In many ways freight movement may be considered the lifeblood of our economy. Over 60 million tons of freight moves through the U.S. freight transportation system daily, representing roughly $40 billion in goods. All goods purchased and sold in the United States may be considered freight at some point. Efficient movement of freight (e.g., 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.

Public agencies such as planning commissions, municipal planning organizations, and economic development agencies may recognize the importance freight plays in the American economy. Yet, the process by which companies move this freight and how they then select locations for key freight facilities is less understood.

To increase public knowledge of how freight facilities choose a place to locate, the National Cooperative Freight Research Program (NCFRP) initiated a research project that produced two publications.

  • NCFRP23, “Economic and Transportation Drivers forSiting Freight Intermodal and Warehouse Distribution Facilities" – a full research report, and
  • “Freight Facility Location Selection: A Guide for Public Officials” –a guide specifically targeted to aid public officials,planning commissions, municipal planning organizations, and economic development agencies as they approach freight-related decisions.

This website has been set up to provide information on the NCFRP study. Please see About the Project page for more information about the NCFRP23 project. Please see the Documents page to download a PDF file of the Guidebook or the Final Report. Also see the download page on the TRB website.


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