, investment in the nation’s multimodal freight network is an economic multiplier. Not only are jobs created immediately in the construction phase, but an efficient goods movement system will attract and retain U.S. businesses, support exports, and benefit the economy for years to come. Every economic sector – including manufacturing – depends on a reliable, safe and cost-effective network to move goods and services.

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Freight Can’t Wait

CAGTC’s new Freight Can’t Wait booklet highlights 43 freight projects of regional and national significance in need of federal partnership, including enhancements at freight hubs, sea and land gateways, and the augmentation of roadway capacity to diminish system chokepoints. Manufacturers depend on infrastructure in the Freight Can’t Wait Booklet to remain competitive in the world marketplace.

Freight Can’t Wait features projects that, once completed, will ease bottlenecks, reduce congestion, and enable domestic manufacturers to get goods to market quickly and cost-efficiently,” said Anna Denecke, lead researcher for the Freight Can’t Wait booklet and CAGTC’s Manager of Member Communications and Policy.
“The incoming Administration’s commitment to revitalizing domestic manufacturing must be accompanied by significant investment in the multimodal freight transportation network, which serves to take goods from conception to consumption.”

Making freight infrastructure investment the hallmark of a large-scale investment program presents a unique opportunity to both attract and retain domestic manufacturing and bolster U.S. infrastructure – both of which are goals held by the incoming Administration.

While private financing is a unique and underutilized tool important to infrastructure development, there are many instances in which a financing model is not applicable, or will not bring the project through completion, and federal funding is required.

Since its formation, CAGTC has supported the development of a multimodal freight-specific grant program that distributes money to meritorious projects on a competitive basis, using economically-driven criteria.

A commitment to investment in goods movement and dedicated funding for a freight program is critical for America to ensure a safe, efficient, reliable, multimodal supply chain that will continue to stoke the engine of commerce and support job growth.

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