The FLOW portal is creating waves. despite the absence of significant players, a Department of Transportation official told FreightWaves.
WASHINGTON – The Biden administration’s selection to lead the nation’s first high-level cabinet office dedicated solely to freight is raising the standard for the value her office will offer to the nation’s freight markets.
Allison Dane Camden will be the first deputy assistant secretary of the US Department of Transportation’s new Office of Multimodal Freight Infrastructure and Policy.
Camden brings knowledge from her time as deputy assistant secretary for multimodal development and delivery at the Washington State Department of Transportation.
The stakes are higher at the US Department of Transportation. Camden is in charge of coordinating national freight policy with all 50 states, developing a National Multimodal Freight Network (NMFN), and overseeing a data portal that has figured out how to get cargo owners and carriers to share freight data in exchange for a detailed look at the country’s supply chains.
Camden spoke with FreightWaves about her vision for what government agencies and private enterprises may anticipate from her office and the Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW) data platform, which the Biden administration will deploy in March 2022.
FREIGHTWAVES: Companies involved in moving goods across the nation’s freight networks, as well as those who create and maintain those networks, have been eagerly awaiting the opening of your office since it was established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act in 2021. What immediate benefits might they anticipate now that the office has its first leader?
CAMDEN: Freight is now a permanent fixture at the table. For many years, amazing work has been done within the US Department of Transportation, but it has frequently been siloed, as departments sometimes be. So, this new office is placed within the secretary’s office and is actually supposed to lead on freight policy and weave together the good work that has already been done.
So my goal for the freight office is to be a one-stop shop for freight needs, working with other parts of DOT, industry partners, and state and local governments to enhance the supply chain and guarantee things flow more efficiently. I believe people will begin to notice this soon.
We also have the National Multimodal Freight Network designation, which is part of this office’s objective. [One of the purposes of the NMFN, which Congress mandated in 2015 but never completed, is to prioritize investment in freight infrastructure.] We hope to begin this process in 2024.
FLOW’s job had already begun when I arrived. And we’re already seeing the results of that effort, which will only grow with time.