Click for next page ( 12

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement

Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 11
U.S. Economy Depends on Freight Transportation 11 an industrial area close to Interstate 95, hardly noticed by the thousands of motorists who pass by the port every day. Because the port is located away from downtown Wilmington, even local residents do not necessarily think of their city as an important port city (see Figure 10). 2. CenterPoint Intermodal Center, Joliet, Illinois. The publicprivate redevelopment of the former Joliet Arsenal outside Chicago into a major intermodal rail and distribution center relieved pressure on downtown Chicago rail yards. This facility combines a rail yard that han- dles cargo containers from the West Coast with distribution centers and warehouses that store goods. These goods are then distributed by truck to stores throughout the Midwest. The facil- Photo courtesy of the Port of Wilmington, Delaware. ity is about 1 mile from heavily used roads and therefore is not seen by most of the popula- tion of the greater Chicago region (see Figure 11). Figure 10. Port of This facility includes distribution centers and warehouses for several companies that use it Wilmington, Delaware. to supply a diverse set of customers. Customers served by the location include businesses that buy goods for use in their own operations as well as retailers that buy a large volume of man- ufactured imports for resale to end consumers. 3. Montgomery, Alabama, Auto Plant. The opening of a new Hyundai automobile assembly plant in Montgomery, Alabama, has created a demand for inbound shipments of automotive components and outbound shipments of finished vehicles. This large plant is located in a pre- viously undeveloped area just east of Interstate 65 and adjacent to CSX railroad, both of which are used for freight shipments to and from this facility (see Figure 12). A $1.4 billion investment by Hyundai funded the construction of the engine manufactur- ing and automobile assembly plant. The plant receives parts from more than 70 suppliers located elsewhere in North America in order to produce up to 300,000 vehicles per year. This plant has resulted in increased trade through the port of Mobile, Alabama, as well as more demand for rail and trucks to move auto parts and finished vehicles. Photos courtesy of CenterPoint Properties. Operation of Freight Systems Figure 11. Center- Point Intermodal The performance of the U.S. freight transportation system is remarkably good given the scale Center, Joliet, Illinois. and volume of what is physically moving every day. In spite of increasing highway congestion, so far the entire system has continued to operate smoothly without much public notice. There are exceptions, for example, when the freight system is brought to the attention of the public by the media during infrequent incidents of severe disruptions due to weather events or operational or infrastructure failures. However, there are a few areas, such as in Southern California, where the local environmental and traffic impacts of freight activity are so significant they have drawn ongoing attention from the public. Though direct comparisons are difficult, U.S. freight efficiency is believed to compare favor- ably with that of other countries as a result of prior investments in national freight transporta- tion infrastructure and the economies of scale achievable in a market the size of the United States. Though not true in every case, it is generally less costly to move a unit of goods within the United States than it is to move a unit of goods over the same distance in other countries. Photo courtesy of Hyundai. Figure 12. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Plant, Montgomery, Alabama.