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2050 Freight Industry Level Forecasts Update

    Conditions in the goods movement industry have rapidly evolved over the last several years. The 2050 Freight Industry Level Forecasts Update Study will develop updated, accurate information on freight demand, both current as well as projected out to 2050 and 2055.

    For more than a decade, NJTPA has developed and enhanced the Freight Forecasting Tool (FFT) and its capabilities, as well as developed supply chain profiles for the key industries/commodities in the region and for each of the counties in the region. NJTPA’s work in these areas has been recognized nationally and cited as effective MPO practices.

    NJTPA’s last freight forecasting update was completed in Spring of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to disrupt the movement of people and goods throughout the world. At that time, it was difficult to ascertain the scale and duration of the effects that disruptive event would have on the global economy and freight transportation. Now, more than three years later, we have observed that there are indeed ongoing effects of the pandemic on the region’s freight network and supply chains. The economy remains volatile and supply chains rattled.  The lives of consumers in the NJTPA region and elsewhere around the country have been permanently altered, international supply chains fractured, and new manufacturing location diversification implemented.  

    This effort builds on three previous NJTPA Freight Planning studies. The 2040 Freight Industry Level Forecasts Study, completed in 2012, developed the NJTPA Freight Forecasting Tool (FFT) and produced a set of 16 stand-alone Freight Profiles: one for each of the 13 NJTPA counties, Newark, Jersey City and the entire NJTPA region. The Regional Freight Commodity Profiles Study, completed in 2015, enhanced the FFT and produced a set of Regional Commodity Profiles for the top commodities in the NJTPA region. The 2050 Freight Industry Level Forecasts Study, completed in 2020 identified where concentrations of goods movement activity could occur in the region, the types of commodities that could be moving and where strategic investments should be considered to support economic growth and enhance regional resiliency. The results of this work will serve as background for the next NJTPA Long Range Transportation Plan as well as Freight Planning and subregional planning studies.

    The 2050 Freight Industry Level Forecasts Update will accomplish the following objectives:
    • Update the underlying data and forecasts to meet an adjusted 2050 planning horizon, and to extend the outer forecast horizon to 2055.
    • Expand upon the methodology pioneered in the 2050 Freight Industry Level Forecasts Study to develop an e‑commerce delivery trip table using new intelligence regarding vehicle travel patterns and purposes.
    • Enhance the FFT to process the latest available version of the U.S. DOT Freight Analysis Framework commodity flow data and forecasts, and to enhance user interface and ease-of-use.
    • Augment historic business establishment inventory data that NJTPA possesses with publicly available data, market reports, and/or other publications to account for recent trends and near-term future outlooks regarding development of industrial buildings that handle and/or generate freight shipments.
    • Develop a new suite of regional, subregional and freight commodity profiles using outputs of the updated FFT.
    The project is being conducted for the NJTPA by a consultant team of Cambridge Systematics, Inc. with BJH Advisors, LLC.

    For further information on this project, contact Anne Strauss-Wieder, NJTPA Project Manager at [email protected].