What is freight mobility? It’s how products get to the store. It’s how the things you buy online make it to your house. It’s how imports and exports move in and out of the region. An accessible freight network promotes economic opportunity by reducing transportation costs and thus helping to lower consumer prices. Nationally, the average cost per hour of delay is $88 for trucks and $250 for large semi-trucks. In the Tampa Bay area, truck congestion costs total $210 million annually. The ability to move goods and improve access to new markets is crucial to business retention and economic development in the Tampa Bay region.
Freight is not only moved by trucks, but also planes, trains, ships, and pipelines. All of these transportation modes and facilities need to work together and connect with one another to form a freight system that delivers goods wherever they need to go while not overly interfering with other users of the transportation system. The Tampa Bay Regional Goods Movement Study is an ongoing process to continually evaluate the freight network in light of changing conditions and address capacity, operational, maintenance, and safety needs.
In 2016, Port Tampa Bay released its report on the economic impact, which demonstrated the enormous economic impact of Port Tampa Bay to the region’s economy. Of the 240,000 freight-dependent jobs in the Tampa Bay region, a significant number are associated with activities at Port Tampa Bay. Freight related activities at the Port account for over 85,000 jobs, including direct, indirect, induced, and related users. These freight related jobs were reported to generate $5 billion in wages and salaries, $17 billion in economic value, and $612 million in State and local taxes.