Issues Under Discussion

The North American Freight Forum will provide its collaborative method for issues that currently inhibit efficiency and sustainability in the movement of land freight on the North American continent. The following initial issue areas have been identified in concert with our industry and governmental colleagues. As of this writing these IntelliConferences are in pre-production and open to stakeholders who communicate interest.
Trailers on rail flatbed

Rail / Trucking Coordination IntelliConference

Rail and trucking each have their strengths and limitations. In an unplanned system those limitations can leave unwelcome performance gaps. In an integrated system each mode’s strength can be optimized. Instead of pitting these modes against each other, it is time to apply collaboration and coordination to create a freight system that best leverages the benefits of both modes.

 

 

 

Sangre de Cristo Mountain Initiative

In the wake of large catastrophic fires, we have a short window to recover $100 million in timber value that is essential for helping revive our landscapes and communities while preventing the next big fire.  Our  mission is to create a consensus around sustainable carbon-negative conservation that empowers local people to restore and sustain landscapes in the  Sangre de Cristo Mountains of new Mexico.

Moving train passing by rail crossing sign

Rail Regulatory Excellence IntelliConference

Rules and regulations are promulgated in reaction to various events and experiences. Often, they develop a life of their own, untethered to the original intent, frustrating stakeholders. Improvements are often challenging as individual industries and companies beseech government from a vested-interest point of view. The North American Freight Forum will gather all informed perspectives into a body of rail regulatory recommendations to be delivered to the U.S., Mexican and Canadian administrations.

Truck inspection stop

Trucking Regulatory Excellence IntelliConference

Rules and regulations are promulgated in reaction to various events and experiences. Often, they develop a life of their own, untethered to the original intent, frustrating all involved. Improvements are often challenging as individual industries and companies beseech government from a vested-interest point of view. The North American Freight Forum will gather all informed perspectives into a body of trucking regulatory recommendations to be delivered to the U.S., Mexican, and Canadian administrations.

Graph on digital screen

Performance Measures IntelliConference

Problems and opportunities need to be defined and measured before they can be solved or achieved.

Many containers stored in port

Container Logistics IntelliConference

Increasing globalization of supply chains has exacerbated congestion and chaos in how containerized freight is moved through North America. Stakeholder groups involved in container logistics face significant inefficiencies in how containers, chassis, trucks, railcars, loading equipment, and ships are coordinated.

tank cars in motion

Rail Power Sustainability IntelliConference

The transportation fuels marketplace is about to undergo rapid conversion. The railroad industry should respond proactively. As truck and automobile fleets shift to battery and/or fuel cell electric power, the petroleum diesel supply chain will contract. Identifying and implementing new power supply sources requires large-scale collaboration. 

Sweeping city scape

Sustainable Supply Chain Infrastructure IntelliConference

Supply chains are too important to our nations to be based only on individual company needs and opportunistic land development. There is much to be gained for business, communities, and the environment from thinking out supply chain approaches across entire industries, regions, and commodities. Supply chains and freight systems can then be designed to serve future prosperity and sustainability.

Aerial view of town

Freight Transportation Land Use IntelliConference

The siting of freight-centric facilities is too often merely opportunistic without consideration of consequences to local roads, and supply chains in general. Economic development goals should harmonize with smart planning that does not lock in avoidable freight traffic.

stacks of rail stock

Growing Freight Rail Service IntelliConference Series

This series explores the matrix of issues that if addressed could spur a new era of rail growth. The first IntelliConference focuses on a developing a counterpoint to the historically problematic relationships between shippers and railroads, including a full examination of the regulatory and  adjudicatory bodies that seem to sustain, rather than ease, friction. The next IntelliConference will gather intelligence around rail carload system advancement. Further IntelliConferences are designed to face the “real-world” questions: What capitalization strategies will produce an expanded, modally balanced North American freight transportation system? What governmental policies need to be shifted? The final pair of IntelliConferences amount to a hard look in the mirror: What does the industry need to do for itself to expand its capacity? How can rail management, labor and their unions re-orient toward their shared objectives?

 

Men around locomotive

Rail Management / Rail Labor IntelliConference

Some of the longest relationships in North American commerce are between railroads and unions. They are also some of the most fraught, with several large railroads ranked as the worst places in the country to work.

Cross-Border USMCA Coordination IntelliConference

Neither train tracks nor traffic (ideally) stops at borders. The USMCA countries are each other’s major trading partners and share common rail technologies and operating practices, to a point.

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