Institutional Arrangements for Freight Transportation Systems

Extracted 11MAY2011 from

The freight industry is a unique blend of private- and public-sector organizations, each with its own objectives and constraints. Political and jurisdictional boundaries do not define market relationships, but can affect them. New forms of public-private, privateprivate, and public-public arrangements are needed to address challenges, particularly, increased congestion and delay on freight transportation corridors and hubs, that do not conform to government jurisdictions, geographic boundaries, or traditional dividing lines between government and business. Over the past several decades, public agencies and private businesses have begun developing innovative freight institutional arrangements to meet freight transportation challenges. As a result, public agencies are developing a better understanding of the freight transportation system and its needs, while private industry is becoming more knowledgeable about transportation planning programs.

Under NCFRP Project 09, Cambridge Systematics, Inc., along with Gill V. Hicks & Associates and Network Public Affairs, LLC, developed a report that describes how to develop and sustain freight institutional arrangements. The report describes organizational and societal motivations for developing arrangements and the levers of influence for each of the parties in the arrangement (e.g., leadership, money, and regulation). The report also describes the factors that have contributed to or impeded the success of arrangements (including any federal constraints) and made recommendations for advancing the state-of-the-practice. The report also presents an approach to developing and maintaining an arrangement, including: (a) methods for assessing the need for an arrangement and for defining its goals and scope; (b) types of institutional arrangements (from ad-hoc to formal) and factors that influence their selection; (c) methods to overcome common challenges to successfully implement and sustain an arrangement; (d) methods for evaluating the success, structure, and performance of an arrangement, including ways to measure benefits and costs to the parties of the arrangement; and (e) relevant tools and resources such as checklists, self-assessments, templates, memoranda of understanding, and model legislation.