On Tuesday, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood reinforced the U.S. government’s support of the air cargo industry while speaking at the 26thInternational Air Cargo Forum & Exposition in Atlanta, GA. The International Air Cargo Association reports that the secretary discussed the importance of encouraging growth, employment and economic development for the industry, which is critical to the supply chain and transportation management.
Secretary LaHood assured those attending that the U.S. government is aware of just how vital their services are to the economy, announcing various forms of support for the industry through:
- A DOT-supported plan to expand and enhance our transportation systems.
- Creation of a Freight Policy council, which will develop plans for improving freight movement.
- $1.75 billion in loans available for improvement of the United States’ intermodal freight network.
During his speech, Secretary LaHood stated, “We are committed to your industry – because what’s good for air cargo is good for the US economy. A strong air cargo industry expands international trade and contributes to job creation and prosperity at home. We will continue to work hand-in-hand with you, our partners here at home and abroad.”
The increased focus on American freight and transportation networks is in part due to President Obama’s plan to double U.S. exports by 2015. Currently, air cargo accounts for approximately 31% of U.S. exports.