The Center for Intermodal Freight Transportation Studies (CIFTS) was designed as a
Tier II University Transportation Center (UTC) in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible,
Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA_LU) legislation
signed by President Bush in August, 2005.
Nationwide, UTC’s work to conduct research in areas linked to the national strategy
for surface transportation research as well as to advance education, training and
outreach within their regions. Each UTC further identifies an umbrella theme or focus
for its work that corresponds to the unique needs of the region it serves. The University
of Memphis UTC, working in collaboration with Vanderbilt University, will focus its
work on intermodal freight transportation.
Our vision is that the Center will be a nationally-recognized Center that will apply
interdisciplinary resources from the academic community to investigate critical regional
and national intermodal transportation issues for the public and private sectors.
The mission of CIFTS is to address critical issues affecting the planning, design
and operation of the nation’s intermodal freight transportation system with an emphasis
on the intermodal issues and opportunities that have special significance for Memphis,
the State of Tennessee, the lower Mississippi Delta region, and the national and international
corridors that cross and intersect in the southeastern U.S.. CIFTS will pursue work
in five primary areas: 1) Information Technology (data mining/analysis and software
systems development); 2) Network Evaluation (supply chain/network optimization and
congestion); 3) Risk Management (safety, security, environmental), 4) Infrastructure
Analyses (design and network); and 5) Impact Analyses. Within these areas, emphasis
will be placed on projects that address issues related to international freight, natural
and man-made hazards, and dangerous cargo. The Center is grounded in the belief that
an all-encompassing approach that includes infrastructure, technology and policy considerations
is necessary to effectively advance the transportation network that supports our nation’s
The strategic plan for the Center was approved in March, 2007, by the Research and Innovative Technology
Administration (RITA) at the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation will be providing matching funds to support
programs of importance to transportation and economic development in Tennessee.