The U.S. is the world leader in the efficient transport of goods due to our extensive combination of public, private, and natural resources in land (rail and road), aviation, and our use of inland waterways. However, the overall effectiveness of the national transportation system could furtherbe improved with an increased emphasis on intermodal connectivity and the rational utilization of all available modes of transportation.

Moreover, the continued economic preeminence of the U.S. depends upon, among other things, a highly competitive, safe, secure, and sustainable intermodal transportation system. From a unimodal perspective, the U.S. has developed one of the best freight rail and surface freight systems, shipping terminals, and aviation systems in the world that utilize both rail track and highways. Passenger transport systems are also making great strides. yet because each mode of transportation has evolved independently, they are not well integrated and thus lack connectivity.

As a result, transferring passengers and freight from one mode of transportation to another is difficult and often economically inefficient. Some modes are over-utilized and create delays and hazards, while other modes suffer excess capacity because they are under-utilized. This unbalanced and inefficient use of modal assets results in highway and airport congestion, air pollution, billions of gallons wasted in fossil fuel each year, and excessive costs to passengers and businesses. Both the national highway system and the hub airports included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems are quickly reaching their capacities.

The primary objective of NCITEC is to develop an integrated and sustainable intermodal transportation system network for North America. This network vision for the 21st century transportation system integrates highways and airport hubs with rail networks and shipping terminals to offer efficient intermodal freight movement and passenger mobility. The integrated approach reduces congestion on highways, saves fuel, reduces vehicle emissions, protects the environment, and provides the U.S. an economic competitive edge, which is essential to maintaining our quality of life, competing in the global economy, and enhancing business retention.


NCITEC was founded in January 2012 as a University Transportation Center (UTC) sponsored by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). NCITEC is a consortium of following five universities: Mississippi State University, University of Denver, University of Mississippi, Louisiana State University, and Hampton University. The theme of NCITEC is to promote the development of an integrated, economically competitive, efficient, safe, secure, and sustainable national intermodal transportation network by integrating all transportation modes for both freight and passenger mobility.

The NCITEC’s main goal is to achieve intermodal integration for economic competitiveness in both passenger and freight mobility. The NCITEC University Consortium appreciates the USDOT-RITA funding support for NCITEC projects to promote education, research, workforce development, and technology transfer. Funding for NCITEC runs from January 2012 to June 2016.