In many regions throughout the world, freight models are used to aid infrastructure investment and policy decisions. Since freight is such an integral part of efficient supply chains, more realistic transportation models can be of greater assistance. Transportation models in general have been moving away from the traditional four-step model into activity-based and supply chain-based models. Personal transportation models take into consideration household demographics and why families travel. Freight research has yet to fully identify the relationships between truck movements and company characteristics, so most freight models use the methodology of personal transportation models, despite situational differences.
In an effort to classify freight companies into groupings with differentiated travel movements, a survey of licensed motor carriers was designed and conducted in Oregon. The survey consisted of 33 questions. Respondents were asked about their vehicle fleets, locations served, times traveled, types of deliveries, and commodities. An analysis of the data revealed clusters of company types that can be distinguished by determining characteristics such as their role in a supply chain, facilities operated, commodity type, and vehicle types. An assessment of how the relationships found can be integrated into state models is also presented.
Goodchild, Anne. A. Gagiliano and M. Rowell. 2013. "Characterizing Oregon's Supply Chains." Final Report SPR 739. Oregon Department of Transportation: Research Section and Federal Highway Administration, Salem, OR.