Many inland cities and regions in the United States serve as inland port destinations and points of origin for international cargo, as well as intermodal hubs for domestic cargo. Examples include Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago, and Atlanta. The increasing ocean container and truck-load cargo volumes between various nodes in the intermodal network (e.g., rail yards, DC clusters, container yards and trucking yards) are contributing to congestion on local roads and highways, as well as bottlenecks at facility gates and yards. The Freight Shuttle System (FSS) offers a solution for many of these challenges by providing a way to efficiently link transportation nodes in these regions that experience high-volume cargo transfer.
The Inland Express Operational Model
- Distance: 1 to 20 miles.
- Terminals: FSS terminals in origin and destination facilities and possibly facilities along guideway route.
- Freight Containers: Ocean containers and/or 53-ft. over-the-road truck trailers.
- Freight Shuttle Vehicle: Fixed cargo bay for ocean containers or rotating cargo bay for 53-ft. trailers.
- Cargo Weights: Up to 70,000 lbs.
- Speeds: Up to 35 mph for short systems. Higher speeds for longer systems.
- Links to: Container yards, DCs, rail yards or trucking centers.
Benefits of Inland Express
- Reduced congestion.
- Local roads and highways.
- Rail yard gates and facilities.
- Trucking and container yard gates and facilities.
- Distribution center gates and facilities.
- Enhanced efficiency at intermodal cargo network nodes.
- Reliability: No moving parts to wear out or fail and 24/7 availability.
- Time-certain delivery for customers.
- Improved air quality.
- Improved safety.
- Expanded capacity using private capital.
- Increased government revenue: Lease payments.
- Reduced road maintenance.
- Economic impact: construction jobs and permanent operating and maintenance jobs.
- Lower cost transportation: Lower fuel consumption.
- Minimal impact on traffic: Guideway will be prefabricated and constructed from the top of the deck.