There are several trade corridor initiatives that have been established over North America, mostly on a consensual basis in order to address common problems, such as infrastructure improvements. Many have a form of governance such as forums that include major stakeholders (state Departments of Transportation, Metropolitan Planning Organizations). However, many do not reflect a functional reality, but an expectation that at some point a coherent corridor will emerge. This is particularly the case for those having a north/south orientation. There is thus a dichotomy between functional corridors and formal corridors.
The Eastern Seaboard corridor, also known as the “I-95 corridor”, is one of the most cohesive, mainly because it focuses on a continuous Interstate highway shared through the East Coast as well a going through the most massive and coherent urban agglomeration in North America, the Boston – Washington megalopolis. Its interests are various, reflecting the complexity of the corridor itself, with issues ranging from tolls, key highway bottlenecks to promoting rail and short sea shipping.
The segment of the Mid Continent corridor between Laredo and Chicago, which is also labeled the “NAFTA corridor”, has seen a growth in the intensity of its traffic. The Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor initiative focuses on strengthening an existing axis of continental freight distribution between the Canadian West Coast (Vancouver and the new container port of Prince Rupert) and North America’s heartland (Chicago).