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23 The research began with a review of the history of the a proposed Freight System Report Card that could be popu- development of performance measures in the public and lated with measures at the national, state, and local level to private sectors, particularly examining the lessons learned allow uniform reporting, monitoring, and comparison of that could assist the development of a freight performance freight system performance at different functional and geo- measurement system. The review included a summary of graphic levels. the freight performance measures that have been deployed, The steps necessary to deploy the Freight System Report or at least proposed for public-sector agencies. This review Card were described. Particular emphasis was placed upon included a detailed examination of the existing public-sector reviewing issues surrounding data collection for performance freight data and federal reports that could be used to populate measurement. The research quickly identified the primary a national freight performance measurement system. challenges to a freight performance measurement system to Lessons from the private-sector literature on performance be related to data and information. These challenges included measurement were emphasized in the research effort for two developing common definitions for measures, capturing data reasons. First, the private sector has a much longer history of in a timely manner, integrating disparate data from various performance measurement than does the public sector, and data sources, and providing the institutional support to sus- the evolution of private-sector measures holds lessons for tain a reporting system. Because freight performance and the development of a national freight measurement system. freight data cut across traditional agency silos, the challenge Second, the research statement specifically sought perfor- of capturing data and sustaining a reporting system were mance measures that would be of interest to the private sec- identified as particular challenges. tor. Understanding how the private sector used performance To further examine the complexity of measuring freight measures was deemed to be enlightening. performance, case studies of the Freight Analysis Framework Considerable effort was expended to determine stake- and the Transportation Services Index were conducted. The holder interests. A survey of 4,000 members of the Council of level of effort necessary for those two components of national Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) was dis- freight measurement is predictive of the complexity of devel- tributed. It sought their opinions regarding which measures oping a much broader performance reporting system. would be of greatest value to the private-sector logistics pro- The research not only presents a Freight System Report fessional. Similarly, questionnaires were distributed to major Card but also suggests a three-tiered approach to perfor- trade groups with an interest in freight performance. Inter- mance reporting. The first tier is the highly summarized views with eight trucking firms were conducted to gather and condensed report card itself. The second tier consists of greater insight into their use of and interest in performance brief one- to two-page summaries that elaborate upon the measures. performance of each measure. Finally, the reporting frame- To determine public-sector interest in freight performance, work provides links from each measure to more voluminous a survey of all 50 state departments of transportation was standing reports. The three-tiered approach is suggested to conducted. Also, representatives of major public-sector agen- provide brevity as well as detail, depending upon the level of cies such as AASHTO, the Federal Railroad Administration information desired by the user. (FRA), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were interviewed. The current freight performance measures Anticipated Use of in use at state DOTs also were examined. Research Findings A compilation was assembled of 360 potential freight per- formance measures that had been identified in the literature The research findings provide a road map for develop- or through stakeholder interviews. A screening process was ing a national freight performance reporting process. As developed that prioritized and sorted the potential mea- discussed in the "Background on Research Need" section, sures by how closely they met stated stakeholder preference; numerous public and private stakeholders seek to better whether they were available from existing data; and how understand the freight system to improve decision making closely they met the project objectives. regarding policy, investment, and operations decisions. The From the screening and other steps, 29 potential measures value of this research is to describe how a freight system were identified that were most promising in terms of meet- reporting process could be started with existing data sources ing stakeholder preference, of having available data, and of and to explore how it could evolve with increasing sophis- meeting the project objective. The measures were included in tication over time.