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Freight and goods movement

Planning and conservation    Regional planning and policy    MPO for the Portland region    Freight and goods movement

The Regional Freight Plan presents policies and strategies for moving freight that complement the region's multimodal transportation system and support regional land use goals.

freight report

Download the Regional Freight Plan (7.4M PDF)

Regional Transportation Plan

After considering public comment, the Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation approved and the Metro Council adopted the 2035 RTP, which includes the Regional Freight Plan, on June 10, 2010.
Learn more about the RTP update

The Portland-Vancouver region boasts a strong regional economy that supports an enviable quality of life. Its economy depends on an efficient, reliable and safe transportation system that recognizes the region’s role as an international gateway and key domestic freight hub.

Sustaining the region’s high-quality livability as it grows depends on good decision-making that recognizes the interdependence of economic, transportation and land use goals. Strong growth in the movement of freight, both nationally and regionally, is driving the need to plan for a multimodal freight transportation system that includes marine, air, road, rail and pipeline networks and facilities.

  • The 2002 Commodity Flow Forecast for the Portland metropolitan region estimated a doubling in tonnage moved on the region’s multimodal freight transportation system by 2030.
  • The 2006 Regional Business Plan for the Portland metropolitan region identified freight mobility as one of four areas for near-term strategic action.
  • The Cost of Congestion Study underscored the importance of an efficient transportation system to the regional economy by highlighting the operational and fiscal impacts on area business and employees of the growing demand on the roadway network.
  • The Portland/Vancouver International and Domestic Capacity Analysis assesses the effect of global market dynamics on regional trade volumes, identifying the challenges and opportunities presented by increased trade in the region.

Freight and goods movement task force

A 33-member freight and goods movement task force guided the development of the plan. Public involvement activities, as well as review and comment on the draft Regional Freight and Goods Movement Plan, occured as part of the more comprehensive 2035 RTP update process... More

Plan objectives

  • Establish desired outcomes for the freight system through a public involvement process coordinated with the 2035 Regional Transportation Plan update.
  • Provide a common base of knowledge about the different elements of the regional freight transportation system and identify the issues, needs and deficiencies within the system.
  • Refine existing regional freight policies and the multimodal regional freight network map to support the 2040 Growth Concept.
  • Identify and prioritize multimodal freight network and facility infrastructure improvements to address mobility and access needs that respond to desired system outcomes and are consistent with financial resources.
  • Develop strategies that address environmental and community impacts of freight movement, system management and operations, economic development opportunities and financing of freight infrastructure.
  • Incorporate truck movement needs into existing regional street design guidelines.

Profile of the regional freight transportation system

freight trainDownload a a profile of the regional freight transportation system below. The report covers four key topic areas:

  • national and regional economic and industry trends and their effects on freight movement
  • elements of the regional freight transportation system
  • public policy that governs management of and public investment in freight mobility
  • logistics and practices shippers use to efficiently move product.

Related Documents

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Regional transportation planning
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Related Internet links

Regional freight

Day in the life of a coffee bean

Nearly all of the coffee that regional residents drink arrives at our neighborhood markets, cafes and restaurants through a complicated chain of movements and handling procedures. Most of our coffee beans are imported from South America, Central America, Africa and Asia, and arrive on U.S. shores by large ocean-going freighters. Landing at a marine port, such as the Port of Portland, they are then distributed to local warehouses by truck. At the warehouses, those beans are broken down into smaller shipments and shipped to individual stores and eateries. The only viable and cost-efficient way to move coffee beans between ports and warehouses and stores is by truck. In the Portland area alone, 50,000 pounds of coffee beans are consumed every day, resulting in about 100 truck trips each day.

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