When you visit the grocery store and see a wide variety of fresh foods from across our country and even the world on the shelves, turn up your air conditioning, or have a friend receive an overnight shipment of a special drug for a life-threatening illness, you are encountering the world of freight movement. It’s important to recognize this interaction as we further progress in a fast-paced internet and digital driven society. Rather than waiting for a product to come to our local store, we click on a product online and expect it to be delivered to our home in a few days, if not the next day. These changes in business and our society have been rapid and, fortunately for us, our freight industry — the most efficient and effective network in the world — has responded to meet these new demands.
Few of us have an opportunity to actually see and fully understand how goods move from farm to market or from manufacturer to store or even from an internet seller to you directly. This logistics process occurs behind the scenes and works seamlessly each day. In the case of our food supply, trucks and trains bring fresh produce and food from across the country to our grocery stores daily. In regard to our heating and air conditioning needs, these amenities are available because of an electrical grid powered by natural gas and coal, which is transported by rail or pipeline to our power companies. As to emergency medical supplies, our air freight industry transports products on short notice to far flung areas of our country daily.