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National Cooperative Freight Research Program (NCFRP)

The NCFRP conducts applied research on problems facing the freight industry that are not being adequately addressed by existing research programs.

The NCFRP Strategic Plan has five objectives:

  1. Analyze the business of freight transportation
    Trends in the global and national movement of freight and business logistics will likely place greater demands on the Nation’s freight transportation system.  NCFRP research will provide better information and clearer insight into the market-driven factors that lead and respond to current and future freight demand.
  2. Develop reliable data and tools for analysis of freight transportation
    Successful decision making is based on credible and reliable analysis, which itself depends on quality data.  NCFRP research will identify improvements in collecting, analyzing, and using data and will develop tools for analyzing and managing the impacts (e.g., economic, safety, security, environmental, health, energy, community) of freight transportation decisions.
  3. Explore operational improvements in freight transportation
    Enhancing system performance does not focus solely on providing new infrastructure but also includes operational strategies and more efficient management of existing capacity.  NCFRP research will provide guidance on implementing promising operational and system management improvements.
  4. Evaluate investment decisions for adding physical capacity to the freight transportation system
    Quantifying benefits, including return on investment, is an important input into decision making.  NCFRP research will provide information and guidance on making sound decisions for adding capacity where investment makes economic sense.
  5. Identify ways to strengthen the institutional framework for the freight transportation system
    Institutional capacity is often a prerequisite for successful planning and implementation of freight-oriented strategies.  NCFRP research will identify institutional barriers, organizational capacity issues and innovative solutions to freight transportation challenges.  Of particular interest is the evolving concept of public-private partnerships that often does not conform to jurisdictional boundaries nor the traditional dividing line between government and business.

The NCFRP’s creation was authorized by The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), and it is sponsored by the US Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA).  The program is managed by the National Academies through its Transportation Research Board (TRB), with program guidance provided by an Oversight Committee comprising a representative cross section of freight stakeholders.

Sponsor Organization

U.S. Department of Transportation
Research & Innovative Technology Administration

U.S. DOT Program Manager

Caesar Singh, P.E.

Performing Organization(s)

Private and Public sector agencies to include transportation agencies, consulting companies, academic institutions