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Talking Freight Seminars


Attention AICP Members

Talking Freight seminars may be eligible for 1.5 AICP Certification Maintenance Credits.

The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) Office of Freight Management and Operations and the Office of Planning host the "Talking Freight" seminars. The seminars are part of a broader Freight Professional Development Program aimed at providing technical assistance, training, tools, and information to help the freight and planning workforce meet the transportation challenges of tomorrow. Seminars are held via web conference on a monthly basis throughout the year and are open at no cost to all interested parties in both the public and private sectors. There is no special equipment required to participate, all that is needed is a computer with Internet connectivity to view the presentations and audio can either be heard over the computer or phone.

Register for Upcoming Seminars

To register for a seminar, select the seminar topic in the table below. You will be taken to a registration form on the National Highway Institute Web site. Please note that Non-USDOT employees must have an FHWA external collaboration account to register. If you do not have an account please visit to request one. Once you have an account you can register through the registration links below. If you register for a seminar and later find out you can no longer attend, please inform Chip Millard via e-mail at

Talking Freight seminars may be eligible for 1.5 AICP Certification Maintenance Credits. In order to receive credit, you must attend the full seminar and login to the seminar with your full name or type your full name into the chat area during the seminar if you are in a room with a group of people. Visit the AICP Web site for more information about AICP Certification Maintenance Credits.

Upcoming Seminars
Date & Time Topic Description of Topic Speakers, Affiliations and Topics
September 20, 2017 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM ET How Freight Shippers Drive EPA's Smartway Transport Partnership Every year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay Program recognizes top-ranking shipper partners from all sectors and of all sizes for exceptional accomplishments in saving fuel and reducing emissions.  SmartWay shippers achieve these efficiencies not only by hiring and incentivizing SmartWay carriers, but by making innovative changes in mode utilization, logistics, and facilities.  Federal, state, and local transportation planners can encourage broader use of these efficient strategies through infrastructure planning and funding programs.

This webinar will allow transportation professionals and other participants to gain insights from EPA and three SmartWay shipper partners on strategies that can inform freight planning processes and help create sustainable facilities and fleets that have lower impacts on surrounding land uses.

SmartWay Advances Sustainable Transportation Supply Chains
This presentation will describe how EPA’s voluntary SmartWay program incentivizes the freight transportation industry, and how SmartWay partners in turn incentivize one another, to reduce fuel use and emissions while improving economic output.  EPA’s role, by providing tools, a data platform, recognition, and opportunities to collaborate, will be examined.  Additionally, SmartWay program accomplishments and future goals will also be discussed.

  • Joann Jackson-Stephens, EPA Office of Transportation & Air Quality, SmartWay Brand Manager

Whirlpool Case Study – Optimizing Its Supply Chain Through Reducing Fuel Use
This presentation will cover Whirlpool’s integrated North America supply chain, and how SmartWay tools help Whirlpool manage their network, operations and carriers to reduce fuel consumption.


  • Kara Hegg, Whirlpool Corporation

Medtronic Case Study – Modifying Its Distribution System Through Increased Use of Intermodal Shipments
This presentation will explore the logistical challenges and emissions rewards of shifting freight to non-truck modes for long distance shipments in a network undergoing rapid change, and how SmartWay accounting tools help Medtronic understand carrier performance & mode tradeoffs, and document success.


  • Jason Lau, Medtronic

Pinnacle Foods Case Study – Strategies to Reduce Truck Miles Driven
This presentation will focus on Pinnacle’s initiative to improve truck carrier efficiency and increase intermodal moves to reduce costs and emissions.


  • Darren Conner, Pinnacle Foods, Senior Director of Transportation
September 21, 2017 1:00 - 2:30 ET Freight and Passenger Rail Operations Coordination Issues and Needs Both freight rail and passenger rail have experienced increased demand in recent years in many regions of the U.S. on many parts of the U.S. rail network. On many rail corridors, freight and passenger trains share the same tracks or at least the same right-of-way, and this can create challenges for both types of rail carriers due to their much different operating characteristics, including speed, length of trains, and frequency of stops. Additional coordination challenges can also arise when multiple freight rail carriers and/or multiple passenger rail carriers, such as two Class I freight railroads and/or Amtrak and a commuter railroad, also operate within the same corridor. The differing operational needs for freight and passenger railroads can make operations coordination challenging, and it is important for transportation stakeholders who are trying to implement or advocate for increased freight and/or passenger rail operations to understand those issues.

This webinar will examine both freight and passenger railroad operations coordination perspectives, including the challenges and opportunities with coordinating their operations in a way that allows both types of rail carriers to operate efficiently.
Freight and Passenger Railroad Operating Characteristics and Coordination Needs Overview
This presentation will explain the similarities and differences in how freight and passenger railroads operate, and some of the challenges and needs both types of carriers have when coordinating their operations with each other and with other freight or passenger railroads.

  • Chris Barkan, National University Rail Center and University of Illinois

Freight Railroad Perspective on Freight and Passenger Railroad Operations Coordination
This presentation will discuss the challenges and opportunities from a large, Class I freight railroad perspective of coordinating operations with passenger railroads and other freight railroads.


  • DJ Mitchell, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad

Passenger Railroad Perspective on Freight and Passenger Railroad Operations Coordination
This presentation will examine the challenges and opportunities from an intercity passenger railroad perspective both of operating passenger trains on freight railroad-owned tracks and of having other railroad carriers, particularly freight railroads, operating on Amtrak-owned tracks.


  • Jim Blair, Amtrak

Past Seminars

All Talking Freight seminars are recorded and are available for viewing online after the seminar has passed. An archive of presentations, recordings, podcasts, and transcripts from all past Talking Freight Seminars is available at

Freight Planning LISTSERV

Information about the Talking Freight Seminar Series, including upcoming topics and registration availability, is distributed through the Freight Planning LISTSERV. The LISTSERV also provides a venue for exchanging information about freight planning among public and private sector professionals. There are over 800 subscribers, comprised of transportation professionals from State DOTs, MPOs, professional associations, businesses, the academic community, and others.

Staff Contact

Chip Millard

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