Measuring Commodity Flows in Canada: Options and Considerations

Transportation plays an instrumental role across the economy as a cost that must be incurred to complete almost any market transaction. As Winston (2013) asserts, transportation is so intertwined with almost every part of the economy that it is vital for government to continually assess system performance and to consider improvements.1 As a trade-reliant nation with its population spread over a vast landscape, Canada is particularly dependent on a transportation system that is efficient, reliable, innovative, responsive to change, and resilient to disruptions.2 It is evident that quality statistical information is required to assess the national transportation system and its ability to move both people and goods. A Freight Analysis Framework (FAF) is a method for estimating commodity flows and related transportation activities by different modes over a network or system. While conventional, industry-based surveys of transportation provide data to meet national accounting needs, a FAF requires activity-based surveys to estimate commodity origin-destination flows. This study briefly reviews freight analysis methods and data before sketching out a possible Canadian FAF with consideration of geographic precision, commodity detail, modal characteristics and other factors. In the second part, the study assesses two possible approaches to gathering the necessary commodity flow data: A carrier-based and a shipper-based approach.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Pagination: 1 PDF file, 429 KB, 15p.
  • Monograph Title: Canadian Transportation Research Forum 50th Annual Conference - Another 50 Years: Where to From Here?//Un autre 50 ans : qu'en est-il à partir de maintenant? Montreal, Quebec, May 24-26, 2015

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01605036
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transportation Association of Canada (TAC)
  • Files: ITRD, TAC
  • Created Date: Jul 26 2016 5:04PM