Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Central Minnesota Regional Freight Study

Truck on a highway

About this study

The Central Minnesota Regional Freight Study identifies and explores the challenges facing freight transportation in the region. The goal is three-fold:

  • to provide a framework to identify industry- and region-specific trends as they relate to freight transportation and their solutions;
  • to plan for improvements to freight movements specific to the region;
  • to strengthen freight considerations in public project planning and investment decision-making.

Recommended improvements

The study provides recommendation for the following improvements:

  • Truck Transportation via Interstate 94 corridor - predominate corridor for truck traffic; decreasing truck speed, overnight truck parking availability
  • Rail Transportation - lack of intermodal facilities, limited rail access facilities
  • Air Transportation - challenges in retaining air passenger/air cargo facilities


An efficient freight system is essential to enhancing central Minnesota’s economic competitiveness in the national and global marketplace. The region plays an important role in facilitating the movement of freight and goods throughout the state. Boasting the largest population base outside of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, central Minnesota will experience the highest growth rate percentage in population and vehicle miles traveled.

Truck, rail, air and pipeline are the primary modes of freight transportation in central Minnesota. Each of these modes provides different types of services, and move different cargo types with various challenges. There are immediate concerns to address freight transportation in this study area.

Study benefits

Recommendations will address freight transportation issues in the central Minnesota region and demands on the regional infrastructure. Information will help guide future investment decisions of planning agencies. It will identify projects that can accommodate current and future needs of regional businesses.

At a glance