Freight Planning

Freight is the movement of goods into and through the state by means of roadways, railways, ports and waterways, and airports. Residents and businesses in Rhode Island depend on freight transportation for nearly everything including what we eat, wear, and use.  Freight movements have an enormous impact on our daily lives and on the economic vitality of the state and the region. In addition to providing important materials for the production and consumption of goods in the state, freight movement supports thousands of jobs in Rhode Island. 

Rhode Island Freight Network Map

In Rhode Island, most of the freight corridors run north to south. The main freight corridors for trucks include Interstate 95, Interstate 295, Route 4, and Route 146. The main rail freight corridor is the Amtrak Northeast Corridor. The marine shipping corridor is Narragansett Bay via the Port of Davisville within the Quonset Business Park and the Port of Providence. East-west freight corridors are primarily limited to truck freight on Interstate 195, Route 6, and Route 44. In addition, rail connects Rhode Island to the national and Canadian rail networks through interchanges in MA, CT, and NY.  

Freight planning is an important and ongoing component of Rhode Island’s transportation planning processes as it impacts the economy, safety, congestion, air quality, and quality of life.

Building on ongoing state efforts to generate economic development and support a competitive freight system, the Division of Statewide Planning updated the Rhode Island Statewide Freight & Goods Movement Plan in 2022 with an Interim Plan update. This Interim Plan update was adopted by the State Planning Council on June 9, 2022 and is now pending FHWA review and approval.  A final 2022 update of the Rhode Island Statewide Freight & Goods Movement Plan will be submitted again to FHWA at the end of 2022 which will include two new appendix reports; a Statewide Truck Parking Study and an update of the Rhode Island Commodity Flows and Freight Forecast to the year 2050.

The Rhode Island Statewide Freight & Goods Movement Plan, Interim Update 2022 evaluates goods movement via air, rail, truck, and marine transport.  The Rhode Island Freight Advisory Committee advises the Rhode Island State Planning Council and the Transportation Advisory Committee on freight and goods movement priorities, issues, projects, and funding needs that utilize Rhode Island’s roadways, rail facilities, airports, marine ports, and pipelines.