The Office of Multimodal Freight Infrastructure and Policy will oversee the maintenance and improvement of the nation’s freight network and supply chains.  -  Photo: Multimodal Freight Office

The Office of Multimodal Freight Infrastructure and Policy will oversee the maintenance and improvement of the nation’s freight network and supply chains.

Photo: Multimodal Freight Office

The Biden administration established a new office to oversee the maintenance and improvement of the nation’s freight network and supply chains across transportation modes.

During the inaugural meeting of the White House Council on Supply Chain Resilience, President Joe Biden and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced the launch of the Office of Multimodal Freight Infrastructure and Policy (Multimodal Freight Office).

The Office of Multimodal Freight Infrastructure and Policy is a new office within the DOT's Office of the Undersecretary of Transportation for Policy established and funded by Congress to carry out the national multimodal freight policy.

Congress specified that OST-F shall:

  • Administer and oversee certain multimodal freight grant programs
  • Promote and facilitate the sharing of information between the private and public sectors with respect to freight issues
  • Conduct research on improving multimodal freight mobility, and oversee the freight research activities of the various agencies within the department
  • Assist cities and states in developing freight mobility and supply chain expertise
  • Liaise and coordinate with other federal departments and agencies
  • Carry out other duties, as prescribed by the secretary

The Multimodal Freight Office is part of DOT’s implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law as directed by Congress. It will be led by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multimodal Freight Infrastructure and Policy Allison Dane Camden.

“Since President Biden took office we have focused on supply chain improvements, not just to recover from pandemic-driven disruptions but also to make lasting improvements for a stronger and more resilient future,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

“Our new Multimodal Freight Office will lead coordination of our work to strengthen supply chains – including the FLOW data initiative helping companies and ports make better-informed decisions — so that they can move goods more efficiently and keep costs down for Americans."

FLOW Program

In partnership with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the new office will continue the advancement of DOT’s Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW) program.

FLOW now includes the five largest U.S. container ports, seven of the largest ocean carriers, and four of the five largest retailers by imports to create a shared picture of supply chain networks and facilitate a more reliable flow of goods. Data from this public-private partnership is beginning to inform decision-making and planning across the supply chain that will speed up the movement of goods. 

DOT said FLOW provides greater transparency across supply chain networks, helping make the supply chain more resilient and adaptable in the face of major anomalies and changing circumstances.

Through FLOW, DOT said it is serving as an independent steward of secure supply chain data across a largely privately operated enterprise that spans shipping lines, ports, terminal operators, truckers, railroads, warehouses, and beneficial cargo owners. By providing a secure, shared view of the national logistics system without compromising sensitive proprietary information, including both supply and demand assets, participants can make more informed decisions regarding their capacity and supply chain planning.

In addition to growing the FLOW partnership, the office will oversee the development of the National Multimodal Freight Network, review State Freight Plans, and provide technical assistance to state and local governments, among other duties.

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