The author considers that accurate estimates of transportation costs are needed by both policy makers and the managers of transportation enterprises. It is suggested that the public policy maker generally has used a macro approach to cost estimations, involving the approach of statistical cost analysis focused on the relationship between transportation unit costs and the number of ton-miles of transportation services. The transportation executive generally has used a micro approach, whereby the cost analysis concentrates on attempting to determine how the cost of performing specific operating functions is related to shipment characteristics such as shipment weight, density and volume. It is suggested that both the macro and micro cost approaches have deficiencies which limit the usefulness of results generated through their use. The cost estimates obtained from the macro approach are felt to suffer since they provide aggregate data which is useful only in gauging broadly-based situations. The cost estimates obtained from the micro approach suffer because of a difficulty of extending the results to more general situations. This paper discusses an engineering approach to statistical cost analysis which, it is suggested, combines the methodological rigour and the generalization characteristics of the macro approach with the micro approach's ability to determine costs applicable to narrowly-defined sets of conditions. The concepts which form the basis of the engineering approach are described first. This is followed by a description of the methodology and a demonstration of its application in costing motor carrier transportation services. The methodology is evaluated, and conclusions are drawn as to its potential for extension to other transportation modes. /TRRL/

  • Corporate Authors:

    University of British Columbia, Vancouver

    Faculty of Commerce
    Vancouver, British Columbia  Canada 
  • Authors:
    • Schuster, A D
  • Publication Date: 1978

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00188318
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 27 1979 12:00AM