What’s wrong with freight models, and what should we do about it?

After many years of neglect, freight, freight operations, and commodity flow models are now attracting substantial attention, and there is a wide perception among transportation analysts that they all need a careful overhaul. In this paper the range of applications and issues associated with different forms of freight model are considered. Confusion about what one can do with a given model is often founded on a lack of transparency as to the domain of application for which the model was originally designed and set up. In this paper the authors offer a framework for placing existing freight models in the context of both the temporal targets and the valid domains of application for which they were originally developed. A conclusion of this exercise is that, while existing freight models are simply not up to the task of forecasting future freight activity, there are a number of uses for which these models are well suited. This includes the ability to “predict the present”, an objective and also a technical challenge that has been much under-rated to date. The appropriate action is to assess what the user feel is missing, and to rebalance research efforts to match.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 19p
  • Monograph Title: Transportation Research Board 85th Annual Meeting compendium of papers CD-ROM, January 22-26, 2006, Washington, DC

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01388183
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 23 2012 12:40AM