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77 that would need to be included in a national freight data archi- characterize a commodity as well as origin and destination tecture. A few systems and architectures in Table 1 were of par- locations, the route data component may be missing. ticular interest because of the lessons that could be derived In addition, the shipper stakeholders interviewed indicated from the processes that led to their development. The analysis they could not comment on their companies' ability or willing- included topics such as purpose, content, institutional arrange- ness to share data for freight transportation planning purposes ments used for developing and maintaining the system or (particularly on a load-by-load basis, given its proprietary and architecture; challenges and issues faced in creating and main- confidential nature). Subsequent feedback obtained at the peer taining the architecture or system; strategies and methods for exchange (see below) highlighted a number of strategies to dealing with data integration issues; and adaptability to serve address this issue, including initiating discussions about data evolving purposes and data sources. sharing at a sufficiently high administrative level--since low- ranking personnel might know the data, but frequently do not have the authority or permission to discuss data sharing Online Surveys, Interviews, options. Involving trade associations rather than individual and Peer Exchange firms also might be beneficial. A business model also might The research team conducted a planner and analyst sur- emerge in which data providers would forward sample data vey, a shipper survey, and a motor carrier survey (as well as to a designated agency on a predetermined schedule for devel- follow-up interviews) to gather information about freight oping a commodity flow database at the national level. The data uses and needs. The research team also conducted inter- data would be stripped of certain identifiers to address privacy views with subject matter experts to address specific items and confidentiality concerns. Although the data would not be of interest to the research. The purpose of the planner and available for free (since filtering, forwarding, storing, and pro- analyst survey was to gather information from government cessing the data would involve real costs), it is anticipated that planners, analysts, and other similar freight-related stake- the cost of collecting the data would be a fraction of the cost to holders. The invitation to participate in the survey included conduct normal surveys. groups such as AASHTO committees, TRB committees, and The purpose of the motor carrier survey was to gather infor- AMPO. Respondents were involved in all modes of trans- mation from the motor carrier community about freight data portation, including air, rail, truck, pipelines, and water. Not uses and needs, as well as willingness to share data with exter- surprisingly (given that respondents were typically public- nal freight-related stakeholders. Survey respondents repre- sector planners), most respondents indicated that they use sented all major sectors of the motor carrier industry, includ- freight data to support the production of public-sector trans- ing TL, LTL, and specialized. As in the case of shippers, motor portation planning documents. However, respondents also carriers expressed reservations about sharing proprietary and reported using data for various other freight-related appli- confidential data. In particular, their reservations were related cations, adding weight to the notion that the national freight to the need to develop mechanisms to protect proprietary and data architecture should support various freight-related pro- confidential information and to maintain the anonymity of cesses. Respondents reported using and/or needing data at var- carriers and customers. In general, carriers would need to ious levels of geographic coverage and resolution. The feed- know in advance the specific uses of the data and, in return, back on unmet data needs complement similar findings in the would expect information in the form of industry benchmark- literature. ing metrics. It is worth noting that developing metrics of inter- The purpose of the shipper survey was to gather general est to the private sector is part of the scope of work of NCFRP information from the shipper community regarding freight Project 3, "Performance Measures for Freight Transportation." data uses and needs, as well as willingness to share data with In practice, the type and amount of data provided by, or other freight-related stakeholders. The survey included repre- available through, carriers varies considerably, depending on sentatives of companies of various sizes, including third-party factors such as carrier size, geographic locations, activity focus, logistics, freight forwarders, manufacturers, retailers, and sup- and type of cargo transported. Carriers handle large amounts pliers. The shipper industry collects large amounts of data. of disaggregated data during the course of their business oper- Many shippers and logistics service providers transmit data ations. Increasingly, carriers use EDI standards and applica- electronically using EDI technologies. These stakeholders use tions. However, most of this information is confidential and EDI regularly for load tendering, tracking, and billing pur- limited to the direct exchange of data between trading part- poses. However, accessing data from shippers and logistics ners. In addition, the amount of shipment information detail service providers for transportation planning applications varies according to the type of carrier. For example, TL carri- (beyond aggregated data from commercial data providers and ers, who tend to bill customers on a per-mile basis or by using national survey campaigns such as CFS) is not necessarily a flat rate, rarely collect detailed commodity data. In addition, straightforward. For example, although a data record might TL carriers are less likely to collect data on tonnage hauled or