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Public Roads - Jan/Feb 2009

Jan/Feb 2009
Issue No:
Vol. 72 No. 4
Publication Number:
Table of Contents

Training Update

Building Freight Professional Capacity

by Stacy Stottmeister

As freight volumes continue to grow on the national transportation network, a skilled and knowledgeable workforce at all levels of transportation policy development and project level planning is crucial to improving the productivity, safety, and security of freight movement. To meet these needs, the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) National Highway Institute (NHI) offers a growing catalog of freight-related courses.

Freight Courses

FHWA designed the following five NHI courses to build a broad range of professional capacity in freight issues.

  • Integrating Freight in the Transportation Planning Process (FHWA-NHI-139006). This entry level Web-based training (WBT) provides information on freight transportation dynamics, identifies key stakeholders, and discusses issues that affect the integration of freight considerations into transportation planning. Note: This WBT replaces the instructor-led (FHWA-NHI-139001) version of the course.
  • Advanced Freight Planning (FHWA-NHI-139003). This course expands on topics covered in the course Integrating Freight in the Transportation Planning Process and presents techniques and strategies for planning, programming, and implementing freight transportation projects and plans.
  • Uses of Multimodal Freight Forecasting in Transportation Planning (FHWA-NHI-139002). Forecasting freight traffic is a complex task that uses different data sources and analytical tools than those used to forecast passenger travel. This course provides an overview of freight forecasting and techniques for meeting facility-specific needs.
  • Linking Freight to Planning and the Environment (FHWA-NHI-139005). This course focuses on integrating freight and environmental considerations throughout the planning, programming, and project development processes.
  • Principles of Effective Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Size and Weight Enforcement (FHWA-NHI-139004). This course provides information on enforcing Federal size and weight regulations and writing and evaluating State enforcement plans and annual certifications.

For more information on scheduled sessions, visit the NHI Web site.

Certificate of Accomplishment in Freight Management and Operations

NHI offers a certificate of accomplishment to recognize individuals who have successfully completed and achieved passing grades in four key freight courses: Integrating Freight in the Transportation Planning Process, Advanced Freight Planning, Uses of Multimodal Freight Forecasting in Transportation Planning, and Linking Freight to Planning and the Environment. When bundled together, these complementary NHI courses enhance an individual's depth and breadth of knowledge and expertise in the area of freight transportation.

For more information on NHI courses or certificates of accomplishment, visit the NHI Web site at To schedule a session, contact the NHI Scheduler at

Other Professional Learning and Capacity Building Opportunities

In addition to the NHI courses, the Office of Freight Management and Operations' Freight Professional Development (FPD) Program offers a broad range of professional capacity building opportunities:

  • Engaging the Private Sector in Freight Planning Workshop. This workshop focuses on establishing and sustaining relationships with key private sector stakeholders. It reviews strategies and techniques to initiate public-private sector cooperation, identifies key private sector stakeholders, and suggests ways to improve and sustain communication. Successful approaches implemented at several State departments of transportation (DOTs) and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) are discussed.
  • Financing Multimodal Freight Improvements Workshops. These workshops provide information on funding and financing multimodal freight improvement projects. The workshops present examples of successful freight project financing by State DOTs, MPOs, local agencies, and the private sector.
  • "Talking Freight" Seminar Series. Seminars held monthly through Web conferencing provide a convenient way to learn about the latest trends, issues, tools, and noteworthy practices in freight transportation.
  • Freight Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Program. This program facilitates information sharing between public sector freight transportation professionals on topics of their choosing. This program offers agencies the opportunity to work one-on-one with technical experts to develop specific skills or address particular challenges.
  • Freight Planning Listserv. This listserv provides a venue for public and private sector freight transportation professionals to exchange information on innovative strategies and best practices in freight planning at the State and metropolitan area levels.


Stacks of shipping containers at this port are among the signs of the increasing demand for freight planning in the United States. New FHWA and NHI professional development opportunities, including training, help transportation officials hone the skills necessary to manage the growth in freight movement.


"Enabling public sector transportation professionals to develop the skills and knowledge needed to fully integrate freight movement into our transportation system development and operations is the objective of FHWA's FPD Program," says Tony Furst, director of the Office of Freight Management and Operations. "By providing these opportunities, we are giving them the tools they need to meet freight transportation challenges safely and effectively."

For more information on the FPD Program, visit or contact Carol Keenan at 202-366-6993 or For questions about the Freight P2P Program, contact Kate Quinn at 202-366-4241 or e-mail

Stacy Stottmeister is a contractor for NHI.