California’s Sustainable Freight Action Plan (August 2016)

In July 2015, Governor Brown introduced Executive Order B-32-15, prompting several of California’s state agencies to establish the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan, a program designed to reform the state’s billion dollar system. The plan seeks to reconstruct the platform of the freight system to comply with the state’s freight framework, public health concerns, and environmental objectives including improving air quality and combating climate change. The initial document was drafted in May 2016, but has since received revisions from interested parties such as industry, labor and environmental stakeholders. These revisions have been integrated to further improve the document.

The plan was developed through the collaborative efforts of multiple state agencies including the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal-EPA), California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA), California Air Resources Board (CARB), California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), California Energy Commission (CEC) and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GOBIZ). According to the California Department of Transportation’s
website, fine-tuning certain aspects of the freight system will “meet State sustainability targets and move California’s freight system toward a more efficient and competitive future.” CARB’s news release further outlines concrete goals including “improving freight system efficiency 25% by 2030 and deploying over 100,000 zero-emission vehicles and equipment by 2020.”

According to
Appendix G of the plan, the California freight sector “accounted for over $740 billion, or 32 percent of California’s gross domestic product in 2014, while also comprising 5 million, or 33 percent of jobs in the State the same year.” This profound economic impact contributes significantly to the flow of goods throughout the state, country, and ultimately the world.