California issues draft plan for freight system of the future

Feedback will be accepted through July 6, 2016

Posted May 6, 2016

Agency leaders for the state of California released the Draft California Sustainable Freight Action Plan, a document that lays a foundation for modernizing California’s freight transportation system.

The Draft Action Plan was developed in response to Governor Brown’s Executive Order B-32-15, which calls for a single integrated action plan for California.

The Executive Order directs the state agencies to pursue a shared vision to “improve freight efficiency, transition to zero-emission technologies, and increase the competitiveness of California’s freight system.” Benefits include meeting the state’s freight infrastructure, public health, air quality, and climate goals.

The Draft Action Plan responds to the Governor’s Executive Order by articulating one shared vision to improve the efficiency of California’s freight system while reducing its emissions, all the while bolstering the competitiveness of California’s goods movement system nationally and internationally.

Key components of the Action Plan include:

  • A long-term 2050 vision and guiding principles for California’s future freight transport system.
  • Targets for 2030 to guide the state toward meeting its long-term vision:
    • Improve freight system efficiency 25 percent by 2030.
    • Deploy over 100,000 zero-emission vehicles/equipment and maximize near-zero by 2020.
    • Foster future economic growth within the freight and goods movement industry.
  • Identified opportunities to leverage state freight transport system investments.
  • Actions to initiate over the next five years to make progress towards the Draft Action Plan’s vision and target.
  • Pilot projects to achieve concrete progress in the near-term.
  • Additional concepts for further exploration and potential development.

Achieving the Draft Action Plan’s objectives will require strategic partnerships and well-coordinated investments in new technologies and major infrastructure upgrades. The plan provides an opportunity for leveraging new federal, state, local, and private investment for these freight transport system improvements.

California’s freight system is extensive and interconnected. It is composed of several deep water seaports, cargo airports, border crossings, and a vast warehousing and distribution sector, all connected by a network of over 11,000 miles of railroad track and Interstate and state highways. Each component is critical and the system depends on these interconnected facilities working in concert to move freight in and out of California to the rest of the nation and across the globe.

The Draft Action Plan is available now for stakeholder and public feedback through July 6, 2016. Additionally, agency staff will present it as an informational item at public meetings of the California Freight Advisory Committee, the California Transportation Commission and California Air Resources Board in May.

The Governor’s Executive Order on Sustainable Freight can be found at

The Draft Action Plan is available for public review and comments on the Sustainable Freight website. Comments can be submitted electronically.

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