The Illinois Department of Transportation has established the Illinois State Freight Advisory Council to provide a standing forum for coordination of freight multimodal planning in Illinois.

IDOT’s goal is to enhance the public benefits of every mode, improve intermodal connections, and sustain the state’s position as the primary freight transportation hub of the nation.

“Freight transportation is essential to Illinois' economic prosperity and a vital key to being competitive in today’s global economy,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “This statewide council will help coordinate regional priorities between the public and private sectors regarding freight industry and system needs while enhancing Illinois’ competitive advantage in the global markets and sustaining our position as the nation’s primary freight hub.”

IDOT is seeking nominations of potential members for the Illinois State Freight Advisory Council. Public and private sector candidates who represent freight transportation using Illinois’ highways, railways, waterways, and airways are encouraged to submit a nomination application for IDOT’s consideration for membership.

Nomination instructions are available on the IDOT website.

The State Freight Advisory Council will have a statewide focus on freight mobility in Illinois that will reflect a mix of freight experts from across all modes to include railroad, port and airport operators, labor and business, including trucking firms, freight shippers and receivers, and economic development organizations, along with academic and professional organizations, manufacturing, agriculture, and energy organizations. The Council will advise IDOT and other state agencies on issues and policies involving freight transportation.

The State Freight Advisory Council is designed to be similar to U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Freight Advisory Committee. In June 2013, Secretary Schneider was appointed to chair the National Freight Advisory Council. The national committee is assigned to present U.S. DOT with freight policy recommendations that will help shape federal freight efforts for years to come.

Nominations for membership to the Illinois State Freight Advisory Council are due to IDOT by October 15, 2013. The announcement of the new members is expected to be made this fall. Once members are named, the Council will immediately begin reviewing IDOT’s recently released Long-Range Transportation Plan and the Freight Mobility and State Rail Plans.

Click for Secretary Schneider’s remarks on her appointment to the national council and for a closer look at details of IDOT’s commitment to leadership in freight transportation.