National Academies Press: OpenBook

Freight Data Cost Elements (2013)

Chapter: Chapter 1 - Introduction

« Previous: Summary
Page 3
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Freight Data Cost Elements. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21939.
Page 3

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

3 NCFRP Project 26, “Freight Data Cost Elements,” had the following objectives: • Identify the specific types of direct freight transportation cost data elements required for public investment, policy, and regulatory decisionmaking; and • Describe and assess different strategies for identifying and obtaining these cost data elements. Although these objectives could include such aspects as logistics costs, cost of externalities produced by freight activ- ity, and the like, the project panel—considering the state of the practice and knowledge, as well as the project resources available—decided to focus on direct operational costs and the data cost items needed for their estimation. The movement of goods is largely conducted by private- sector businesses for customers that are also private-sector businesses. Accordingly, cost and rate information often is confidential to these organizations. However, an understand- ing of costs is essential for public-sector analyses, investments, and policy development. To achieve the project objectives, the research team focused on four tasks: • Task 1: Identify and describe the state of the practice for current multimodal freight transportation cost data uses, sources, methods, collection strategies, and data elements for public-sector planning and decisionmaking. • Task 2: Identify current and evolving public-sector freight transportation planning and decisionmaking functions and the cost data currently used, or that might be used, to support those functions. Describe the key freight transpor- tation cost data elements required for public-sector plan- ning and decisionmaking. • Task 3: Identify primary and secondary freight transpor- tation cost data sources and assess their applicability to the key requirements identified in Task 2. Discuss data issues and limitations, including data accuracy, privacy, anti-trust issues and other constraints, as well as conceptual collection strategies. Discuss methods for closing any identified gaps. • Task 4: Identify available cost estimation tools, methods, and procedures, and their applicability to the key require- ments identified in Task 3. Discuss strengths and weak- nesses and identify methods for closing any gaps. NCFRP Report 22 summarizes the key findings that emerged from each of these tasks, and provides an important compen- dium of the available cost data (along with sources), alterna- tives that can be used when cost data do not exist, and areas where additional data collection would be beneficial. The report consists of five chapters that describe the fun- damentals of freight cost estimation and its use, analyze cur- rent and future public-sector functions and cost data needs, estimate future cost data needs for the public sector, iden- tify and assess the various freight cost data sources, address freight cost data gaps, and provide conclusions and recom- mendations. Three appendices are included with the report. Appendix A presents the basic cost concepts and definitions. Appendix B shows the cost data elements for the various modes of freight transportation. Appendix C shows the dif- ferent data collection techniques and frequencies suggested to close data gaps. C H A P T E R 1 Introduction

Next: Chapter 2 - Fundamentals of Freight Cost Estimation and Its Use »
Freight Data Cost Elements Get This Book
 Freight Data Cost Elements
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

TRB’s National Cooperative Freight Research Program (NCFRP) Report 22: Freight Data Cost Elements identifies the specific types of direct freight transportation cost data elements required for public investment, policy, and regulatory decisionmaking. The report also describes and assesses different strategies for identifying and obtaining the needed cost data elements.


  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook,'s online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!