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PREFACE Public and Private Sector Interdependence in Freight Transportation Markets This primer is intended to provide a basic understanding of private sector decision making and the interdependence between public and private sector decision making in freight transportation. It is intended primarily for employees of public agencies who have responsibility for transporta- tion programs, planning, and policy that includes freight transportation. This primer is for the public sector to better anticipate private sector responses to public sector decisions, so that the public sector can better formulate policies that affect private behavior, and so that the public sec- tor can better communicate with their private sector freight transportation partners. This primer contains three sections: Section 1 provides a description of the importance of freight to the economy. The roles of trade and freight transportation in creating jobs and consumer benefits are described. Public and pri- vate cooperation is essential for the smooth movement of goods along the freight transportation system and for the many jobs in the United States that depend on this movement of goods. The projected growth in freight volumes will pose challenges for the U.S. transportation network and for public officials. Section 2 provides information on the characteristics of decision-making processes from both public and private sector perspectives. The roles of the private and public sectors in freight trans- portation, as well as the interdependency between the public and private sectors are introduced. Both the diverging and the common interests of the two sectors are explained. Areas where the two groups have worked well or poorly together are identified. Section 3 describes initiatives and actions that can be taken to better align public and private decision making. Despite diverging interests between the two sectors, public officials can take actions to improve public and private cooperation by improving communication and education, by benchmarking progress, and by pursuing financial partnerships with private entities. Four appendices are included: 1. A glossary of terms and definitions, 2. Frequently asked questions, 3. Reference resources, and 4. Case studies to illustrate publicprivate relationships. 1