Domestic Freight Shipments - Box

Domestic Freight Shipments - Box

Freight Analysis Framework Tool

To help public and private entities better manage freight movement across the country, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has created an analytical tool called Freight Analysis Framework (FAF). Developed by the Federal Highway Administration, in collaboration with the Federal Railroad Administration, the Maritime Administration, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and DOT's Office of Intermodalism, the FAF provides a methodology for estimating freight flows. Focused on highway, railroad, water, and air modes of transportation, the FAF allows exploration of the geographic relationships between local flows and the overall national transportation system. The underlying comprehensive database for the FAF comprises various government and private sector databases.

Using the FAF, economic forecasts for 2010 and 2020 are translated into transportation demands that are assigned to a simulation of the transportation network. For instance, the FAF has predicted that between 1998 and 2020 domestic freight tonnage will grow at an annual rate of 2.4 percent (67 percent over the 22 years) and U.S. international tonnage will grow at 2.8 percent (85 percent overall). These flows can be projected on national, regional, state, or local maps to aid in analysis of the impacts. This enables, for instance, planners and decisionmakers at all levels of government and the private sector to evaluate the potential for transportation corridor congestion, helping to plan solutions.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Freight Analysis Framework, available at http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/, as of Nov. 5, 2002.