A PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF FREIGHT TRANSPORT MODES

The authors consider that transport performance is a key factor in supply and distribution system planning and operation, in that it can affect inventory levels, customer service and production schedules. This article reports on a study conducted to generate relative performance information for common transport service alternatives in a broad range of circumstances. Reference to data obtained from seven, previously conducted independent surveys indicated that the key transport performance elements were speed, dependability, capability, availability and adequacy of equipment, availability of service, frequency of service, security, claims handling, shipment tracing, and problem solving assistance. As a result, a study is described which was planned to obtain an accurate picture of transport performance by various transport services for various distances. Some 10000 randomly selected shipments (out of 1.4 M Department of Defense shipments in 1973) provided the data base, with various domestic transport systems being employed as carriers. Analysis of the data revealed three important insights about transport performance. First, the differences between the speed and variability among the various transport services can be accurately compared. Second, the factors that have a particularly significant effect on average transit time and transit time variability can be identified. Third, factors affecting loss and damage experience among the various transport services can be identified. These characteristics are discussed, leading to the conclusions that (1) there is a pronounced taper in the transit curves of the so-called slower modes of transportation that makes them highly competitive with some of the faster modes at the longer distances; (2) transit-time variability varies greatly among modes and, as shipping distances are increased, less premium services may out-perform the premium ones, and (3) loss and damage may be worse among the premium transport modes. /TRRL/

  • Corporate Authors:

    University of British Columbia, Vancouver

    Faculty of Commerce
    Vancouver, British Columbia  Canada 
  • Authors:
    • Piercy, J E
    • Ballou, R H
  • Publication Date: 1978

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00188319
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 27 1979 12:00AM