Freight Movement and Economic Competitiveness from the Megaregion Perspective

Project Description: 

This study focused on the regional and national impacts of port-related freight movement to lay the groundwork for regional planning activities at the megaregion scale that accommodate increased port-related freight. 

Final Report:

Freight Movement, Port Facilities, and Economic Competitiveness (Freight Movement and Economic Competitiveness from the Megaregion Perspective)


  1. “Freight Movement, Port Facilities, and Economic Competitiveness”, presented at the 2014 UTC Conference for the Southeastern Region in Atlanta, Georgia, March 24-25, 2014.
  2. "Key Ideas from the 2013 Megaregions and Freight Movement Peer Exchange ", presented at the 2014 UTC Conference for the Southeastern Region in Atlanta, Georgia, March 24-25, 2014.

Project Information Forms:

  1. January 2013
  2. July 2013 
  3. January 2014 
  4. June 2014
  5. January 2015
Describe Implementation of Research Outcomes (or why not implemented) : 

The results of this project have implications for the practice, policy, and study of transportation planning. The primary audiences are state and metropolitan transportation planners and engineers, policy makers at all levels of government, public and private entities in logistics including port authorities, economic developers and academics who focus on transportation and regional economic development. The results are  particularly useful to elected officials and policy makers as they outline national strategies for future port and freight transportation planning. The dates for project deliverables have changed and implementation is yet to occur. 

Impacts/Benefits of Implementation (actual, not anticipated): 

With most of the focus on the impact of the Panama Canal expansion centered on the upgrade of specific port facilities, there is a need for further research on the impact of increased port traffic on the megaregion level transportation system. Planning on a regional scale is critical for effectively and efficiently capturing the economic benefits that the expansion will generate. This is not only important for the economic competitiveness of each port’s region, but for the entire nation which depends on the goods delivered at each port. Furthermore, if not properly anticipated, increased demand for freight movement on the highway system will result in added congestion and shortages in truck parking locations. This not only impacts the “state of good repair” of the highway system, but also could negatively impact highway safety. During this period, a section for impacts of the Panama Canal expansion on freight movement has been completed with multiple scenarios and also a section for regional economic impacts has been completed analyzing the scenarios developed from the previous section in conjunction with IMPLAN regional economic multipliers. 

Principal Investigator(s) Contact Information:
Georgia Institute of Technology
Start and End Dates: 
05/01/12 - 06/30/14
Economic Competitiveness

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