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Explosive Growth in Goods Movement

Explosive Growth in Goods Movement

Freight transportation influences every aspect of our daily lives and keeps our industries competitive in the global economy.  Given the Internet Age we now live in, people are becoming more and more accustomed to buying and receiving goods in a convenient and timely fashion.  This expectation and growing demand will require better connections and a more efficient transportation system.  According to Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Freight Analysis Framework-3 (FAF-3), despite slight declines in national freight movement in 2008 and 2009, the overall tonnage of goods that will be moved throughout the country for all modes is expected to increase 61% between 2010 and 2040.  Within Virginia, even larger growth is expected.  By 2035, freight tonnage moved in Virginia is projected to increase 115% for trucks, 102% by rail, 102% by domestic water, and 100% for non-containerized international trades (see figure below).  The largest growth in Virginia freight tonnage is for international container and air cargo trades, with each expected to increase over 200% by 2035.  Within Virginia, the Hampton Roads region is expected to experience a major portion of this growth due to its location and infrastructure.  Hampton Roads is a multimodal region that includes ports, airports, rail, private trucking, shipping and warehouse distribution facilities, as well as a network of road and rail corridors for the delivery of freight, goods, and services.  In order for Hampton Roads to remain competitive in attracting new business interests and continue to grow economically, its transportation network must facilitate the rapid and efficient movement of raw materials and finished products using trucks, trains, ships, and planes.

 

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