By Vincent Matheney
Freight planning is a key factor in building sustainable transportation networks that accommodate multimodal traffic. When developing a freight plan, it is important to ensure that all freight modes are being considered, including trucks, rail, air cargo, ports, and pipeline. A synergy between freight modes is essential to providing a regional freight network that maximizes the ability to move goods, provide job opportunities, and ultimately goods and services to the region and beyond. Workforce access and pedestrian access are also key factors when considering freight movement. Completing a freight market analysis of a region can provide insights on potential new development or redevelopment of areas where land use is compatible. A regional or statewide freight plan should also provide a clear picture of a resilient and equitable future for the region by implementing the latest research and tools available. Understanding all of these aspects of the freight network and adjacent systems and applying them to a local, regional, or statewide freight program is essential to providing a community with a more sustainable place to live.