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Measuring Improvements in the Movement of Highway and Intermodal Freight

2.

Shipment cost per mile (by ton or value), by mode and by major commodity groups

ASSESSMENT:

Many of these are potentially useful.  Information on speed and transit times by route and by city pair would be especially helpful if routes and city pairs that have special significance for freight movement could be identified.  Transportation spending as a percent of GSP is an odd one; it is difficult to see how that measures performance.  Shipment cost per mile makes sense.  Design impediments would be useful, but, again, it would be helpful to tie these to routes that are important for freight.  A design impediment on a road rarely used by heavy trucks would seem to have little relevance.  Crash rate per ton-mile seems useful.  Dollar cost of heavy-truck crashes seems to be more about consequences of moving freight than about effectiveness in moving freight.  Dollar costs of deaths and injuries and property damage is appropriate for measuring overall highway performance; for freight purposes, it might be useful to focus in more narrowly, e.g., on loss-and-damage costs.

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