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Performance Metrics Used by Freight Transport Providers - page 25 / 35





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W. Cottrell

Cal Poly Pomona

attributes of natural gas pipelines; several of the attributes could be reformulated as performance measures, as follows:

  • Accuracy of contracts

  • Accuracy of scheduled gas volumes

  • Attitude of continuous improvement

  • Customer service orientation of company representatives

  • Ease of contacting right person (accessibility and responsiveness of personnel)

  • Effectiveness of after-hours support

  • Execution of transportation requests

  • Expertise of personnel

  • Reliability of gas transportation

  • Timeliness of notification prior to restrictions

  • Timeliness of problem resolution

Several of the measures are, evidently, qualitative and based on opinions regarding customer service. This is a consequence of the role that many natural gas suppliers fulfill as public utilities. It is interesting to note that the Mastio surveys segregate natural gas pipelines into five categories, generally based on size or geography: mega, major, regional, intrastate, and major organizational groups. Mega pipelines had at least 3,500 miles of pipe and deliveries of at least 1 trillion cubic feet. Major pipelines had at least 3,500 miles of pipe and served at least three States. Regional pipelines had at least 3,500 miles of pipe, but served fewer than three States. Intrastate pipelines served one State, while major organizational groups were owner-operators. PG&E, for example, was in both the intrastate and major pipeline categories.

Similarly to natural gas pipelines, the PHMSA has identified several safety-related performance measures for oil or “liquids” pipelines. These are, annually:

  • Hazardous liquid pipeline spills in unusually sensitive areas (USAs)

  • Number of serious incidents

  • Pipeline incidents caused by corrosion

  • Pipeline incidents caused by excavation damage

  • Time required to close a Corrective Action Order after a safety sensitive incident

  • Unrecovered oil spill costs per costs for implementing IMP (Integrity Management Programs) in


Although the PHMSA requires liquids pipeline companies to report their safety-related incidents, only overall pipeline industry safety data are published. This approach is analogous to that in the motor carrier industry. That is, incidents are published for the entire industry as a whole, rather than on a per-carrier basis. In addition to the safety data, liquids pipeline companies such as Magellan and Enbridge Energy reported the following operating statistics to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC):

  • Average barrels per day

  • Average haul (miles)

  • Barrel-miles

  • Inland terminal throughput (in millions of barrels)

  • Marine terminal average storage capacity utilized per month

  • Transportation barrels shipped

  • Transportation revenue per barrel shipped


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