[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 177 (Thursday, September 16, 2021)]
[Pages 51719-51720]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-19974]



Office of the Secretary

[Docket No. DOT-OST-2021-0106]

America's Supply Chains and the Transportation Industrial Base

ACTION: Notice of request for information.


SUMMARY: On February 24, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive 
Order, ``America's Supply Chains,'' which directs several Federal 
agency actions to secure and strengthen America's supply chains. On 
June 8, 2021, the President also established a Supply Chain Disruptions 
Task Force--co-chaired by the Secretaries of Transportation, 
Agriculture, and Commerce--to address near term supply chain 
challenges, with a focus on alleviating bottlenecks and supply 
constraints in the transportation sector, particularly for ports, rail, 
and trucking. The Executive Order requires the Secretary of 
Transportation to submit, within one year, a report to the President on 
supply chains for the transportation industrial base. DOT's one-year 
assessment will build off the work of the Supply Chains Disruption Task 
Force and focus on the freight and logistics sector, with the goal of 
strengthening resilience among transportation supply chains. This 
notice requests information from the public to assist the Department of 
Transportation in preparing the report required by the Executive Order 
and solicits practical solutions from a broad range of stakeholders to 
address current and future challenges to supply chain resilience in the 
freight and logistics sector.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before October 18, 2021. DOT 
will consider comments filed after this date to the extent practicable.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Docket Number DOT-OST-
2021-0106 by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. 
Search by using the docket number (provided above). Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments on the electronic docket site.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Ground Floor 
(W12-140), Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: W12-140 of the Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and 
docket numbers.

    Note:  All comments received, including any personal 
information, will be posted without change to the docket and is 
accessible via http://www.regulations.gov. Input submitted online 
via www.regulations.gov is not immediately posted to the site. It 
may take several business days before your submission is posted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ryan Endorf at [email protected] or 
at 202-366-4835.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background: On February 24, 2021, President 
Biden issued Executive Order 14017, ``America's Supply Chains'' (86 FR 
11849) (E.O. 14017). E.O. 14017 focuses on the need for resilient, 
diverse, and secure supply chains to ensure U.S. economic prosperity 
and national security. Such supply chains are needed to address 
conditions that can reduce critical manufacturing capacity and the 
availability and integrity of critical goods, products, and services. 
Section 4 of E.O. 14017 directs that within one year, the Secretary of 
Transportation shall submit a report to the President, through the 
Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA) and 
the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy (APEP), on supply 
chains for the transportation industrial base. Per the Executive Order, 
the Secretary shall determine what constitutes the ``transportation 
industrial base'' for purposes of the report. President Biden has also 
established a Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force--co-chaired by the 
Secretaries of Transportation, Agriculture, and Commerce--to address 
near term supply chain challenges, with a focus on alleviating 
bottlenecks and supply constraints in the transportation sector, 
particularly for ports, rail, and trucking.
    The transportation industry in the U.S. is both vast and varied and 
underpins much of the economic activity that takes place in other 
sectors. It includes both the vehicles required to move goods and 
people and the roads, rails, waterways, and airways over which those 
vehicles travel. It includes cargo and passenger terminals that provide 
for the transfer of people and goods between vehicles and modes. It 
includes the control and information systems that allow the network to 
operate smoothly and efficiently and enable users to make the most 
advantageous choices about their use of that network. It includes 
public and private providers of transportation services and the 
operation of privately owned personal vehicles.
    In fulfilling this requirement, the Department intends to produce a 
report on the Nation's freight and logistics sector, focused on how the 
freight system supports supply chains and any challenges and resilience 
issues within that system. DOT has heard from many stakeholders about 
issues related to bottlenecks on highways, rail, and at ports, as well 
as severe container/chassis shortages and lack of adequate warehousing 
capacity, particularly around the nation's largest ports. The 
resiliency of the freight system is also a key aspect of supply chain 
resiliency across the rest of the economy, including the critical 
products being addressed in the one-year reports being developed by 
other agencies.

[[Page 51720]]

    The Department is currently engaged with stakeholders and public 
agency partners in addressing current issues in freight and logistics 
through President' Biden's Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force. DOT's 
E.O. 14017 report will build on those efforts, focusing on challenges 
and solutions over the medium and longer term while also addressing 
DOT's goals of safety, economic strength, climate resilience, equity, 
and transformation.
    This notice requests comments and information from the public to 
assist the Department of Transportation in preparing the report 
required by E.O. 14017. In developing this report, the Secretary will 
consult with the heads of appropriate agencies, and will be assisted by 
the relevant operating administrations of the Department of 

Written Comments

    The Department seeks information from the public on the current 
challenges faced within the freight and logistics sector, including, 
but not limited to, the following topics:
    1. The identification of major infrastructure or operational 
bottlenecks and chokepoints across all aspects of the freight and 
logistics supply chain--including shipping/receiving, intermodal 
transfer, rail/water/truck transportation, warehousing, etc.--that slow 
or impede efficient cargo movement within the freight and logistics 
sector, and the most effective investments and management practice 
improvements that could be made to alleviate those bottlenecks.
    2. Current and potential future shortages and/or distribution 
limitations of essential cargo-handling equipment, such as chassis and 
shipping containers, and how these challenges can be or are likely to 
be addressed by the freight and logistics industry over both the medium 
and longer term.
    3. Warehouse capacity and availability, and any challenges faced in 
operating and siting/constructing those facilities, as well as 
challenges faced by third-party logistics service providers and other 
stakeholders in the logistic system.
    4. Major risks to resilience within the freight and logistics 
sector (including defense, intelligence, cyber, homeland security, 
health, climate, environmental, natural, market, economic, 
geopolitical, human-rights, or labor-management risks). What factors 
help to mitigate, or conversely exacerbate, these risks?
    5. The effects of climate change on transportation and logistics 
infrastructure and its implications for supply chain resiliency.
    6. Technology issues, including information systems, cybersecurity 
risks, and interoperability, that affect the safe, efficient, and 
reliable movement of goods. Would greater standardization of those 
technologies help address those challenges?
    7. Key opportunities and challenges with respect to the existing 
and future workforce to ensure a well-functioning freight and logistics 
supply chain and achieve the President's goal of increasing good-paying 
jobs with the choice of a union. Are there additional workforce or 
skill set opportunities and needs currently, or expected in the future?
    8. Current barriers (including statutory, regulatory, 
technological, institutional, labor and workforce, management, existing 
business models/practices issues) that inhibit supply chain 
performance. For any barriers identified, please address the actors 
involved and potential outcomes should those barriers be removed.
    9. Critical assets that the sector relies upon and their expected 
future availability. Would increasing domestic production of these 
assets be desirable or feasible as a means of ensuring greater supply 
chain resiliency (chassis, containers, etc.)?
    10. Technological practices, including data sharing, that are being 
implemented at various levels across the supply chain sector. What are 
the upsides, challenges, and drawbacks of further adoption?
    11. Actions that DOT or other agencies in the U.S. Government (USG) 
could take under existing authorities or in partnership with States, 
local governments, the private sector, or labor to address current and 
evolving challenges within the freight and logistics sector.
    12. Other policy recommendations or suggested executive, 
legislative, or regulatory changes to ensure a resilient supply chain 
that DOT/USG should consider, including means to collaborate more 
effectively across government agencies and suggestions based on state 
and international models.
    13. Recommended actions by non-Federal entities, including State 
and local governments, private firms, labor, and other participants in 
the freight and logistics sector that could be encouraged by DOT/USG.

    Dated: September 10, 2021.
Michael Shapiro,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy.
[FR Doc. 2021-19974 Filed 9-15-21; 8:45 am]