Freight | Baltimore Metropolitan Council

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The BRTB works with stakeholders to ensure our transportation system supports the safe and efficient movement of freight - upon which our economy, jobs, and consumers rely.

The Baltimore region is home to the nation’s sixth largest port - the Port of Baltimore, two Class I (CSX and NS) and three regional railroads, as well as the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Situated at the midpoint on the eastern seaboard, the Baltimore region also has an extensive roadway network. Maintaining and improving our existing transportation network will improve freight movement and economic growth for our region.

Recent Freight Planning Activities:

Critical Urban Freight Corridors (CUFCs), 2024

In an urbanized area with a population of 500,000 or more individuals, the metropolitan planning organization (BRTB), in consultation with the State, may designate roadway facilities called Critical Urban Freight Corridors (CUFCs). These are public roads in urbanized areas which provide access and connection to the Primary Highway Freight System and the Interstate with other ports, public transportation facilities, or other intermodal transportation facilities. A public road designated as a CUFC must meet one or more of the following four elements:

  • A) connects an intermodal facility to: (1) the Primary Highway Freight System, (2) the Interstate System, or (3) an intermodal freight facility;
  • B) is located within a corridor of a route on the PHFS and provides an alternative highway option important to goods movement;
  • C) serves a major freight generator, logistic center, or manufacturing and warehouse industrial land; or
  • D) is important to the movement of freight within the region, as determined by the MPO or the State. BRTB approved the following segments to be designated at CUFCs in the Baltimore region.

The Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act established the National Highway Freight Network (NHFN). This allowed the BRTB to adopt 25 miles of corridor in 2017. Now, due to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the BRTB was able to add an additional 25 miles as CUFCs.

Freight Flows Dashboard, 2022

The need for data-driven decision-making is paramount today as agencies face the need to prioritize investments on a limited revenue stream. In FY 2022, BMC worked with a consultant to develop a series of Tableau dashboards intended to benefit regional decision-makers and interested stakeholders. One of the dashboards focuses on simulated freight flows in the Baltimore region.

Freight Movement White Paper, March 2022

The BRTB developed a series of white papers on transportation topics as part of the development process for the current long-range transportation plan, Resilience 2050. BMC released a paper focused on freight movement in March 2022. The paper explores freight movement in the Baltimore region, its economic impacts, recent federal legislation related to freight, and various challenges and trends in freight movement.

Dundalk Marine Terminal (DMT) Truck Study, June 2018

At the request of the Maryland Port Administration (MPA), an active member of the Freight Movement Task Force (FMTF), BMC initiated a special truck classification count at the entrance to the Dundalk Marine Terminal (DMT). MPA was interested in finding out how many of the permitted and oversize/overweight trucks leaving DMT were using the approved truck route (using Dunhill Road) versus turning left and/or right onto Broening Highway which was restricted to these special loads.

Wise Avenue Truck Restriction Compliance Study, November 2018

At the request of Baltimore County Department of Public Works, BMC initiated a data collection and analysis of truck movements along Wise Avenue between Merritt Boulevard and North Point Boulevard. This section of Wise Avenue is restricted to trucks - with the exception of local delivery vehicles. Local residents and elected officials were concerned about an increased volume of truck activity along this corridor.

Port-2-Point Traffic Study, 2015-2017

It is anticipated that freight movement between the Seagirt Marine Terminal (SMT) and Tradepoint Atlantic (TPA) will increase over the next 10 years as the development rate at TPA increases. It is expected that TPA will generate thousands of jobs and play a significant role in improving the economy of Baltimore County and the region. This will likely result in increased truck volumes between the two locations and across the Baltimore region. In late 2015, the BRTB and its Freight Movement Task Force (FMTF) established a working group (P2P) consisting of key stakeholders to study traffic impacts of development of Tradepoint Atlantic (TPA). The final report was completed in June 2017.

Downtown/Regional Freight Delivery Symposium, 2017

On March 29, 2017, the BRTB hosted the Baltimore Downtown/Regional Freight Delivery Symposium. The Symposium was held with assistance and sponsorship from the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Office of Freight Management and Operations.