In a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), along with the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are calling for the establishment of the Office of Multimodal Freight Infrastructure and Policy, or Freight Office.
According to the letter (download below), the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA) calls for the creation of such an office, which would help “coordinate activities across the federal government and provide senior-level leadership to guide federal decision making in supply chain competitiveness, security and fluidity.”
The office, the organizations say, is also supposed to help businesses, states and other freight stakeholders work together to address challenges.
“Despite the importance of this office, leadership has not been announced, a formal organizational structure has not been implemented, and a policymaking apparatus has not been developed. We find this concerning as this office promises to play a crucial role in the development of long-term multimodal freight planning, as well as serve as a critical coordination point between the Departments of State, Commerce, Energy, and Homeland Security and other agencies with jurisdiction over supply chain policy,” the organizations wrote.
According to the letter, lack of a Freight Office to provide oversight means interagency coordination is taking place “on an ad-hoc basis,” affecting how efficiently and well tasks can be carried out.
- Agriculture Transportation Coalition
- Airforwarders Association
- American Association of Port Authorities
- American Apparel & Footwear Association
- American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
- American Trucking Associations
- Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors
- Consumer Brands Association
- Intermodal Association of North America
- National Association of Manufacturers
- National Association of Waterfront Employers
- National Retail Federation
- Travel Goods Association