Pausing a moment from their harbor tour, participants at the Keeping Counties Moving: Innovations in Freight Transportation Peer Exchange, pose for the camera for the record. Photo by Jenna Moran
Alameda County, Calif. enjoys one of the most strategic trade locations in world and serves as a central hub for freight and goods movement throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and the surrounding Northern California “mega-region.” Much of the region relies heavily on the critical freight infrastructure in Alameda County to bring goods to and from national and international markets.
Goods movement is also extremely vital to the county’s economy, with one-third of its employment coming from goods movement-dependent industries such as transportation and warehousing, manufacturing and construction.
A small group of county leaders were recently able to learn from and experience first-hand the goods movement efforts in Alameda County at the Keeping Counties Moving: Innovations in Freight Transportation Peer Exchange. NACo, with support from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), worked with Alameda County and the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC), and the Port of Oakland to plan and host this two-day peer-learning event.
“It was deeply satisfying to share our accomplishments with the development of the first major county-wide and regional goods movement plans through this Peer Exchange experience,” said Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty. “Expansion and innovations in goods movement infrastructure and technology are already underway in Alameda County, and we were so pleased to highlight this progress with our NACo visitors.”
Recognizing both the importance of freight movement to the county and anticipating larger freight flows in Northern California, ACTC organized the Bay Area Goods Movement Collaborative as a two-year, planning process for the county and region to understand goods-movement needs and identify, prioritize and advocate for strategies to ensure that the county continues to prosper as a major freight and goods movement hub.
Through this process, ACTC partnered with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to jointly produce the Alameda County Goods Movement Plan in February 2016, which lays out short- and long-term strategies for the county to improve infrastructure systems, promote innovative technology and improve overall quality of life.
At the NACo peer exchange, county officials heard from regional leaders about these efforts and participated in a lively discussion on regional and mega-regional goods movement planning efforts in the Alameda County region.
Other topics covered included global shipping trends, economic competitiveness, supply chains and logistics, technological innovations and county connections to local, regional and global economies.
FHWA Administrator Gregory Nadeau was on hand to update the group about FHWA priorities and discuss freight and trade connection opportunities for counties. Attendees also toured the Port of Oakland — the fifth largest marine port in the nation and a vital component of the Alameda County goods-movement infrastructure system.
In conjunction with these efforts with FHWA in freight transportation, NACo has also recently released a publication, Keeping Counties Moving: Freight Transportation as an Economic Engine. Through four county case studies, this report describes how freight transportation investments can fuel local and regional economic development.
Presentations and resources from the Keeping Counties Moving event can be found at http://bit.ly/1WSSTYm