THE TON-MILE: DOES IT PROPERLY MEASURE TRANSPORTATION OUTPUT?

The current unit of transportation, the ton-mile (megagram- kilometer), must be reevaluated. This paper traces the origins and uses of the ton-mile, exposes its shortcomings, and examines its current misuse as a measure not only of tons and miles (megagrams and kilometers) but also of efficiency, competition, and productivity. The use of the ton-mile as a measurement has been responsible for many problems in transportation policies and is probably the principle reason that so much confusion and controversy exist with respect to the national transportation system today. The paper recommends gross freight revenue (or the value of transportation) as a far better measurement because it more accurately reflects the relative worth of the various modes to the national effort of moving goods. It is suggested that the Transportation Research Board address the matter as a problem deserving its full and immediate attention.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 19-26
  • Monograph Title: Transportation characteristics of truck, rail and water freight
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00139644
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309024919
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Conf. Rpt.
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Nov 17 1976 12:00AM