Research Archive

Freight Process/Supply Chain Mapping

Prior work led by the FHWA Office of Freight Management and Operations (HOFM) and the Intermodal Freight Technology Workgroup (IFTWG), convened by HOFM, has produced a baseline "map" of the intermodal freight flows, which includes business processes and information exchange. This map (actually a suite of electronic data files) has generated a variety of interest for its current or potential abilities to, for example, document business processes or identifying freight handoff points. It is a necessary tool to enable the systematic analysis of the processes about which standards are being developed, and as such it bolsters HOFM's ability to usher standards into practice. The map will also identify gaps in the hand-off points that are potential vulnerability gaps in the supply chain. As such, the map also serves as a tool for developing security countermeasures. HOFM will facilitate and document the definition of requirements, develop content, and disseminate a final product.

The business objectives for developing the freight process map will be reassessed and documented. Functional extensions will be considered, based on the stated objectives and level of committed interest shown from potential users. These extensions are expected to include:

  • Incorporation of various security-oriented requirements, such as adding a temporal dimension and documenting in more detail the handoff points of freight between elements of the supply chain.
  • Expanding the current "generic" business process or information exchange flows to incorporate specific trade lanes that exhibit significant differences related to information flow or physical movement of freight.
  • Inclusion of notations of relevant data standards along the information exchange flows
  • Inclusion of the air mode in a multi-modal supply chain.
    Improved representation of international freight movements to make the map and its uses as a tool portable.