Federal Freight Policy: In Brief

The U.S. freight system is a complex network which includes: the National Truck Network, comprising 209,000 miles of highways that can accommodate large trucks; Railroads, carrying freight on 140,000 miles of track; Barge and ship lines, utilizing 12,000 miles of shallow-draft inland waterways and about 3,500 port terminal facilities; and Air carriers, providing cargo service to more than 5,000 public use airports. This document looks at (1) the federal role in freight transportation planning; (2) infrastructure funding and support including highway freight funding, railroad improvements, navigation infrastructure, and shipyard assistance; and (3) freight performance issues such as truck congestion, freight rail congestion, coastal shipping's decline, and container port efficiency.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This report is updated periodically while the text remains available at the URL indicated above. The actual date of publication, pagination, and other features may differ from that indicated in this record.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Congressional Research Service

    Washington, DC  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Frittelli, John
  • Publication Date: 2018-12-14


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 15p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01690804
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: R44367
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 2 2019 3:31PM