Freight Transportation

The Atlanta region is a major hub for the movement and distribution of freight, providing access to the fast-growing Port of Savannah and major markets across the Southeast and the U.S.

Every day, millions of tons of freight head for destinations in metro Atlanta or pass through the region to points beyond. Meanwhile, the volume of goods moving in the region continues to grow. By 2040, ARC forecasts a 56 percent increase in freight traffic.

The Atlanta region is one of just five U.S. cities served by three major interstate highways. Approximately 25% of the U.S. population is within a one day truck drive from Atlanta, and more than 80% of the U.S. commercial and consumer markets can be reached within 2 days.

With CSX and Norfolk Southern facilities and rail lines, metro Atlanta is served by two Class I railroads, four intermodal terminals, multiple classification, and bulk rail yards and direct service to the Port of Savannah

The Atlanta region’s infrastructure must continue to develop in order to meet the growing demands on freight corridors and routes.

2021 Freight Cluster Plan Applications

The 2016 Atlanta Regional Freight Mobility Plan Update recommended conducting small area plans focused on industrial areas within the Atlanta region.  Grants for these Freight Cluster Plans were offered in 2017 and 2019.  A call for new applications for Freight Cluster Plans is now underway.

Freight Cluster Plans focus on safe and efficient movement of freight, improving access to jobs, potential growth in the study area, truck parking needs, alternative fuels, changing transportation technology, and more.  The complete list of topics that are included in these plans is available as part of the Freight Cluster Plan Guidelines.  Project sponsors may apply for $200,000 – $250,000 in federal funding per plan, which then requires a 20% local match from the project sponsor. Eligible sponsors include local government jurisdictions and CIDs.  If you are interested in applying, please contact Daniel Studdard ( to receive login credentials for the application and to discuss your scope.

The application window was open from June 4th to July 16th, 2021.  Submissions are currently under review.

Freight Mobility Plan

The Atlanta Regional Commission’s regional freight mobility plan is designed to enhance the movement of freight and improve the region’s economic competitiveness, while minimizing the environmental and community impacts of truck movement.

The plan was created with input from a Freight Advisory Task Force that included representatives from the freight/logistics industry as well as from retail and other industries that rely heavily on freight movement.

Freight Mobility Plan Resources

Atlanta Strategic Truck Route Master Plan (ASTRoMaP)

The 2008 Atlanta Regional Freight Mobility Plan noted that the region has discontinuous routes serving freight truck traffic. Many truck routes are not logical in that they may stop at jurisdictional boundaries or conflict with restrictions placed in adjacent communities. It was recognized that additional study was needed to address issues pertaining to truck routing and operations.

One of the additional follow-up activities included the development of a regional truck route network as well as associated policies and guidelines. This network is be referred to as the Atlanta Strategic Truck Route Master Plan (ASTRoMaP). Development of the ASTRoMaP began in early 2009 and was adopted by the ARC in 2010.

Freight Advisory Task Force

The Freight Advisory Task Force was established in 2003 as part of the ARC regional planning process. The Task Force meets periodically throughout the year. The general membership of public/private sector freight representatives include railroads, trucking, airport, chambers of commerce, and community improvement districts. The Task Force provides a forum for dialogue between the freight community and the public sector on freight and goods movement issues.


For questions or comments about freight movement in metro Atlanta, contact Daniel Studdard.