Ports, Shippers Push for Freight Policy

Ports, Shippers Push for Freight Policy

Freight transportation advocates re-emphasized the need for a dedicated national freight policy before the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Department of Transportation.

The hearing Tuesday was part of the committee’s consideration of the president’s 2011 budget proposal.

John Wolfe, executive director of the port of Tacoma, called for a holistic approach to freight transportation, and a “freight trust fund” that would disburse money for projects that facilitated freight movement, and be awarded through competitive grants.

Wolfe said the U.S. and state departments of transportation should work with freight stakeholders to develop a strategic plan for freight movement, with funds dedicated to freight mobility projects, and establish a multi-modal freight office within the U.S. Department of Transportation. Wolfe represented the American Association of Port Authorities.

Wayne Johnson, director of logistics for American Gypsum in Dallas, Texas, called for dedicated funds for intermodal connectors to ports and rail intermodal facilities, innovative financing options for improving freight capacity, and streamlining of environmental permits for freight projects. Johnson spoke for the National Industrial Transportation League.

Contact R.G. Edmonson at bedmonson@joc.com.