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15 The Conceptual Model serves several purposes as follow: The Conceptual Model includes the definition of all processes necessary for the calculation, allocation, and eval- It estimates multimodal emissions associated with specific uation of freight-related emissions. Based on a set of input supply chains, transportation corridors, and geographic parameters, the Conceptual Model will include a set of equa- regions. tions to calculate emissions. The emission outputs will be as- It assists shippers, carriers, and logistics providers in incor- sociated with either a product (or quantity of a given com- porating emissions in the planning and operations of their modity), freight activity (e.g., measured in ton-miles), link, logistics activities. node, or a geographic area. Lastly, the Conceptual Model It assists public agencies in incorporating emissions in the includes the spatial and temporal allocation of emissions. planning of transportation infrastructure, transportation investment decisions, and development of transportation 1.8 Recommended Research Areas regulations and/or voluntary programs. It identifies elements of freight activity that are not well Five recommended areas for research that offer great prom- represented by available data and methods. ise for improving freight emissions estimates were developed It identifies how new and emerging freight data and meth- by the study team. Although these five research statements are ods relate to existing data and methods, and how they can mode-specific, the link between modes can be addressed with present a more comprehensive picture of freight movement. the implementation of the Conceptual Model. It identifies opportunities to link mode-specific freight activ- Each of these areas will improve both the Conceptual Model ity data and tools in a unified framework that spans multiple and modeling of these modes in general. These recommended modes and possibly geographic and temporal dimensions. research areas have been written as research statements with It identifies the major sources of potential error propaga- background, objectives, description of tasks and funding re- tion and identifies the steps in emissions calculations that quirements described in each research area. This will provide warrant improvement. the beginnings for NCFRP to develop statements of work and requests for proposals for future work. The five research areas The Conceptual Model provides the link between eco- recommended in Chapter 5 are as follows: nomic activity, freight transportation activity, freight-related emissions and associated health effects. The Conceptual Model Improving the allocation of national transportation does not address economic activity directly, but rather uses emissions, economic activity to forecast freight activity. At the other end Refining road project-level emission estimates method- of the spectrum, the Conceptual Model does not model dis- ologies, persion of emissions or health effects. Instead, it plans for the Improving rail activity data for emission calculations, spatial and temporal allocation of emissions, which will pro- Improving parameters and methodologies for estimating vide the necessary inputs for dispersion models and health marine goods movement emissions, and risk assessments. Improving air freight emission calculations.