News  Draft 2023 Massachusetts Freight Plan Released for Public Comment

Plan includes key freight-intensive industries, high-level commodity flow analysis & assessment of multimodal freight assets, demand, and needs
  • Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Boston The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing the release of the Draft 2023 Massachusetts Freight Plan for public comment. The 30-day public comment period will conclude on Thursday, June 29, 2023. 

The 2023 Massachusetts Freight Plan defines a vision for the Commonwealth, and documents the needs, challenges, and opportunities for the multimodal freight transportation network.

Information in the draft plan includes:

  • Profiles of four key freight-intensive industries in Massachusetts: the fishing and seafood industry; the biomedical industry; the computer and electronics industry; and the chemicals and material industry. Each of these has experienced profound change since the 2017 Freight Plan, most notably since the onset of COVID-19.
  • Trends regarding the supply chain and the impact on the four key freight-intensive industries with topics including COVID-19 impacts, intermodal shipping, e-commerce, technology and automation, supply chain redundancy and resilience, and employee access to freight jobsites.
  • A detailed assessment of Massachusetts’ multimodal freight assets, demand, and needs.
  • A high-level commodity flow analysis. In 2017, 253 million tons valued at nearly $502 billion moved to, from, and within Massachusetts. Freight is expected to approach 351 million tons valued at $888 billion by 2045. Trucks moved 83% of freight tonnage and 71% of total value in 2017.
  • Modal profiles for Massachusetts’ highways, freight rail, ports and waterways, and air cargo facilities. Roadways are the most commonly used infrastructure for transporting all types of goods over distances ranging from cross-country to within New England to first- and last-mile local delivery. Although rail represents a relatively small percentage of total freight in Massachusetts compared to highways, rail provides a critical and efficient method to move certain goods over longer distances (typically over 500 miles). Rail freight must travel through Massachusetts to reach most of New England from the rest of the U.S., making it important to both the Commonwealth and the region.

Following the 30-day public comment period, the draft plan will be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration for final review and approval.

For more information on how to review the draft plan and submit comments, please visit the Massachusetts Freight Plan website:

  • Massachusetts Department of Transportation 

    Our mission is to deliver excellent customer service to people traveling in the Commonwealth by providing transportation infrastructure which is safe, reliable, robust and resilient. We work to provide a transportation system which can strengthen the state’s economy and improve the quality of life for all.
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