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7 CHAPTER one INTRODUCTION CONTEXT scope, data integration, proprietary and restricted-use information, cost, and existing agency guidelines. The efficient movement of freight is important for local, Make recommendations regarding ways to improve the state, and national economic viability. Understanding the state of the practice. movement of freight and its characteristics is essential to Identify gaps in knowledge and areas for potential promoting efficiency and economic development. There is future research. a need to examine the different methods, techniques, and results of current efforts to survey and collect data on freight Given this scope, it is important to note that although the transportation, data that can take many forms, from classi- applications of freight surveys are broad, the Project Panel fied traffic counts and travel time studies to comprehensive cited the role of surveys in modeling as being particularly commodity flow and origin-destination surveys. Because important. of the complexity of the demand for freight transportation, however, it can be challenging to collect. Subject Several factors contribute to this complexity. For example, This synthesis focuses on existing methods used to collect urban freight transportation factors include the number and data on freight transportation and agency guidelines. Sev- varying characteristics of the decision makers, the diversity eral different aspects of freight transportation surveys are in the types of goods (i.e., commodities) carried, origin-des- considered: tination and routing patterns, freight costs, units of measure, and the activities that take place in an urban area. The supply Purposes for which data are collected and the survey chain involves a number of decision makers in both the pub- methods appropriate for each purpose lic and private sectors: the former as providers and owners of Survey types, including the following: freight infrastructure and services and as regulators, and the Roadside interviews latter as shippers, carriers, and distributors of goods. Finally, Web-based surveys the movement of freight can involve several transportation Mail-in [i.e., mail-out]/mail-back surveys modes, intermediate transfer and processing facilities, and Vehicle intercept jurisdictions. Telephone call-in [i.e., call-out]/call-back Personal interviews Vehicle tracking OVERVIEW License plate match Administrative data Purpose Focus and stakeholder groups/Delphi techniques Survey sampling issues The large range of freight survey practices reflects the com- Regional and corridor versus statewide survey issues plexity of freight demand and the multiplicity of influencing Design of surveys at different levels to enable data factors and supply chain participants. The purpose of this integration synthesis is to improve the state of the practice in freight Cost of surveys and data collection transportation survey methods. The synthesis has four spe- Proprietary and restricted-use information issues cific goals: Guidelines used by agencies in formulating freight transportation surveys to meet specific data needs Develop a profile of the current state of the practice Gaps in knowledge and research needs, including for in methods and techniques used to survey and collect guidelines. data on freight transportation, through a community survey and literature review. Consideration also is given to the feasibility of linking Based on this profile, identify the important issues con- survey data with data from informatics such as roadway, on- cerning survey types, purpose, sample size, geographic board vehicle, and wide area sensors.