20th Anniversary Newsletter

20th Anniversary Edition | December 2021

CAGTC Celebrates 20 Years of Telling Freight's Story

Coalition Advances Federal Freight Programming and Cements Place as Industry Leader

Twenty years ago, the term “freight” was rarely used on Capitol Hill and was typically associated with single
modes of transportation. In the early Hill meetings organized by the Coalition for America’s Gateways & Trade
Corridors (CAGTC), there were many confused looks when our founders explained the need for increased public
investment across all modes.

We have plenty of anecdotes, shared best over happy hour, but the numbers also tell our story and articulate
CAGTC’s success in elevating freight’s profile. The last surface transportation bill passed before CAGTC’s founding
was the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, or TEA-21. TEA-21 contained the word “freight” just 39
times. Flash forward, and 2015’s Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or FAST Act, contains the word
“freight” 323 times – nearly ten times that of TEA-21. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act builds on the
freight programs established under the FAST Act and the word “freight” appears 279 times. It didn’t happen
overnight. This was the result of thousands of meetings with lawmakers, stating our case and successfully
gaining supporters along the way.

What started as a small handful of members with a vision to re-shape the dialogue around goods movement,
has grown into a national organization with a seat at the proverbial lawmaking table. Over two decades,
we have moved from knocking on the doors of Congress asking for a chance to be heard, to being invited
to sit before Congress – 10 times! – and testify as the foremost authority on multimodal freight policy. Our
Coalition has served on advisory boards at the highest level, sharing our expertise with the U.S. Department
of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Transportation Research Board, to name a few.

We’ve increased the amount of federal funding dedicated to freight infrastructure from zip, zero, nada to
$3 billion annually (and we aren’t done, by the way). We’ve successfully pushed for the establishment of a
national freight policy and the Office of Multimodal Freight Infrastructure and Policy at the U.S. Department of
Transportation. We’ve worked diligently to educate lawmakers on the importance of competitive funding for
significant freight projects – in fact, the IIJA contains a record $44 billion in discretionary programming that is
dedicated to or contains eligibility for freight infrastructure improvements! We’ve spoken, tirelessly, of the need.
The need to make these critical investments to remain competitive in the global economy. The need to provide
dedicated resources for freight infrastructure, as the federal government has for other mobility needs. The need
to act now. The fact that these needs will continue to grow in lockstep with economic growth.

We have much to be proud of, but in truth, we are just getting started. What we need now is your support to
propel us forward over the next 20 years. Much has changed since 2001, but some things remain the same.
CAGTC’s strength is in its membership base and its dedication to our core mission. You help make the case and
tell freight’s story. CAGTC’s staff and leadership appreciate your support over the years and look forward to
what is on the horizon. Together, we can continue telling the freight story.

To commemorate CAGTC’s 20th anniversary, we’ve put together a short newsletter containing a look back at
some of our signature achievements and products. We hope that 2022 is the year we can get together for that
long-overdue happy hour. Until then, we hope you’ll enjoy the trip down memory lane.

View our Follow That Freight brochure collection and Freight Can't Wait publication