Southeast Michigan’s 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 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,
  • including perspectives of businesses that use the freight system,
  • highlighting profiles of industry freight transportation needs,
  • developing analysis tools, and
  • providing guidance for regional transportation planning.

Freight planning documents:
Southeast Michigan Freight and Economic Analysis, July 2012 (pdf)
Appendix A: Freight System Background (pdf, 553KB)
Appendix B: Freight Industry Survey Results (pdf, 2.1MB)
Appendix C: Freight Flows (pdf, 642KB)
Appendix D: Industry Profiles (pdf, 3.2MB)
Appendix E: Economic Analysis Tool Development (pdf, 1.8MB)
SEMCOG Economic Analysis Tool (xls, 8.6MB)

Developing Regional Solutions
SEMCOG is a regional planning partnership of governmental units serving 4.7 million people in the seven-county region of Southeast Michigan striving to enhance the region's quality of life.