Ray LaHood, U.S. Department of Transportation secretary, recently announced the creation of a Freight Policy Council. It will be composed of DOT leadership from highways, rail, ports and airports as well as economic and policy experts from across the Obama Administration. The mission of the Council will be the implementing the various freight provisions called for in the recently-passed surface transportation authorization, “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” (MAP-21).

 According to the announcement, deputy transportation secretary, John Porcari, will chair the council. Freight and logistics industries, consumers and other stakeholders will play an advisory role in instituting the freight elements of MAP-21. 

Establishment of the Council comes less than three months after Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) wrote Ray LaHood requesting that he use his administrative powers to create “a high-level and coordinated multimodal freight initiative” tasked with improving freight mobility through improved policy, planning and investment. Secretary LaHood made his announcement alongside Senator Maria Cantwell at a logistics facility in Seattle, WA.