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Size, configuration, or permitting ability vis--vis company needs. The site or facility's ability to accommodate growth or otherwise adapt to future requirements. Ease of access to and distance from key transportation points (highway ramps, switching yards, intermodal facilities, etc.). Cross-dock, ceiling height, maximum floor weight, number of loading docks, rail access, and other materials movement requirements of pre-existing facilities. Utility capacity. Site engineering considerations. Environmental considerations. Potential rent, purchase, and operating costs. Safety and security. This information, along with the financial analysis described below, allows the planning team to further refine the location recommendations. Cost modeling Companies will typically develop cost models during the site selection process to provide critical information as to how well each scenario and/or location will provide an economic payback (and over what period of time) for the proposed investment in the new location. The amount of time required for the company to recoup its initial investment and the rate of return must be compared against other operational investments the company might consider in order to prioritize such investments. Cost models typically include start-up and recurring costs and may also include exit costs. Cost modeling allows for consideration of the impact of changing cost environments for fuel, labor, network service performance, revenues, and tax exposure. A location's flexibility of use and potential to accommodate future growth substantially increases the chances that an appropriate location or scenario will be selected. These analyses therefore result in a determination of both absolute and relative feasibility for the alternative locations under consideration. Freight Facility Location Selection: A Guide for Public Officials 37