Freight Trip Generation and Land Use – NCFRP Project #25 and #25(01)

Posted in Freight Transportation

Project Status



The current transportation planning process does not effectively estimate freight activity necessary to assist decision makers when making infrastructure choices. This research seeks to provide improved freight generation (FG) and freight trip generation (FTG) models for different land use characteristics related to freight facilities and commercial operations to better inform state and local decision-making. Freight generation models are estimated using the largest and most complete establishment-based freight survey in the world (with 100,000 establishments samples): the Commodity Flow Survey.

Primary Contact(s)

José Holguín-Veras, Miguel Jaller, Iván Sánchez-Díaz 


  • Determine the key factors driving FG and FTG at the establishment level
  • Estimate improved FG and FTG models
  • Develop a handbook that explains how to apply FG and FTG models for different land use characteristics for freight planning and forecasting

Key Tasks

  • Develop FG models based on the Commodity Flow Survey micro-data.
  • Compilation of an online relational database of FTG models
  • Design a survey prototype for establishments based data collection
  • Propose a synthetic correction of trip rates used in the literature to compute FTG
  • Develop a set of case studies to estimate FTG models and assess their transferability


  • FG and FTG are very different concepts: their modeling approach follow different principles
  • Using constant FTG rates is bound to produce large estimation errors
  • Employment and establishment area are good variables to explain FG and FTG
  • The type of economic activity is a key variable to estimate FTG
  • Industry sectors are better proxies of economic activities than land use
  • The aggregation procedure should be determined according to the disaggregated model specification


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University at Albany, TNO Delft, Herbert Levinson, Erica Levine Powers, Esq., (J.D., LL.M. Taxation).

Sponsors / Funding Sources

The National Cooperative Freight Research Program (NCFRP)

Publications from this Project

(Holguín-Veras et al., 2011; Holguín Veras et al., 2012; Lawson et al., 2012; Holguin-Veras et al., 2013) :
Holguín-Veras, J., M. Jaller, L. Destro, X. Ban, C. Lawson and H. Levinson (2011). "Freight Generation, Freight Trip Generation, and the Perils of Using Constant Trip Rates." Transportation Research Record 2224: 68-81. 10.3141/2224-09
Holguin-Veras, J., I. Sánchez-Díaz, C. Lawson, M. Jaller, S. Campbell, H. S. Levinson and H. S. Shin (2013). "Transferability of Freight Trip Generation Models." Transport Research Record (in print).
Holguín Veras, J., M. Jaller, I. Sánchez-Díaz, J. Wojtowicz, S. Campbell, H. Levinson, C. Lawson, E. Powers and L. Tavasszy (2012) "NCHRP Report 739 / NCFRP Report 19: Freight Trip Generation and Land Use." National Cooperative Highway Research Program / National Cooperative Freight Research Program, from
Lawson, C., J. Holguín-Veras, I. Sánchez-Díaz, M. Jaller, S. Campbell and E. Powers (2012). "Estimated Generation of Freight Trips Based on Land Use." Transportation Research Record 2269: 65-72. 10.3141/2269-08
Awards this project has received: