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Freight Transportation Planner


Transportation and Logistics Professional who utilizes proven expertise in freight transportation project planning and management, strategic analysis, and policy development in support of client studies, project implementation, and operational effectiveness.


Principal, Gessner Transportation Consulting, LLC, Westfield, NJ (2007-present)

• For the Maritime Administration, USDOT, developed, analyzed and advanced projects to move goods using short sea shipping via marine highways; reviewed and evaluated Port Security Grant Program project applications and made recommendations to appropriate Northeast US Coast Guard Captains of the Port.

• Performed a rail intermodal freight analysis and developed a white paper as part of a large transportation planning study for a Metropolitan Planning Organization client.

• Assisted in the development of a rail intermodal shipping plan for a Midwest consumer products manufacturer.

Senior Freight Specialist, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, NY, NY (1987-2007)

• Contributed specialized technical expertise for the Port Commerce Department’s (PCD) $600 million intermodal rail capital plan in support of the physical and operational planning and development of projects intended to increase existing, and initiate new, rail service to Port Authority (PA) marine terminals.

• Advanced the planning and implementation of a regional rail freight agenda intended to increase the capacity and efficiency of the region’s rail system, especially those projects and policies which would benefit and complement PA marine and intermodal facilities.

• Analyzed and assessed regional and national intermodal rail traffic data and trends in support of management decision-making.

• Provided expertise to PCD industry relations unit and other PA departments on operational, regulatory, and legislative issues related to commercial vehicle operations, such as truck safety, truck routes, size and weight regulations, hours of service, and technology.

• Advised other PA departments and external transportation agencies, e.g., Metropolitan Planning Organizations and State and City Departments of Transportation, on regional freight studies and planning and policy issues.

Senior Rail Analyst, DNS Associates, Lexington, MA

• Applied the proprietary Operations and Costing Methodology (OCM) to analyze rail traffic trends, diversions, operations and costs for a railroad client who was trying to reorganize following bankruptcy. The client successfully merged with another railroad.

Research Associate, Charles River Associates, Boston, MA

• Performed financial and operational transactions analyses and drafted testimony as part of the litigation filed on behalf of the Trustees of the bankrupt Penn Central Transportation Company against the United States Railway Association. The claim, to determine the value of the rail assets transferred to Conrail in 1976, was settled for $2.1 billion in 1980.

• Prepared a handbook describing eligible projects and the application process for municipalities interested in pursuing Federal funding of transportation systems management initiatives.

Research Assistant, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

• Utilized statistical packages to perform aircraft collision risk analysis for low-flying aircraft traveling to and from offshore oil rigs on behalf of the Federal Aviation Administration.


MSE, Civil Engineering, Transportation Program, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

BS, Applied Mathematics and Statistics (with a double major in Economics), State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY



• Rail Facility Planning

• Rail Operations

• Rail Traffic Forecasting

• Terminal Capacity Analysis

• Intermodal Project Management

• Intermodal Service Development

• Marine Highway Project Development

• Commercial Vehicle Operations

• System Performance

• Regulatory and Legislative Compliance

• Strategic Market Planning

• Grant Application and Proposal Writing



Transportation Research Forum (TRF):

• Secretary, National (2008-present)

• Vice President, Public Relations, National (1998-2008)

• President, National (1995)

• Secretary-Treasurer, New York Chapter (1990-present)

• President, New York Chapter (1988-1990)


• Recipient, Herbert O. Whitten TRF Service Award (2000)

Westfield, NJ,
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