Methodology for Estimating Ton-Miles of Goods Movements for U.S. Freight Multimodal Network System

Ton-miles is a commonly used measure of freight transportation output. Estimation of ton-miles in the United States transportation system requires freight flow data at disaggregated level (either by link flow, path flows or origin-destination flows between small geographic areas). However, the sheer magnitude of the freight data system as well as industrial confidentiality concerns in Census survey, limit the freight data which is made available to the public. Through the years, the Center for Transportation Analysis (CTA) of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has been working in the development of comprehensive national and regional freight databases and network flow models. One of the main products of this effort is the Freight Analysis Framework (FAF), a public database released by the ORNL. FAF provides to the general public a multidimensional matrix of freight flows (weight and dollar value) on the U.S. transportation system between states, major metropolitan areas, and remainder of states. Recently, the CTA research team has developed a methodology to estimate ton-miles by mode of transportation between the 2007 FAF regions. This paper describes the data disaggregation methodology. The method relies on the estimation of disaggregation factors that are related to measures of production, attractiveness and average shipments distances by mode service. Production and attractiveness of counties are captured by the total employment payroll. Likely mileages for shipments between counties are calculated by using a geographic database, i.e. the CTA multimodal network system. Results of validation experiments demonstrate the validity of the method. Moreover, 2007 FAF ton-miles estimates are consistent with the major freight data programs for rail and water movements.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    2360 Cherahala Boulevard
    Knoxville, TN  United States  37932
  • Authors:
    • Oliveira-Neto, Francisco Moraes
    • Chin, Shih-Miao
    • Hwang, Ho-ling
    • Peterson, Bruce
  • Publication Date: 2013


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 15p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01516509
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Contract Numbers: DE-AC05-00OR22725
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 26 2014 3:55PM