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U.S. Economy Depends on Freight Transportation 7 RANK PORT MODE $ BILLIONS 1 JFK International Airport, NY Air 134.9 2 Los Angeles, CA Vessel 134.3 International Trade Gateways 3 Detroit, MI Land 130.5 Serve the Nation 4 New York, NY Vessel 130.4 5 Long Beach, CA Vessel 124.6 6 Laredo, TX Land 93.7 7 Houston, TX Vessel 86.1 8 Chicago, IL Air 73.4 9 L.A. International Airport, CA Air 72.9 10 Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY Land 70.5 These top 10 gateways account for over 50% of the value of U.S. goods trade. Figure 5. Top 10 U.S. trade gateways, in value. The most significant characteristic of most of these top international trade gateways is that Table 2. Top 10 U.S. they are located in already congested urban areas, where the pressures on the local transporta- ports by TEUs1 2007. tion system capacity are high even without international trade. This indicates that the challenges U.S. Custom TEUs of handling growing international trade will be concentrated in areas where adding more capac- Ports ity is difficult. Bottlenecks at gateways will also result in goods taking a longer time to arrive at Los Angeles, CA 5,700,231 Long Beach, CA 4,961,416 inland destinations. (See Table 2.) New York, NY 3,893,491 Savannah, GA 2,017,255 Norfolk, VA 1,568,112 Globalization Affects the Entire Country Oakland, CA 1,422,585 Charleston, SC 1,400,806 International trade touches every state and region in the United States. As Figures 6 and 7 Houston, TX 1,393,554 demonstrate, almost every U.S. county is an importer and/or an exporter of goods. The effi- Seattle, WA 1,276,508 ciency of global supply chains affects the costs of goods and our standard of living across the Tacoma, WA 1,132,961 country. 1 Twenty-foot equivalent units. Source: U.S. Maritime Globalization of trade extends to goods moving across the United States. Many inland loca- Administration. tions are important for handling traded goods. Supply Chains Are More Complex and Sophisticated Trade issues intersect Today, goods move along complex supply chains that connect our economy. Supply chains pro- with public policy in vide raw commodities for the manufacturing process and ultimately move parts and final goods to states and regions. Be- warehouses and distribution centers, to retail stores, and to the homes of American consumers. come aware of goods sources and flows in Supply chains include both the physical movement of goods and the information and finan- the community. cial links to manage and pay for the goods movement. Although there is no government entity identified as an element of a typical supply chain, the public sector has a crucial role in the chain as a provider of transport infrastructure and regulator of both freight carriers and freight ship- ping industries.
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8 Public and Private Sector Interdependence in Freight Transportation Markets Source: IHS Global Insight U.S. Inland Trade Monitor County Destination of Import Tons 2007. Figure 6. U.S. import tons by county. Efficient goods movement depends on the capacity and performance of both the public and private portions of the freight transportation system. Coinciding with the growth in freight vol- ume has been the increasing interdependency between the public and private sectors in provid- ing essential freight system services to the population. As freight transportation networks become more sensitive to performance, the capacity and conditions of the publicly provided elements of the system become more critical to the functioning of the private sector's supply chains. With excess capacity on public portions of the system used up and increasing security and environ- mental regulations, the public sector-related constraints on freight have become more impor- tant for the private sector's operations and planning. Globalization has meant increasing trade in more types of goods and adding complexity and distance to the transportation of goods to market. Supply chains have thus evolved into far reach- ing and intertwined supply networks. U.S. producers are increasingly able to sell more to over- seas customers. U.S. consumers are able to enjoy a greater variety of products at lower prices through imports. The complexity of supply chains and associated freight transportation services is also grow- ing. Sophisticated technology has allowed global supply chains to be linked and managed more effectively. At the same time, the purposes of U.S. freight system facilities are changing to play more specialized roles within distribution networks. The variety of approaches to warehouse management and distribution center use is increasing, with companies tailoring their facilities to match the specific product mix and market geography served by each location. Control is
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U.S. Economy Depends on Freight Transportation 9 Source: IHS Global Insight U.S. Inland Trade Monitor County Origin of Export Tons 2007. Figure 7. U.S. export tons by county. Figure 8. Global intermodal supply chains involve many businesses and transportation providers.