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N A T I O N A L C O O P E R A T I V E F R E I G H T R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M NCFRP REPORT 29 Subscriber Categories Data and Information Technology â¢ Freight Transportation â¢ Motor Carriers Making Trucks Count: Innovative Strategies for Obtaining Comprehensive Truck Activity Data Johanna Zmud RAND CoRpoRAtioN Arlington, VA Catherine T. Lawson UNiveRsity At AlbANy stAte UNiveRsity of New yoRk Albany, NY Alan Pisarski Falls Church, VA TRANSPORTAT ION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2014 www.TRB.org Research sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
NATIONAL COOPERATIVE FREIGHT RESEARCH PROGRAM Americaâs freight transportation system makes critical contributions to the nationâs economy, security, and quality of life. The freight transportation system in the United States is a complex, decentralized, and dynamic network of private and public entities, involving all modes of transportationâtrucking, rail, waterways, air, and pipelines. In recent years, the demand for freight transportation service has been increasing fueled by growth in international trade; however, bottlenecks or congestion points in the system are exposing the inadequacies of current infrastructure and operations to meet the growing demand for freight. Strategic operational and investment decisions by governments at all levels will be necessary to maintain freight system performance, and will in turn require sound technical guidance based on research. The National Cooperative Freight Research Program (NCFRP) is a cooperative research program sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology under Grant No. DTOS59- 06-G-00039 and administered by the Transportation Research Board (TRB). The program was authorized in 2005 with the passage of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). On September 6, 2006, a contract to begin work was executed between the Research and Innovative Technology Admin- istration, which is now the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, and The National Academies. The NCFRP will carry out applied research on problems facing the freight industry that are not being adequately addressed by existing research programs. Program guidance is provided by an Oversight Committee comprised of a representative cross section of freight stakeholders appointed by the National Research Council of The National Academies. The NCFRP Oversight Committee meets annually to formulate the research program by identifying the highest priority projects and defining funding levels and expected products. Research problem statements recommending research needs for consideration by the Oversight Committee are solicited annually, but may be submitted to TRB at any time. Each selected project is assigned to a panel, appointed by TRB, which provides technical guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. Heavy emphasis is placed on including members representing the intended users of the research products. The NCFRP will produce a series of research reports and other products such as guidebooks for practitioners. Primary emphasis will be placed on disseminating NCFRP results to the intended end-users of the research: freight shippers and carriers, service providers, suppliers, and public officials. Published reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE FREIGHT RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from: Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet at: http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore Printed in the United States of America NCFRP REPORT 29 Project NCFRP-39 ISSN 1947-5659 ISBN 978-0-309-28410-3 Library of Congress Control Number 2014940891 Â© 2014 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, or PHMSA endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. NOTICE The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the National Cooperative Freight Research Program, conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of the Governing Board of the National Research Council. The members of the technical panel selected to monitor this project and to review this report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. The report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research Council, and the sponsors of the National Cooperative Freight Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report.
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academyâs purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transporta- tion Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individu- als interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org
C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S CRP STAFF FOR NCFRP REPORT 29 Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs William C. Rogers, Senior Program Officer Charlotte Thomas, Senior Program Assistant Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Hilary Freer, Senior Editor NCFRP PROJECT 39 PANEL Diane Jacobs, California DOT, Los Angeles, CA (Chair) Robert Costello, American Trucking Associations, Arlington, VA John W. Fuller, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA Bob Oliver, Pollution Probe, Toronto, ON Isabel C. Victoria, CDM Smith, Austin, TX Kermit Wies, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Chicago, IL Ronald J. Duych, RITA Liaison Chester Ford, RITA Liaison Rolf R. Schmitt, FHWA Liaison Thomas Palmerlee, TRB Liaison AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The research team would like to thank the following individuals, who took the time to talk to us and share their insights and knowledge with the research team: Gerard de Jong (University of Leeds and Significance), Ken Dodge (New York State DOT), John Gliebe (Resource Systems Group), Jose HolguÃn- Veras (City College of New York), Steven Jessberger (Federal Highway Administration), Gernot Liedtke (University of Karlsruhe), Ed McCormack (University of Washington), Matthew Roorda (University of Toronto), and Monique Urban (Cambridge Systematics).
F O R E W O R D By William C. Rogers Staff Officer Transportation Research Board NCFRP Report 29: Making Trucks Count: Innovative Strategies for Obtaining Compre- hensive Truck Activity Data develops and assesses strategies for obtaining comprehensive trucking activity data for making more informed public policy decisions at the national and regional levels. The report focuses on improving existing approaches rather than creat- ing completely new ones, with a goal of yielding meaningful results in 5 to 7 years. Three approaches were developed in detail: (1) using GPS traces to understand trucking activities, (2) a re-conceptualized Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey (VIUS), and (3) agent-based models for freight transportation. Implementing the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) will require the application of performance measures and performance management for which better freight data will be critical. Although such planning and data must be multimodal, documenting trucking activity will be most important because trucks move about 70% of total tonnage and value shipped in the United States. Effective policy making will require information to answer such questions as how much freight is moved by trucks, what types of freight are moved by trucks, and how much road traffic is generated by the movement of freight. However, no public dataset with current comprehensive, longitudinal statistics on highway-truck freight activity exists. Under NCFRP Project 39, RAND Corporation was asked to (1) briefly describe the state of the practice in the United States and other countries for obtaining and reporting truck activity data used for public policy decisions at the national and regional levels; (2) describe reliability and gaps in data availability in the United States, discuss data issues and limita- tions, and illustrate how improved data could be used to better inform public policy deci- sions; (3) investigate, develop, and assess strategies to obtain comprehensive trucking activ- ity data; and (4) describe in detail how recommended strategies could be implemented in practice, including a thorough discussion of specific mechanisms required to collect the data as well as barriers and opportunities to successful implementation of the strategies.
C O N T E N T S Note: Many of the photographs, figures, and tables in this report have been converted from color to grayscale for printing. The electronic version of the report (posted on the Web at www.trb.org) retains the color versions. 1 Summary 4 Chapter 1 Introduction 5 1.1 Data Coverage Issues 6 1.2 Industry Coverage Issues 9 Chapter 2 Assessment of Primary Data Sources for Truck-Activity Data 9 2.1 U.S. Census Bureau Data 10 2.2 Amalgamated Datasets 11 2.3 Roadway Operations Data Sources 12 2.4 Vehicle-Based Operations Data 12 2.5 Administrative Data Sources 18 Chapter 3 Feasibility Review of Innovative Strategies 19 3.1 Expanded Commodity Flow Survey 21 3.2 Expansion of the Trucking and Warehousing Survey 23 3.3 New VIUS-Like Survey 25 3.4 New Industry-Based Supply-Chain Survey 27 3.5 Operations Data Analysis Platform 28 3.6 National Freight GPS Framework 30 3.7 Data from License Plate Recognition (LPR) Systems 32 3.8 Analysis of the MCMIS for Use as Sampling Frame 33 3.9 Analysis of the R.L. Polk Data 34 3.10 Agent-Based Modeling to Identify Truck Movements on Network 37 Chapter 4 Detailed Implementation Strategies 37 4.1 Using GPS Traces to Understand Trucking Activities 43 4.2 A New VIUS-Like Survey 48 4.3 Agent-Based Models for Freight Transportation 53 Chapter 5 Conclusions and Future Research Needs 53 5.1 Innovative Approaches 54 5.2 Additional Research Needs 54 5.3 Future Visions 56 References 58 Appendix A Statistical Compilations 65 Appendix B Primary Data Sources