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FREIGHT RESOURCE CENTER

RESEARCH

  • facts and figures
  • presentations
  • snapshots


06-01-2015
The Great Port Mismatch

The United States traded over $4 trillion worth of international goods in 2014, ranging from raw agriculture to advanced precision instruments. The enormous variety of exports and imports powers American industries, allowing industrial and household consumers to enjoy cost-effective products and exporting producers to access global markets. Even with a transition to a more service-based economy, goods trade still represents a vital component of economic growth. America’s international ports—the water, air, and surface transportation facilities that handle global goods—are either the first or last place a good touches domestic soil, and therefore they are vital components in trade networks. With towers of containers sitting on docksides, flocks of cargo planes parked at airports, and lines of trucks on both sides of the borders, ports are often the clearest visual evidence of all the goods trade taking place across the country.

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06-01-2015
Metro Modes

Trucks, railroads, waterways, airports, and pipelines represent the foundation of the country’s freight infrastructure network. Yet mounting congestion costs and tight investment budgets require that we prioritize freight investments. Understanding the types of goods moved by each mode—and the major industries supported by these movements—is a crucial step for regions to take to address their freight challenges. To assist in this process, this report uses data from the most recent year available (2010) to examine how U.S. regions move goods between each other.

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05-01-2015
Reagan Devolution- The Real Story of the 1982 Gas Tax Increase

Federal transportation policy in the U.S. has been struggling with a funding crisis for over a decade. Though our Highway Trust Fund (HTF) did not actually require a general fund bailout until 2008, there were concerns about insufficient funding and the need for a gas tax increase to support the program as early as 2002. Congress created two commissions, trade associations launched lobbying efforts, and think-tanks like Eno churned out reports. Yet despite all of these efforts, Congress continues to be in the same place it has been all of that time – unable to increase the gas tax, unable to cut transportation funding, and bailing out the HTF on a regular basis. In all of the analysis that has been done on this issue, it is difficult to avoid the hard fact that transportation is not an issue that generates widespread public demand for tax increases. In fact, there has not been an increase in the gas tax exclusively for the purpose of funding transportation since 1982...

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