Patrick McKenna, director of the Missouri Department of Transportation and president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, joined U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao Thursday, Sept. 3, in the virtual launch of the first-ever National Freight Strategic Plan (NFSP).

The virtual event may be viewed here:

Intended to strengthen America’s economic competitiveness, the NFSP lays out a vision for long-term investments in infrastructure, the workforce and other essential parts of the freight system.

“The Department is unveiling the first-ever National Freight Strategic Plan so that the U.S. can maintain our competitive edge across major industries like agriculture, manufacturing, energy production and E-commerce,” said Chao.

Every day, America’s transportation network moves more than 51 million tons of freight and energy products valued at nearly $52 billion via highways, railways, ports and inland waterways, pipelines and airports. The growth in freight demand due to increasing use of e-commerce and global supply chains in recent years has strained our freight system and could threaten the competitive advantage of American businesses. As these supply chains continue to spread across the world, America’s ability to compete could be limited by inadequate infrastructure and a lack of preparation for incorporating innovative technologies.