Measuring Improvements in the Movement of Highway and Intermodal Freight
may be scheduled or routed to avoid much of this delay.
Heavy truck accident / fatality rates
Although these indicators address freight, the focus is on human safety. The most important concern in regard to freight productivity is the value of goods damaged or lost due to accidents, and potentially greater insurance costs associated with accidents that cause loss of life or injury.
Percent of NHS with pavement meeting a certain standard
Percent of non-deficient bridges on NHS
These measures provide an indication of the quality of highways. Although highway condition is important for freight, these measures do not focus on routes of particular importance to freight. As a result, the indicator may not reflect changes in quality experienced by freight movers.
Contribution of investment to GDP growth
In large measure, response of business costs to highway investment reflects improvement in the highways as freight carriers; it also reflects improvement in passenger travel on highways, and there is no way to separate the effects of passenger travel from the effects of freight carriage. Perhaps the greatest challenge for this kind of measures is that a fairly complicated analysis must be carried out on an annual or biennial basis, and it is likely that small year-to-year changes would be lacking in statistical significance.
Corridor or Facility Measures
Many of the indicators identified above could also be used at a regional- or local-level to examine freight performance along specific corridors or at specific points. The indicators identified below provide a measure of freight performance but are limited to specific routes or facilities. As a result, they are not appropriate for FHWA to use as national performance measures, but would be useful for other purposes.
Freight-transfer times at selected intermodal terminals
Hours waiting at toll plazas
Hours waiting at weigh stations
The following measures were judged to be not useful. These measures focus on the economic impacts of highway investment, which include a large number of effects unrelated to freight movement.
Total public and private costs of travel