October 20 - The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has applauded U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) secretary Anthony Foxx for releasing the Draft National Freight Strategic Plan.

Among its specific strategies, the draft plan emphasises the importance of a dedicated freight programme that would improve the movement of freight and meet economic demands, said the AAPA.

It also includes a draft multimodal freight network map to inform planners, private sector stakeholders and the public about where major freight flows occur, and where special attention to freight issues may be most warranted.

Furthermore, said the AAPA, the draft plan would have the U.S. DOT continue to support local, state and interagency collaboration, including close cooperation with port authorities, private sector stakeholders and agencies in Canada and Mexico; share best practices for freight planning; supportadvisory committees and public forums with stakeholders; and encourage effective use of funding available at the national level.

"We're extremely encouraged that Secretary Foxx is moving forward with the National Freight Strategic Plan," said AAPA president and ceo Kurt Nagle. "Mapping the future of our freight network and providing resources to build it is a top priority for AAPA and its member ports."

Nagle added that the plan is a "timely document to highlight the importance freight investment plays in our communities and in the national economy as Congress moves forward with a multi-year transportation reauthorisation bill".