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Mineta Unveils Freight Plan in Columbus

The nation's top transportation official Wednesday visited a Bath and Body Works warehouse on the far east side of Columbus to unveil a national plan to move freight faster. The plan aims to limit congestion on highways, railroads and at air and seaports.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta says businesses and consumers pay dearly for freight bottlenecks and late deliveries.

Mineta estimates the cost of congestion at airports, seaports, truck terminals and railheads to be $200 billion annually. He says the federal government will use its leverage and public monies to help reduce delays in southern California and in other major urban centers.

Limited Brands spokesman Anthony Hebron says the company has seven distribution centers in central Ohio. The Reynoldsburg site is filled with products for Bath and Body Works stores. Boxes of refills for Jasmine Vanilla and Orange Ginger imported fragrances line one row of the warehouse from floor to ciling, waiting for shipment to stores.

Hebron says the commpany uses all modes of transportation to get its products from overseas manufacturers to the company's stores in local malls.