Regional Freight and Goods Movements Study: Phase I

Study Overview

The freight planning efforts of the Nashville Area MPO are ongoing and largely based on a series of studies being conducted to help integrate freight-related goals into the regional long range transportation planning process.

Phase I (Completed in 2003)

In 2003, the Nashville Area MPO published the results from Phase I of the Regional Freight & Goods Movement Study. That report served to highlight the role that the freight industry plays in the success of our local economy and to illustrate the movement of freight in, around, and through our region. The principal goal of that study was to build a foundation to formally integrate freight into the overall MPO planning process.

To that end, the study was designed to achieve the following objectives:

•Establish the basis for subsequent freight planning efforts by assembling a regional Freight Advisory Committee and developing a regional freight profile.

•Identify quick-action freight related strategies, policies and projects specific to the Nashville area that could be implemented into the MPO's plans and programs. 


Major Findings

The Nashville Area’s status as crossroad in the transportation networks of the Eastern U.S. will continue to facilitate growth in the volume of freight transport both internal and external to the Nashville Area. Nearly 60 million tons of freight originate or terminate in the Region annually, with more than 80% of this volume moving by truck. The ability for freight to be transported timely and efficiently is impacted by both mobility on, and accessibility to the regional transportation network. Localized congestion within the Region provides a finite number of sufficient corridors with which to accommodate the increases in population and freight volume. The lack of sufficient mobility leads to transport inefficiencies, which are manifested by way of delayed delivery times and higher costs to both the shipper and, ultimately, consumers.


This report discusses specific opportunities that can be leveraged toward reaching the broader objectives of freight planning. The proposed strategies are organized as follows:

1. Planning to Enhance Freight Mobility
• Focus on key truck corridors
• Incorporate trucks in traffic design
• Enhance freight operation using technology
• Support freight planning with data
• Promote intermodal operations
• Partner for effective freight transportation planning

2. Urban Design and Growth Management Policy
• Land use planning for freight
• Regional zoning for freight infrastructure
• Design standards for freight infrastructure
• Urban development
• Using the development review process to benefit freight

3. Policies Promoting Economic Vitality and Quality of Life
• Air quality issues
• Environmental justice





  • Regional Freight and Goods Movements Study: Phase I

Completion Date

  • 2004


  • Wilbur Smith Associates
    Atherton & Mease

Study Partners

  • Nashville Area MPO
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