Measuring Improvements in the Movement of Highway and Intermodal Freight
Conditions on Intermodal Connectors
Based on these evaluations, the following indicators are recommended as worthy of further development by FHWA:
Cost of highway freight per ton-mile
Cargo insurance rates
Point-to-point travel times on selected freight-significant highways
Hours of delay per 1,000 vehicle miles on selected freight-significant highways
Crossing times at international borders
Condition of connectors between NHS and intermodal terminals
No rigid scoring methodology was used for the selection of recommended indicators. In general, the measures that were recommended are those that ranked highest in terms of descriptive value and technical appropriateness. Data availability and costs are important considerations for FHWA as it considers the use of these measures. However, this does not mean that measures with relatively high data costs should not be pursued. Customer satisfaction, for example, would require considerable effort to design a survey, obtain the cooperation of private firms, and carry out the survey on an annual basis. Nonetheless, it was recommended because of the high value of the information it could provide to FHWA.
Further development, and use, of this set of measures will provide FHWA with valid measures of the effectiveness of the highway system’s contribution to national productivity through the efficient movement of domestic and international freight.
Analysis of Individual Indicators
Cost of Highway Freight per Ton-Mile
This indicator is readily understood as an indicator of freight performance. Some clarification, however, may be required that this is a measure of freight shipper cost, rather than a measure of carrier cost or full social cost.
Cost of highway freight per ton-mile is technically appropriate as an indicator of freight performance. However, it is important to recognize that the cost of freight haulage by truck is affected by many factors, among which the performance of the highway system is but one. Cost of highway freight also reflects drivers’ wages and benefits, vehicle depreciation, fuel cost, tax and insurance charges, and fees paid for road and roadside facilities. As a result, this measure