Freight shipments represent the economy in motion and plays an integral economic role at both the national and regional levels. Efficient freight movement faces few obstacles in the region, none of which have been identified as seriously impeding economic development. Freight movement is most efficient when the roadways traveled by freight are reliable and uncongested. Reliability is addressed in the SMTC’s Long Range Transportation Plan and the 2019 Congestion Management Process, using a few freight-specific performance measures, such as Truck Travel Time Reliability.  According to data analyses, reliability for trucks is extremely good on the interstate system. Pavement and bridge condition ratings are routinely monitored along freight corridors and capital improvements made with the goal to increase reliability and maintain the low levels of congestion.

Recently, notable freight projects in our area include upgrades to the CSX DeWitt Rail Yard for the construction of the Syracuse Intermodal Container Transfer Facility to expand freight movement capacity at the rail yard; development of an Amazon distribution facility in Clay, one of the largest in the world that is expected to employ 1,000 workers and generate approximately 25 tractor-trailer trips every hour; and the development of a smaller Amazon facility less than a mile north of the CSX tracks in DeWitt.

The SMTC published a Freight Transportation Profile for the planning area that assists staff and member agencies in the development of plans and programs. The profile gives an overview of the freight transportation system in our area, identifies tons and value of commodities traveling through the system, and tracks primary shipping modes (i.e., air, rail and truck). Updates to the profile will take place as more recent data become available.