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78 tare-level data, also attributable to industry-accepted billing the national, state, regional, and local levels. A large num- practices. By comparison, LTL carriers typically bill customers ber of intermediate approaches is possible, depending on using a rate structure based on shipment weight, origin, des- the business processes and geographic levels involved. For tination, and freight classification. However, there is anecdotal example, an intermediate implementation approach could evidence that LTL carriers tend to favor a freight-all-kinds rat- include commodity flows at the national, state, and regional ing structure that assigns a general freight classification to all levels. Another, more encompassing, intermediate imple- shipments from a shipper regardless of freight commodity or mentation approach could include commodity flows, safety, type. As opposed to TL carriers, LTL carriers are more likely and pavement impacts at the national, state, regional, and to track total tonnage. local levels. In conjunction with the 2009 North American Freight Flows Holistic, all-encompassing approach. In this case, the Conference in Irvine, CA, the research team organized a peer national freight data architecture would become the man- exchange to discuss preliminary research findings; request ner in which data elements are organized and integrated feedback; and facilitate a dialogue on implementation strate- for all freight transportation-related applications or busi- gies to develop, adopt, and maintain a national freight data ness processes at the national, state, regional, and local architecture. Participants included representatives of fed- levels. eral, state, regional, university, and private-sector agencies. To encourage participation and discussion, attendees received For any of these implementation options, the data architec- background materials such as relevant research topic sum- ture would include the necessary set of tools that describe maries and breakout group agendas and discussion objectives. related functions or roles, components where those roles reside Feedback from peer exchange participants included recom- or apply, and data flows that connect roles and components. mendations for changes to initial research findings as well as a list of issues, challenges, and strategies to consider during National Freight Data the implementation of the national freight data architecture. Architecture Value From the documentation and information gathered dur- National Freight Data ing the research, the research team identified the following list Architecture Definition of benefits that, together, provide a statement of value for the Taking into consideration the results of the literature review, national freight data architecture: as well as feedback from surveys, follow-up interviews, and the peer exchange, the research team developed the following Better understanding of the different business processes generic definition for a national freight data architecture: that affect freight transportation at different levels of cov- erage and resolution; The national freight data architecture is the manner in Better understanding of the supply chain, which should help which data elements are organized and integrated for freight transportation planners to identify strategies for improving transportation-related applications or business processes. The freight transportation infrastructure; data architecture includes the necessary set of tools that describe Better understanding of the role that different public- related functions or roles, components where those roles reside or apply, and data flows that connect roles and components sector and private-sector stakeholders play on freight at different domain and aggregation levels. transportation; Better understanding of the need for standards to assist in Depending on the specific level of implementation chosen data exchange; for the data architecture, this generic definition could be fine- Systematic, coordinated development of reference datasets tuned as follows: (e.g., comprehensive commodity code crosswalk tables); Systematic inventory of freight transportation data sources; Single-application approach. In this case, the national Systematic inventory of user and data needs that are pre- freight data architecture would become the manner in requisites for the development of freight data management which data elements are organized and integrated for a spe- systems; cific freight application or business process at the national Use as a reference for the identification of locations where level (e.g., commodity flows). there may be freight data redundancy and inefficiencies; Intermediate approaches (depending on the number of Use as a reference for requesting funding allocations in the applications). In this case, the national freight data architec- public and private sectors; and ture would become the manner in which data elements are Use as a reference for the development of outreach, profes- organized and integrated for a specific set of applications at sional development, and training materials.