In recognition of the importance of freight transportation in Canada, this study investigates the process whereby the selection of a transportation mode occurs. The three principal modes forming the basis of the study are Rail, Truck and Ship. The point of departure for the study is the supposition that certain functional attributes of the three modes collectively determine which mode is chosen in particular situations. A data bank consisting of records of individual shipments of various commodities during 1970 is described. The following attribute measures, identified by commodity, mode and origin-destination, are employed: tonnage per shipment, tariff, distance, transit time, unreliability, time variation, density and unit value. Formal statistical models are developed for relating the selection of a mode to the degree to which its shipments possess the attributes. The results of the statistical analyses are evaluated within the context of a procedure by which the management of a particular freight carrier might wish to determine the most appropriate settings of his service variables. Inferences are drawn about the relative importance of the various mode attributes in relation to modal share. The analysis reveals considerable diversity between commodities as to which attributes are important. This justifies the detailed analysis of individual shipments, which is made possible by the unique data bank employed in the study. Some generalizations are possible, however. Tariff is usually an important attribute and it exhibits the expected inverse relationship with modal share. Transit time and time variation are important for some, but not all, commodities. Distance and weight per shipment are also strongly associated with mode selection.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This is one of a series of three companion reports resulting from the Canadian Freight Transport Model project. The other two are: No. 75-11 "The Railcar Network Model," E.R. Petersen, H.V. Fullerton, et al, June 1975, and No. 75-12 "CIGGT Transportation Data Base - Description and Usage," L.J. Graham, July 1975.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Canadian Institute of Guided Ground Transport

    Queen's University
    Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6,   Canada 
  • Authors:
    • Turner, R E
  • Publication Date: 1975-10

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 93 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00141123
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Canadian Institute of Guided Ground Transport
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CIGGT Rept. N. 75-14R&D Rept.
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 26 1976 12:00AM