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APPENDIX E Freight Transportation in Statewide Corridor Planning Freight transportation has significant impacts on the nation's transportation system, not only in terms of capacity, but also in terms of operations and maintenance. These impacts generate direct travel time, operations, reliability, accessibility, or safety benefits or costs to those carriers. The ultimate impact of freight transportation operations is on business productivity, which directly impacts profitability and consumer prices. Freight transportation demand also impacts society as a whole through its environmental and safety impacts. The demand on the U.S. freight transportation system has been increasing, and this trend is anticipated to continue. By 2035, freight tonnage is expected to almost double, with domestic shipments growing somewhat slower than international shipments. The need to manage the demand on the U.S. freight transportation system and to monitor the volume of freight handled by each mode is and will remain crucial. Over the past several decades, there have been a growing interest and understanding among federal, state, and local governments regarding the impact of freight movements on the nation's transportation system and economic competitiveness. Due to a myriad of issues and barriers, state and local transportation agencies have struggled to identify, incorporate, and implement freight-supportive projects into their planning and programs. Federal Freight Planning Requirements Passed in 2005, SAFETEA-LU is the federal legislation that authorizes the federal surface trans- portation programs for highways, highway safety, and transit for the 5-year period from 2005 to 2009. SAFETEA-LU significantly expanded the consideration of freight by local, state, and federal transportation planning agencies by including freight issues in existing programs and establishing new sections specifically related to freight. Of special note, federal planning requirements for state DOTs and MPOs were expanded to explicitly include freight considerations. Specifically, Section 6001 was modified to require that decisionmakers consider whether an improvement would enhance economic vitality (especially by enabling global competitiveness), productivity, and efficiency; increase mobility for people and freight; and enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system for both people and freight. Section 6001 also directs agencies to expand participation by interested parties in the planning process to include freight shippers and providers of freight transportation services. Several new provisions related to freight were also added in SAFETEA-LU including the following: Section 1306: Freight Intermodal Distribution Pilot Grant Program; Section 1305: Truck Parking Facilities; 60

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Freight Transportation in Statewide Corridor Planning 61 Section 5204: Training and Education, including the Freight Planning and Capacity Building Program; and Section 5209: National Cooperative Freight Transportation Research Program (NCFTRP). Integrating Freight into the Transportation Planning Process Freight planning should reflect similar planning processes to those exercised for other modes of transportation, including Setting statewide and corridor goals and objectives by working with private- and public-sector freight stakeholders; Conducting technical analysis of existing and future freight mobility and freight needs; Identifying and evaluating potential alternatives to select solutions and approaches, including policies, projects, programs, system management strategies, funding options, and implemen- tation plans; Prioritizing and programming projects and strategies; and Measuring performance to evaluate how well the plan is doing in regards to meeting the stated goals and objectives. Even though freight planning involves similar steps, freight transportation does have unique attributes as compared with passenger travel. Freight planning requires a few new and different tactics to complete the traditional steps involved in transportation planning. The following sections will focus on four elements of freight planning that can be incorporated into the SWCP process: engaging the private sector in freight planning, collecting freight data, analyzing and forecasting freight data, and measuring performance relative to freight goals and objectives. Engaging the Private Sector in Freight Planning Most planning agencies have developed guidelines for the public involvement process, but traditional public involvement techniques often hold little relevance for the goods movement elements of a transportation plan. To date, techniques for public involvement have had limited success at gaining freight stakeholder involvement; yet, the freight community relies on the transportation system to access raw materials, bring goods to market, and gain access to workers. Therefore, their participation and input are crucial to addressing freight transportation issues in the SWCP process. Many public agencies that have engaged the private sector in the transportation planning process have realized a number of ancillary benefits, including the following: Mutual understanding: All organizations, both public and private, must plan for the future. For public-sector transportation planning organizations, this includes planning for future demand on the transportation system. However, there is a mismatch between public- and private-sector planning that often impedes cooperation. This mismatch arises due to different planning horizons and a general lack of understanding of each other's planning processes. By engaging the private sector, public-sector planners gain insight into private-sector needs that can be addressed in the planning process and vice versa. Political and public support: In many cities and states, the business community has become involved in lobbying decisionmakers on the need for higher levels of investment for trans- portation, as well as specific corridor or project improvements. Engaging the private-sector freight community facilitates their understanding of the funding process and may potentially lead to increased support for agency activities.

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62 A Guidebook for Corridor-Based Statewide Transportation Planning Data and information: Some private-sector companies may have concerns about government oversight, but there are also many examples of companies who have shared operating infor- mation, especially when they believe the information will ultimately be used to resolve issues and problems that will help them be more efficient. There are a wide variety of private-sector freight stakeholders. Some of the most important categories include Freight shippers and receivers: These businesses and industries are concerned about the condition and performance of the local transportation system. Also, many that handle goods in national and international markets are also concerned with how well state and regional networks link to national and international gateways. Freight transportation service providers: This includes both carriers (such as trucking, airlines, and railroads) and logistics providers (who are often brokers between shippers and carriers). Owners and operators of freight facilities: These can be private (e.g., railroads) or quasi-public (e.g., airports and port authorities). Private developers: This includes developers who focus on freight-intensive development such as industrial parks, warehousing and distribution centers, and integrated logistics parks. There are varying levels of engagement for private-sector freight participants in the SWCP process, ranging from information exchange to policy guidance to programmatic input, described as follows: Information exchange represents the most basic level of engagement and can range from simply being informed about business operations to data exchange. If private-sector engagement is viewed as a continuum of practice, policy guidance is probably the next logical step. Private-sector engagement for policy guidance typically requires specific, discrete activities designed to gather input from private sector stakeholders. Programmatic input may be viewed as the most advanced level of private-sector engagement. In general, interaction between the public and private sector is undertaken through an estab- lished process that seeks to provide businesses with meaningful input to project investment and selection criteria. Collecting Freight Data In broad terms, gathering freight data entails capturing freight traffic volumes in three dimensions: the points where freight begins, ends, and is handled; the directions and means by which freight flows; and the routes that freight follows. Point volumes are the traffic that enters into and exits out of an "address location," such as a plant or port. The address is a business or institution that can be classified by industrial type, and the business may be contacted for further information. An establishment is typically surveyed to obtain inbound and outbound volumes and a summary picture of freight movements, including time-of-day and day-of-week patterns; types of equipment used; and important travel routes. A common use of point volume data is as an input to travel-demand modeling. Freight flow data represent traffic moving between locations and the modes used. The beginning and ending locations may be specific origin and destination points, but typically these are assigned to zones. Examples of zone types include zip codes, traffic analysis zones, counties, metro markets, or larger geographic regions. Typical examples of freight flow data include the U.S. Census Commodity Flow Survey, the U.S. DOT's Freight Analysis Framework (FAF) data, or commercial sources. In addition to origin and destination, additional attributes of flow data may include industry (or commodity), mode, and route. This information is important for many purposes, such as travel-demand modeling, evaluating adequacy of truck parking, designating priority freight facilities, and providing insight into the operational requirements of specific transportation

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Freight Transportation in Statewide Corridor Planning 63 facilities. Freight flow data may also be used to provide information on trip staging, trip form, and time profiles--all useful for freight-demand modeling. Both flow and point-volume data capture industry activities. Flow data typically provide better insight on mode, equipment, and route. Route volumes, or the traffic borne by a segment of infrastructure, are the third category of freight data. These data normally are obtained by various forms of direct observation. The best recognized example is highway traffic count data. Route volumes can provide good information temporality if the counts are continuous, and it can also provide indications about the type of equipment used. In addition to the secondary data sources, there are a variety of methods for collecting primary freight data, including origin-destination surveys, traffic counts, stakeholder interviews, focus groups, and field observations. A common issue with primary data collection is getting enough of it. A common solution is to use public and commercial data sets to establish the universe, and then fill in particulars with local work. For example, one may acquire secondary data sets to cover external trips and perform surveys for more information concerning the internal trips. Highway traffic counts can range from temporary tube counts to pulling information from permanent weigh-in-motion or toll stations. One use of traffic counts for freight planning is to position tube counters inside industrial parks, with the objective of estimating traffic generation. Again, engaging the private-sector freight stakeholders is crucial for freight planning. Stake- holders can be surveyed by mail, by phone, and by web. Intercept surveys are another method in which field interviews are conducted face-to-face with stakeholders. These surveys are relatively expensive but can be highly productive because they reveal systematic and strategic issues, as well as traffic and route information. The target should be a cross section of the regional economy and the carrier community. Frequently in freight planning, when data is insufficient, a good alternative is some kind of expert system. This can be as simple as seeking the advice of seasoned industry professionals or consulting a Freight Advisory Council within a local organization or formed especially for the planning process. Professionals with local freight expertise can provide helpful rules of thumb, such as "the average payload for a 53-ft dry van is about 30,000 lbs." Another practical step is for planners to simply go out in the field and look at things--there is no substitute for observation, and no better way of getting grounded in the issues. In practice, freight planning is done using a combination of information sources, including mixtures of data. A combined approach covers multiple facets of an issue and can result in one kind of information shoring up or reinforcing another. Freight Forecasting and Analysis Three commonplace and important uses for freight data include demand forecasting, planning models, and performance measurement. Freight investments have long lives and should anticipate future conditions. Even operational adjustments should be forward-looking. Forecasting techniques range from the simple to the sophisticated. Forecasts are typically applied to a base-year data profile, but it is important to remember that freight activity derives from market activity. This implies that demographic projections that may suffice for passenger travel will not be adequate (although they are not irrelevant). The most common freight demand forecasting methods are summarized below. Trend projection is a simple method that can be applied to forecast freight demand. A com- mon application is traffic trends at facilities like terminals and airports. Economic drivers take that one step further to future projections of elements like employment levels, which in turn will influence traffic levels. Input cost factors are crucial to forecasting demand for freight transportation. Fuel and labor are two major costs, and both are rising. They affect mode choice, and ultimately they can affect the design of supply chains.

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64 A Guidebook for Corridor-Based Statewide Transportation Planning As foreign trade approaches one-quarter of United States' GDP, it has become a very important factor for freight projection--and by no means just at the coasts and borders. Still, it is essential to project foreign trade by trading partner to know which ports and gateways will be affected and, therefore, which infrastructure improvements will be necessary. However, foreign trade projection can be quite complex, relying upon econometric forecasting to combine and allow for the interplay of multiple factors. These econometric models account for input costs, foreign trade and trade barriers, industrial mix and competition, and, in some cases, freight traffic trends. These models capture the dynamics of markets and geographic shifts, although usually not regional land-use trends. Last, local considerations obviously matter. If a major freight generator (such as an auto plant) is expected to open or close, this information should be accounted for in the demand forecast. Freight modeling is another important use of freight data to help portray, understand, and anticipate the major elements of the freight system: markets, infrastructure, and operations. Furthermore, a number of additional techniques that were developed for business purposes can also help with public planning. Typically, these techniques are applied as sub-models within a traditional four-step travel demand modeling framework. Examples of these sub-models include the following: 1. Business demographic and trade models can supplement and extend point- and flow-volume data. Diversion models utilize total logistics cost, market shares, or stated preferences. Dispatch routing models can be used alongside assignment processes to capture the effects of tolls or congestion. 2. Market segmentation approaches are being developed to adapt a four-step understanding to supply chain relationships. Freight markets can be broken down into major components, each of which will have characteristic distribution methods. Staging and modal patterns can be depicted as a supply chain. Data will be generally available in segments such as manufacturing, and modeling will be more necessary in segments such as local distribution. 3. Capacity models have become more important as capacity is further constrained. Highway capacityconstrained models are the most familiar to transportation planners, but there are models for rail and port capacity as well. These types of models need a lot of data when the relationships portrayed are very complex. 4. Modal cost models are also useful as inputs to other assessments. Diversion modeling between modes or between ports or terminals is essentially competitive analysis, and costs are a principal determinant of competitive position. Tolls have a greater effect when they are a material com- ponent of total cost. Similarly, as expense trends for inputs like fuel become worrisome, understanding their contribution to the total cost structure becomes crucial. Incorporating Freight Transportation into Planning and Programming In addition to data collection and modeling, freight should be integrated into the project selection and prioritization process. Any project that enhances freight mobility will also enhance passenger mobility, just as any deficiency that impairs freight movement will have also have an impact on passenger mobility. Therefore, projects and other recommendations should be evaluated and prioritized based on their impact on freight mobility. Prioritization criteria can be applicable to a variety of planning activities undertaken by any agency. Examples include those for corridor planning, statewide and regional long-range plan- ning, and transportation improvement programs. Therefore, the prioritization criteria should be flexible and adaptable so that variations of the criteria can be used for alternative applications. The level of detail and specificity will vary across the different planning applications, but the overall goals and objectives generally remain the same.