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MEASURING IMPROVEMENTS IN THE MOVEMENT OF - page 8 / 60

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Measuring Improvements in the Movement of Highway and Intermodal Freight

1.

Travel time measures (e.g., average travel time in peak period, annual hours of delay, average time at border crossings)

2.

Reliability measures (e.g., variability of travel time; hours of incident-based/non-recurrent delay)

3.

Cost measures (e.g., average cost per ton-mile)

4.

Safety or damage measures (e.g., accident rate)

5.

Highway condition measures (e.g., percent of roads with surface condition classified as good, number of weight restricted bridges)

6.

Economic impact measures (e.g., contribution of investment to GDP growth, employment impacts)

7.

Industry productivity measures (e.g., ton-miles per employee, percent of truckloads empty)

Each of the seven categories of measures is discussed further below, with an initial assessment of strengths and weaknesses.

Travel Time Measures

Travel time-related performance measures include two general types of measures:

Measures of average travel time, such as:

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average travel time in peak period in major metro areas or corridors

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freight transfer time between modes (for intermodal)

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crossing time at border crossings

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city-to-city travel time

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shipper point-to-point travel time

Measures of delay (or added travel time), such as:

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hours of delay per 1000 vehicle-mile

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percent of PM peak travel experiencing delay

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average hours of delay per 1000 vehicles processed at border crossings

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hours spent waiting at toll plazas per 1000 vehicle-mile

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hours spent waiting at weigh stations per 1000 ton-mile  

General Assessment

A major strength of travel time measures as freight productivity indicators is that travel time and congestion are very important to shippers. Rapid service is a critical element of competition. Package carriers and long haul truckers alike offer one-day and two-day service in many markets, and customers expect rapid delivery of goods. Businesses typically expect package

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