VTrans is Virginia's Transportation Plan. It is prepared for the Commonwealth Transportation Board by the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment.

Freight Element

Planning in VTrans is to facilitate movement of both people and goods. The VTrans Freight Element focuses on the movement of goods within and through the Commonwealth.

Purpose

The VTrans Freight Element is a component of VTrans and serves as the Commonwealth’s state freight plan in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 70202 FAST Act State Freight Plans. In addition to meeting federal requirements, the VTrans Freight Element serves the following purposes:

  • Designation of critical urban and rural freight corridors under the National Highway Freight Program (23 U.S.C. § 167)
  • Identification of transportation needs that may directly or indirectly impact the flow of freight within and through the Commonwealth
  • Development of a Freight Investment Plan listing the freight-beneficial projects supported by National Highway Freight Program (NHFP) funds
  • Identification of policy recommendations to inform the VTrans Long-Term Needs and VTrans Strategic Actions
  • Increase awareness of the identified needs so that they can be better reflected or considered as part of metropolitan planning processes
  • Provide basis for future modifications to the Policy for the Identification and Prioritization of the VTrans Mid-Term Needs

Approach to the Designation of Critical Urban and Rural Freight Corridors

The VTrans Freight Element designates critical urban and rural freight corridors. This designation increases the state’s eligible network and provides programming flexibility in allocation of National Highway Freight Program (NHFP) formula funds and FASTLANE Grant Program funds.

The Commonwealth is eligible to designate roughly sixty-five (65) miles of freight corridors within urbanized areas and one hundred sixty-seven (167) miles of freight corridors within rural areas. The designation of Critical Urban Freight Corridors requires coordination between the State and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs).

CUFC’s and CRFC’s were recently designated in 2021, and are shown in the interactive map below.

Approach to the Identification of Freight-related Needs and Recommendations

The VTrans Freight Element builds from the Commonwealth Transportation Board-adopted Mid-Term Needs, focusing on data-driven analysis to identify freight-related needs and recommendations with consideration of rail, air and waterborne freight.

Below you will see options for viewing freight performance measures and commodity flows (freight movement) to and from areas in Virginia.

  • Several performance measures, ranging from truck-related congestion, reliability, and safety, as well as truck parking, have been developed and displayed in the map below.
  • Another mapping tool displays origins and destinations for freight by overall tonnage for the Commonwealth as a whole, as well as for the nine individual VDOT Construction Districts. Click on the filter to see the area you are interested in.
  • The word cloud graphics show the types of freight that are included in the data shown in the commodity flows (freight origin and destination) map tool. The word clouds depict the relative amounts of different commodity types, with larger words depicting higher tonnage and smaller words depicting less tonnage.
Statewide
The geographic scale at which data is presented. The raw data is organized by city and county, and it has been processed to aggregate commodity flows at other scales. This filter will summarize the data using the boundaries of construction districts, Planning District Commissions (PDC), Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO), or the entire Commonwealth of Virginia.
A subset of the geographic scale at which data is presented. This filter selects the specific construction district, PDC, or MPO for which data will be summarized.
Tonnage
The way commodity flows are measured. Commodity flows can be measured by the weight of goods or the value of goods. Tonnage will display weight, Value will display monetary value in constant 2017 U.S. dollars, Tonnage Growth will display the projected change in weight over time (as a percent increase or decrease from 2017), and Value Growth will display the project change in value over time (as a percent increase or decrease from 2017).
Inbound
The direction of goods movement. Inbound represents commodities being brought into Virginia (“Imports”). Outbound represents commodities originating in Virginia that are being transported elsewhere (“Exports”).
2017
The year for which data will be presented. Three years of annual data are available including the baseline year of 2017 and projections for 2030 and 2045. For the Tonnage Growth and Value Growth metrics, projected growth between 2017 and 2030 and between 2017 and 2045 is available for display.
Truck
The transportation vehicle by which commodities are moved. Commodities travel using multiple modes. Filter to review commodities that traveled to or from Virginia by truck-only or rail-only.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for more answers to specific questions about VTrans Freight Element? Find more information on our Frequently Asked Questions page here: https://vtrans.org/get-involved/frequently-asked-questions.