The Southeastern Transportation Alliance was formed in 1996 for the purpose of undertaking the Latin America Trade and Transportation Study (LATTS). Members of the Alliance included Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and the FHWA. In August 1997, the consultant selected for the study was authorized by the Alliance to proceed with the approved LATTS work scope. The effort was funded through an FHWA Pooled Fund study wherein each state contributed $50,000 in federal State Planning and Research (SPR) funds and the non-federal match was waived. The Federal Highway Administration contributed additional funding as did the U.S. Maritime Administration. The Mississippi Department of Transportation served as the lead state in administering the “pooled funds”.

The premise of the study was the recognition that Latin America is poised for growth and that the recent boom in exports is a sign of things to come. Trade liberalization, which includes lowering and eliminating tariffs, combined with economic restructuring and privatization in Latin America presents huge trade potential. Therefore, the purpose of LATTS was to identify trade opportunities with Latin America, evaluate infrastructure investments needed to support growth in international trade, and develop strategies to guide infrastructure investments. The overall goal is to help the Southeastern Transportation Alliance states develop their competitive advantages to maximize production and wealth at home while, at the same time, broadening their global market opportunities.

Following the completion of LATTS (Phase I) in March 2001, the Study was taken to the next level under the name of LATTS II. LATTS II was a two-year analysis of the critical transportation “needs” identified in LATTS (Phase I). These “needs” were studied in greater depth; this was accomplished through the use of the original LATTS consultant supervised and guided by the Alliance and the FHWA. In addition to the original (Phase I) Alliance members; the States of Missouri and Oklahoma participated in LATTS II Each member state contributed an additional $50,000 in federal highway funds to the Pooled Fund study. The Mississippi Department of Transportation continued to serve as the lead state. At the conclusion of LATTS II, Missouri and Oklahoma dropped out of the Alliance as did Texas.

To continue the original study initiatives, the remaining Alliance states decided to form an independent entity entitled the Institute for Trade and Transportation Studies (ITTS). The Institute performs specialized analysis and research that individual states need on a continual basis but is not practical to undertake singularly. The State of Louisiana now administers the contract for the Alliance Members.

The Institute for Trade and Transportation Studies (ITTS) is established to serve as a resource to sponsors on issues regarding the implications of international trade and increasing freight transportation demands. ITTS is incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in the State of Louisiana. ITTS’s current membership consists of the State Departments of Transportation from the following States: Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Virginia and West Virginia. ITTS’s mission focuses on providing research data and expert opinions to its Members concerning the effects of commercial freight movements on domestic and international activities, with reference to infrastructure and transportation needs and safety implications.  


Additional information:

Bylaws (pdf file -  511 kb)

Articles of Incorporation (pdf file - 297 kb)

Resolution for Creation of ITTS  (pdf file - 58 kb)