Inefficient operation and lack of system-wide integration of the separate modes (highway, rail, waterway, airport, shipping terminal) are creating increasing challenges to the economic competitiveness of existing transportation systems in the U.S. Higher fuel costs, congestion, labor shortages, and an alarming skill deficit in key areas of management due to the retirement coupled with increased economic competition from abroad, challenge our existing transportation system to maintain its leadership. Therefore, NCITEC is committed to providing the research, as well as developing and delivering the training needed to successfully integrate, support, and extend the existing intermodal transportation network to maintain and expand its economic competitiveness over the next decade. Doing business in the U.S. is enhanced to a significant extent by the relatively low cost of moving goods and people throughout the country. However, rising fuel costs, congestion, and an aging infrastructure are proving to be impediments in economic growth which are leading to a gradual plateau in overall competitiveness. In fact, countries in Asia and South America are beginning to devote considerable resources to be competitive in the global market place. NCITEC will focus on the economics, assessment, design, and development of planning methodologies, operational tools, technology, and human resources needed to improve intermodal connectivity, enhance operational integration, increase capacity, and reduce congestion in the nation’s transportation system. In addition, NCITEC will seek to improve workforce capacity and capability to meet challenges of the increasingly complex passenger and freight transportation systems. It is our belief, and our research supports this view, that congestion, competition, capacity, and conservation are the major challenges facing the U.S. transportation system that can all be solved by adopting a serious commitment to intermodalism.
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.