Efficient freight and commercial truck travel are essential to national, state, and local transportation infrastructure planning and our economic well-being. Understanding and forecasting freight flows is critical to planning for future transportation capacity, operations, preservation, safety and security, energy and economy investment needs. Incorporating freight movement considerations in the transportation planning process, however, may be difficult. Many current freight demand forecasting models and data sources are more appropriate for passenger transportation than for forecasting freight movements and understanding freight travel behavior.
The Freight Demand Modeling and Data Improvement (C20) product offers a road map that will lead to improved freight data sets and freight modeling practices. The project includes the Freight Demand Modeling and Data Improvement Strategic Plan, which outlines an organizational approach that will help identify freight modeling and data priority needs, spur innovative ideas, and result in breakthrough solutions for wide application.
Freight planners and decision makers will benefit from having a consistent approach to evaluating transportation projects that affect freight movement. Creating better data and models will enable state, regional, and local planners to better predict freight movement trends, and make more informed project investment decisions.