Freight Transportation Cost Data Elements

Posted in Freight Transportation

Project Status

Active

Overview

Freight Data Cost Elements identifies the specific types of direct freight transportation cost data elements required for public investment, policy, and regulatory decision making. The report also describes and assesses different strategies for identifying and obtaining the needed cost data elements.

Primary Contact(s)

Jose Holguin-Veras

Objectives

  1. Identify the specific types of direct freight transportation cost data elements required for public investment, policy, and regulatory decision-making; and
  2. Describe and assess the different strategies needed to identify and obtain these cost data elements.

Key Tasks

  1. Identify and describe the state of the practice for current multimodal freight transportation cost data uses, sources, methods, collection strategies, and data elements for public-sector planning and decision making.
  2. Identify current and evolving public-sector freight transportation planning and decision-making functions and the cost data currently used, or that might be used, to support those functions. Describe the key freight transportation cost data elements required for public-sector planning and decision making.
  3. Identify primary and secondary freight transportation cost data sources and assess their applicability to the key requirements identified in Task 2. Discuss data issues and limitations, including data accuracy, privacy, anti-trust issues and other constraints, as well as conceptual collection strategies. Discuss methods for closing any identified gaps.
  4. Identify available cost estimation tools, methods, and procedures, and their applicability to the key requirements identified in Task 3. Discuss strengths and weaknesses and identify methods for closing any gaps.
  5. Submit a final report that;
    1. identifies the specific types of direct freight transportation cost data elements required for public investment, policy, and regulatory decision making and
    2. describes and assesses different strategies for identifying and obtaining the needed cost data elements.

Findings

The picture that emerges from the research is that the transportation community does not have access to the freight cost data it needs to fulfill its obligation and mandate to increase the sustainability of transportation operations, maximize the economic contributions of the transportation system, steer the system toward increasing levels of safety and security, and define mechanisms to finance and maintain a state of good repair in the infrastructure. These efforts are hampered by a lack of freight cost data, data which is necessary to access how policies and programs would impact the freight system, or predict how freight operators would react to public-sector policy, among other important considerations.