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Chapter 1: Introduction and Background What is the purpose of this guide? In many ways freight movement may be considered the lifeblood of our economy. Over 60 million tons of freight move through the U.S. freight transportation system daily, representing roughly $40 billion in goods. Efficient movement of freight (i.e., mode selection, routing, and intermodal transfer) is necessary to make the best use of our transportation facilities, protect the environment, and reduce energy requirements, while keeping up with the ever-increasing demand for goods. In many ways freight The freight environment continues to be a changing landscape. Trade movement may be is increasingly global, and manufacturing continues to move offshore. considered the lifeblood of Fuel prices continue to fluctuate. Governments at all levels seek new our economy. ways of reducing carbon emissions, congestion, and pollution. These, and other factors, place increased importance on how we move raw materials and finished goods from place to place . . . from origin to ultimate destination. Greater emphasis on reliability and supply chain management increases the importance of efficient local and regional freight movement whether ultimate shipping destinations are across town or across the world. The choices made about where these activities take place and the choices made by the carriers who serve these places, drive how transportation infrastructure is used. The location of freight facilities can have both positive and negative economic and social effects on local communities, regions, and states. Maximizing the benefits while minimizing the impacts are sensible goals for any public decision making. Freight Facility Location Selection: A Guide for Public Officials 1
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This guide for public officials has been prepared in concert with NCFRP Project 23: "Economic and Transportation Drivers for Siting Freight Intermodal and Warehouse Distribution Facilities," published as NCFRP Web-Only Document 1 (http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/ 165743.aspx), and explores both: · Private sector supply chain and freight facilities, such as distribution centers and warehouses, and how market, cost competitiveness, and other factors shape private sector siting decisions and · Transportation facilities (public and private) that manage freight carriage such as intermodal rail, transload, and ports. Economic development, planning, and other government entities The research for NCFRP Project 23 was conducted through a process and elected officials at the local, of extensive review of existing literature, interviews with industry regional, and state level recognize practitioners, and survey and analysis of actual freight facility that trade and freight activity result location situations and processes. In addition to detailed information in employment and investment on freight facility siting factors, the final research report features a opportunities and so have chapter of case studies illustrating freight issues and dynamics. Some increasingly sought new strategies excerpts from those case studies have been included in this guide as for attracting freight-related well, to better illustrate the material herein. A list of private sector activities to their communities. corporations who participated in the interviews for NCFRP Project 23 is contained in Appendix A of this guide. The purpose of this guide is to provide insight on location decisions for freight facilities and suggest best practices for transportation, land use, economic development, and regional partnerships to public sector agencies and officials considering and responding to freight facility development and location decisions. These agencies can benefit from a full understanding of the dynamics of freight movement and what factors affect private sector location decisions so that they may successfully plan for, attract, locate, and partner with freight-related activities in their jurisdictions. Much specific freight-related terminology is used throughout this guide. Although an attempt has been made to define many terms, it may also be helpful for the reader to refer to the glossary of freight terms contained in Appendix B. 2 Freight Facility Location Selection: A Guide for Public Officials