Heartland Freight Technology Plan

A national hub for agriculture, manufacturing and freight distribution, the Central Plains/Heartland Region includes the states of southwestern Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

Together, project partners embarked on a freight technology plan for the region to deliver:

  • A prioritization framework for new technologies.
  • Goals and strategies for harmonizing regulation.
  • Recommendations for data management and sharing.
  • A blueprint for action and implementation.

Understanding regional linkages requires vision, foresight and keen awareness of strengths associated with a shared regional vision.

Project partners include metropolitan planning organizations, state departments of transportation and civic organizations.

The creation of the freight technology plan followed this sequence.

Economic connections between Heartland metropolitan areas and states

The team worked to define the major economic and industrial connections critical to freight flow within the region. An approach to access these connections in other regions was developed to support the overall economic benefit of efficient freight movement.

Harmonize regional regulatory objectives and strategies

The team developed an approach to identify and assess emerging freight technologies as well as provide recommendations for harmonizing policies for transportation agencies in the region.

Regional data sharing and management

A guidebook and templates for regional data sharing and management were created that highlight best practices for public/private data sharing. A methodology for evaluating, prioritizing and leveraging data technology was created to promote efficiency within the region.

The plan is part of FHWA’s National Economic Partnership (NEP) grant program was developed through a partnership of six MPOs, five state DOTs, the Heartland Civic Collaborative and other academic, business and industry leaders.

Map of participating states: Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas