Why Freight is Important
From produce to clothing to furniture, every person in North Carolina is affected by freight. In fact, every person in the state generates or consumes the equivalent of a tractor-trailer-load of freight each year, making its movement and handling – referred to as "logistics" – an essential aspect of North Carolina's economic fabric.
In addition to the impact it has on quality of life, freight transportation helps connect local and regional industries to national and global markets and also attracts businesses to North Carolina.
Freight in North Carolina
North Carolina's sophisticated network of railroads, highway corridors, ports and air cargo facilities – and the industries that rely on them and employ their services – have evolved to create a highly diversified and vibrant economy composed of more than a dozen industrial sectors, including large-scale and advanced manufacturing, bio-medical production and distribution.
What NCDOT is Doing
Because of the unique challenges and requirements that go along with logistics, the N.C. Department of Transportation is committed to a transportation network that supports the economic well-being and growth of the state.
Its efforts include many strategies and activities, including the development of a multimodal statewide freight plan that integrates freight in the primary modes of rail, road, air and water transportation to support an evolving group of industries, including large-scale industrial farming, "bio-solutions," warehousing and distribution and advanced manufacturing.
Multimodal Statewide Freight Plan
This first-of-its-kind in North Carolina, the Multimodal Statewide Freight Plan – currently under development – is timely, as the federal
Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act promises to provide significant and stable funding (for a period of five years) for freight investments identified in statewide freight plans.
By describing the underlying industry drivers of freight movement in the state and assessing how different supply chains have an impact on the condition and performance of the system, the statewide freight plan will identify transportation and logistics investments that can lead to statewide economic growth.
Statewide Logistics Plan
In response to House Bill 1005, Session Law 2007-551, the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management coordinated the development of a statewide logistics plan to address the state's long-term economic, mobility and infrastructure needs.
A special task force that included NCDOT, the N.C. Department of Commerce and transportation and business stakeholders, reviewed transportation systems in the state with a focus on giving North Carolina a competitive advantage in economic development by maximizing existing transportation systems and defining priorities for future transportation investments.
The Governor's Logistics Task Force work culminated in a June 2012 report found below:
Other Plans & Strategies
Seven Portals Study
The 2010 Seven Portals Study looked at how North Carolina's transportation infrastructure investments could help with economic development and job creation.
N.C. Maritime Strategy
This 2012 N.C. Maritime Strategy study evaluated the role the maritime industry plays in sustaining North Carolina’s efforts to create jobs and strengthen the economy across the state. Initiated by the Governor’s Logistics Task Force, the North Carolina Maritime Strategy took a fresh look at North Carolina’s maritime assets and the needs for improvement to ensure that the state remains competitive in the future.
A Maritime Strategy Executive Team oversaw this process, evaluated the results and provided an objective technical and economic analysis.