Globalization is putting pressure on the capacity of the Nation's ports, borders, and intermodal connections. DOT is responding to this challenge through a National Freight Action Agenda to increase capacity to move freight throughout the transportation system. The agenda identifies several high-priority freight initiatives, including the following RD&T projects:
Standardized Freight Communications: An ITS effort, this will promote a Dedicated Short-Range Communications service based on use of the 5.9 GHz radio frequency that has been newly designated for transportation. The service will support standardized communications for both roadside-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-vehicle freight operations.
Intelligent Railroad Systems: This FRA program will develop advanced sensing and communication technologies to increase safety and capacity, reduce system delays, and cut shipping costs. Major components include positive train control and installation of the NDGPS.
Universal Electronic Freight Manifest: Building on ITS operational tests, this effort will demonstrate use of a common freight manifest by all supply chain partners—manufacturers, shippers, freight forwarders, air carriers. With a standardized electronic format, shippers in all modes will have real-time access to critical information, including that needed for security screening.
Short Sea Shipping: Short Sea Shipping is the water transportation of freight and passengers that does not cross an ocean. Led by MARAD, this work will promote technologies leading to the accelerated deployment of Short Sea Shipping as a tool for reducing congestion and accommodating freight movement.
Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID): This program will promote expanded use of RFID tags, which can potentially provide perfect visibility along the supply chain. RITA will assess crossmodal RFID requirements, in cooperation with stakeholders and other agencies.