This report develops a comprehensive perspective of current and near-term future energy demand in U.S. freight transportation. Synthesis of studies of many agencies indicate that the annual petroleum fuel demand for freight transportation in 1985 will be 5 billion gallons greater than that in 1975, even with a 7 billion gallon a year savings from conservation measures. This represents an increase in freight's share of the U.S. total transportation fuel demand from 23% to 29%, because of continued freight traffic growth and the greater savings potential in passenger systems. Freight transport by rail, by highway and by rail/highway intermodal services receives the most attention in this report because these modes offer the greatest promise for significant fuel savings. Fuel consumption and conservation estimates include both intercity and local truck operations, but intercity operations of the competitive, heavy-duty trucks and general merchandise trains are the primary focus because about 60% of the potential truck fuel savings and virtually all of the rail savings in 1985 are projected to come from intercity operations. Attention is focused on considerations of the transport market place supply and demand interactions in the evaluation of alternative government policies for fuel conservation in freight systems. An overall evaluation approach is presented, analytical tools appraised and several government policy alternatives are given a preliminary assessment. The results suggest that the most productive conservation strategies are those that focus on technological and operational improvements within the rail and highway modes having estimated savings of 28% and 18% respectively. Shifts of traffic to intermodal rail services although economically viable may prove counterproductive in certain markets in terms of energy consumption.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Systems Center

    55 Broadway, Kendall Square
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02142
  • Authors:
    • MAIO, D J
  • Publication Date: 1979-3

Media Info

  • Pagination: 125 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00197342
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT-TSC-RSPA-79-6 Final Rpt.
  • Files: NTIS, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 31 1979 12:00AM