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Measuring Improvements in the Movement of Highway and Intermodal Freight

REPORT: Report to Statewide Model Task Force on Freight Modeling and Forecasting Techniques

SPONSORS: State of Florida

AUTHORS: Draft prepared by Florida Department of Transportation

PARTICIPANTS: N/A

DATE: February 1998

SUMMARY:

This report was requested by the Stateside Model Task Force to provide an overview of freight planning and modeling processes in Florida and around the nation. It reports on the Florida’s Intermodal Management System (IMS) Pilot Project, which was designed to address ISTEA mandates. A highlight of Florida’s IMS Pilot was the development of performance measures designed for intermodal system evaluations.

PERFORMANCE MEASURES PRESENTED:

The following possible measures were put forward:

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cost per ton-mile by mode

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revenue per ton-mile by mode

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maintenance cost of connector links

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insurance cost (for freight)

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direct and indirect jobs created

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change in fuel consumption per ton-mile

ASSESSMENT:

Although the focus of this work was intermodal, most of these would be useful for overall highway-freight purposes.  The exception is jobs created; aside from the difficulty of measuring this indicator, it is not a valid measure of freight performance or economic efficiency.  Insurance cost is a proxy for loss and damage, which is an important aspect of the quality of freight movement. As a result, insurance cost could be used as a performance measure.

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