Current and Future Contributions to Freight Demand in North America

Freight transportation demand has historically been substantially under estimated. Among the consequences has been growing congestion on highways, railroads, and ports because of insufficient infrastructure. Freight demand is driven by demographic, economic, political, and environmental factors. A better understanding of the contribution of these interrelated factors to freight demand and their long term trends will greatly improve freight planning models. The objective of this research is to identify demographic, economic, environmental, and political factors that contribute significantly to the future demand for freight tons, ton miles, and freight activity (vehicle miles of travel and train miles) per ton mile of freight. The proposed research will identify historic and current factors, estimate the direction and relative magnitude of the influence of each factor on freight demand; identify whether the effects are national, regional, or local; identify the likelihood that the factor and its effects will continue over the next 30 years; and identify factors that should be monitored to detect major changes in current trends in the demand for freight transportation. The research will build on the results of NCFRP Project 01, "Review and Analysis of Freight Transportation Markets and Relationships".


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 11

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Department of Transportation

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration
    Washington, DC  USA  20590

    National Cooperative Freight Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Williams, Jon

  • Start Date: 20081003
  • Source Data: RiP Project 19472

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01459760
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 11
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 1:12PM