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Southeast Michigan’s unique geographical position, existing transportation infrastructure, and economic base combine to form an integral gateway to Canada, the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway, Chicago, the Midwest, Mexico, and the world. This system is important to the growth and health of Southeast Michigan’s regional economy. If freight movement becomes unreliable or inefficient, the cost of doing business increases, which then threatens jobs and changes the business climate in the Southeast Michigan. Sustaining a careful balance between community needs and freight needs is essential.

SEMCOG integrates freight system planning into its regional transportation planning process. It emphasizes maintaining a freight system inventory and evaluating its condition, operation, and safety. Because freight movement is a core component of regional economic activity, SEMCOG strives to incorporate market-based perspectives on how well the regional freight system is currently serving the needs of businesses and what investments in the regional freight system will be needed to support and enhance the regional economy.

SEMCOG’s Freight and Economic Analysis Report links Southeast Michigan's freight transportation with economic development, drawing connections by describing regional freight flow patterns, perspectives of businesses that use the freight system, profiles of industry freight transportation needs, developing analysis tools, and providing guidance for regional transportation planning.

Southeast Michigan Freight and Economic Analysis July 2012
Appendix A: Freight System Background
Appendix B: Freight Industry Survey Results
Appendix C: Freight Flows
Appendix D: Industry Profiles
Appendix E: Economic Analysis Tool Development
SEMCOG Economic Analysis Tool(xls 8.6MB)

SEMCOG maintains a partnership with the Detroit Regional Chamber through the Translinked initiative to promote Southeast Michigan as a freight hub. The Translinked committee acts as SEMCOG's Freight Task Force and helps ensure that freight issues are integrated into the regional transportation planning process. The committee is open to all freight practitioners and experts, including trucking, railroad, port, airport, shipping representatives, and member government representatives.

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