Good afternoon or good morning to those of you to the West. Welcome to the Talking Freight Seminar Series. My name is Jennifer Symoun and I will moderate today's seminar. Today's topic is Establishment Surveys. Please be advised that today's seminar is being recorded.
Today we'll have three presentations, given by John Fowler of the U.S. Census Bureau, Joy Sharp of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and Johanna Zmud, Mia Zmud, and Chris Simek of NuStats.
John Fowler is Chief of the Commodity Flow Branch in the Service Sector Statistics Division of the US Census Bureau. Throughout his career at Census he has worked on monthly and annual survey programs covering service industries, wholesale, and transportation in addition to his work on the Commodity Flow Survey since the initial 1993 program.
Joy Sharp is the Assistant Director for Survey Programs at the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. She has worked at BTS for 8 years and is the co-manager of the 2007 Commodity Flow Survey.
While at BTS, she has also worked on a number of other survey projects including the National Census of Ferry Operators, the National Household Travel Survey, and the Omnibus Household Survey.
Prior to coming to BTS, she worked 12 years at the U.S. Census Bureau on a variety of demographic surveys, and she has also worked as a survey research consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers. Her academic background is in mathematics, statistics, and survey methods.
Dr. Johanna Zmud is president of NuStats, a survey science consultancy, specializing in transportation studies. She has 24 years of experience in survey design, implementation, and statistical analysis.
She is an active project manager, typically for large-scale travel behavior surveys. In total, she has managed more than 30 household travel surveys. She has also managed 100+ other surveys, including: visitor surveys, external station surveys,
on-board surveys, and tolling and road pricing surveys. She currently serves as chair of the TRB Data and Information Systems section.
Mia Zmud, a Research Director at NuStats, has 22 years of experience in environmental improvement, integrating communications and research methods.
She has 9 years of survey research experience with NuStats. Prior to this, she spent nearly 15 years on staff at the US Environmental Protection Agency. Much of her work at NuStats is in the area of establishment surveys,
primarily for the purpose of inventorying and surveying businesses regarding their on- and off-road vehicles for air quality emissions modeling.
Chris Simek is a Survey Research Manager with 8 years of survey research experience and 11 years of professional experience.Over his tenure with NuStats, he has specialized in several different types of environmental and transportation related projects, including tolling and road pricing studies, household travel surveys,
transit on-board surveys, user/non-user surveys, and commercial freight surveys. He currently serves as co-chair of the TRB Freight Surveys subcommittee of the Travel Survey Methods committee.
I would now like to go over a few logistical details prior to starting the seminar. Today's seem far will last 90 minutes with 10 minutes allocated for speakers, and 30 minutes for question and answer.
If during the presentation you think of a question, type it into the smaller text box underneath the chat area on the ride side of your screen. Make sure you're typing in the thin text box and not the large white area.
Please make sure you send your question to everyone and indicate which presenter your question is for. The presenters will be unable to answer your questions during the presentation, but I will start off the question
and answer session with the questions typed into the chat box. Once we get through all the questions typed in the operator will give you instructions on how to ask a question over the phone.
If you think of a question after the seminar, you can send it to the presenters directly or I encourage to you use the freight planning listserv.
The listserv is an e-mail list and great forum for the distribution of information as well as a place you can post questions to find out what other subscribers have learned in the area of freight planning meeting.
The web address is showing on the slide on your screen. I would like to remind you the session is being recorded. A file containing audio
and visual portion of the seminar will be post to do the talking freight website within the next week. We encourage to you direct others in your office that may not have been able to attend to access the recording.
The PowerPoint presentations used during today are available for download from the file download box in the lower right corner of your screen and also will be available on line
and I will notify all attendees of the availability of the PowerPoints, the recording, and the transcript.
We're now going to go ahead and get started. Today's topic again for those of who you just joined success establishment surveys, and our first presentation will be given by John Fowler of the U.S. Census bureau.
As a reminder if you have any questions please type them into the chat area and we'll get to those in the last half-hour of the seminar.
With that I will turn it over to John.
Thank you, Jennifer, and thank you everybody for joining us today.
I will be talking a little bit about the 2007 commodity flow survey today giving you a little background on that and how we conducted it and look forward to any questions you might have at the end of all the presentations today.
2007 I'm sure at this flow survey is a little unique survey at the census bureau. It is part of our economic census conducted every five years but also conducted through a partnership with the bureau of transportation statistics at DOT.
Our goal is to measure the movement of goods in the U.S. by all modes of transportation at a very high level of U.S. state level ( indiscernible ) aggregation.
A little bit of background on how we conducted 9 survey itself.
We collected all the information throughout the data year in 2007 with a little bit of overlap in the end of 2006 and start of 2008.
The way we collected the information is each establishment in the survey is mailed a questionnaire once in each calendar dwr and a mailout mailback survey for the most part. Editing and data re review
and resolution began in early April of 2007 and really continued through just last month in preparation for releasing our preliminary data which I will talk about more later. Commodity flow survey is a sample survey
and actually we have three levels of sampling.
I would like to touch on each of those this afternoon. First it is a sample of establishment. And the establishments are selected among those in mining, manufacturing, wholesale, and selected retail and service industries.
We also include what we refer to as auxiliaries, and these are really warehouses of retail and other multi-unit establishment companies and support only those parent companies.
The second level of sampling for the commodity flow survey is the weeks of the year. We make sure we cover an entire 52 weeks of the year by breaking up the year into one week components
and each respond he wanted is responsible for reporting for one week in each calendar quarter, and that's how we get the four weeks of reporting from each establishment.
Probably the most unique feature of the survey is we ask respond ends on do the third and final stage of sampling in the survey.
We ask them and give them instructions how to conduct this, a sample of their outbound shipments for the one-week reporting period we assign to them. The sample is selected on a random basis
and on average respondent is going to report for approximately 23 shipments on any given report form. The most they can report on in the form based on the survey design is 40.
On each questionnaire and for each sampled shipment the respondents are asked to report information about each shipment or agenda nation, all modes of transportation and the order they occurred, the major commodity of the shipments,
value of the shipment, the weight and pounds of the shipment accident, and a couple new items on the commodity flow survey for 2007 one is we ask if it is intermodal shipment or not
and at the end of the fourth quarter we ask all respond ends a series of questions about third party logistics providers, three P L questions the slide there,
just to ask them about the supply chain information to see perhaps how that is changing.
We had hopes about the intermodal status dwe helping us identify that component of transportation but unfortunately the responses weren't of a quality we hoped for, so we probably won't be able to publish anything on that.
The problem was the respondents didn't quite understand the terminology as clearly as we would like.
In addition to those items we ask for additional information if the shipment is hazardous material shipment. We ask for the four digit United Nations and UNNA code on that. We've had great success with that,
finding that we really don't have to supply a lot of additional information to these respondents if they're shipping hazardous material shipments they know what the code is and can easily provide it,
and we have a high response rate on that item. For export shipments we also ask the respond end to provide the export mode, foreign city and country of destination. Both the UNNA code
and the additional export informational low us to ( indiscernible ) data for those types of shipments in additional ways that help provide insight to those components of the transportation picture.
You are core items are ton miles, average miles per shipment, and also have those characteristics by commodities shipped, by the modes of transportation, and by origin destination flows and many of our tables are two, three,
and even four dimensional tables crossing those characteristics.
New for the 2007 CFS are tables that are going to be shown by industry, and in this case the North American industry classification system. I am still used to calling it NACS.
We will have those tables for 2007 as well as coming out with the results of the third party logistics provider results.
We do publish the commodity flow survey results results at several different levels including the national level, census regions and divisions for all 50 states and dc district of Columbia.
We also have it for several metropolitan areas and remainder of state areas.
That should be approximately 60 to 65 or so areas. I don't have a complete list here, but if you go to some of the websites that will be highlighting later on, you can see the metropolitan area that is we had for the 2002 survey,
and they will be pretty much the same with few additional gateways we added into the sample selection process for 2007.
I mentioned that we do have additional tables and in fact a special report on hazardous material shipments as well as exports as part of our publications severs.
I want to talk a little about the improvements we made over the 2007 commodity flow survey. One of the biggest ones of course was an increase in our sample size from 50,000 in 2002 to over 100,000 establishments in 2007,
and we hope this will help a great deal with improving the quality of the data that we're going to be able to provide.In addition we conducted an advance survey in February of 2006. We had two targets.
First we had approximately 45,000 auxiliary locations which is almost all of them in our universe because we want to better identify those engaged in shipping and include only those establishments in our sampling frame.
This improved the sampling frame quite a bit and made the sample 67 more efficient.
In addition, we also mailed out to 40,000 certificate establishments, those are our largest establishments and contributed or to the CFS and want to make sure we had the proper mailing address
and the best contact information available for those and one of the things we found
and conducted in commodity flow survey is a key to getting the best data possible is find the best contact in the Company to respond to this particular survey, and a lot of other government surveys goes to just a financial area
or accounting area with our survey, best if it is goes to the freight transportation experts.
Another was cognitive testing.
We visited approximately 70 companies over several months, got their ideas and thoughts on improvements to the questionnaire, instruction guide, quality coding manual and so on and think overall we made a lot of improvements
and the form a lot easier to go through for the respondents. Also, we have a new disclosure avoidance methodology.
In the past we relied upon what we referred to as cell cu suppression which hasn't had a big impact on the commodity flow survey in the past but the potential impact was always there and if it was going to happen,
it was probably going to impact the publication cycle, so along with several other programs in the economic census,
the 2007 commodity flow survey is using using noise infusion methodology to be able to provide more cells to the data users.
Lastly, our data are going to to come out primarily on the American fact finder which is a web-based data dissemination tool census and our 2002 data was already put out there,
but this is really the first time we used the American fact finder as the release vehicle for our commodity flow survey, so we hope everybody will look into that
and give us any comments back on how they find that environment as far as the data dissemination goes. We will continue some of the print reports that we've had in the past for commodity flow survey, including the U.S.
has term shipments and export shipment reports. And we're very pleased to report that yesterday we released the 2007 preliminary report on the American fact finder and the tables are available.
Joyce is going to go over some of the results we published as well as provide some of the direct links on census side and BTS side where you can access the data, and now we'll work towards the release of the final series of data reports,
and that's scheduled for December of 2009 and we'll also take place on American fact finder.
That pretty much sums up what I had to say today. Here is a site we can look up a little bit more information on the commodity flow survey, and my contact information in case there are questions you think of after today's presentation.
Thank you very much.
Thanks. Thank you, John.
We do have one question and we'll get to it at the end. If anybody thinks of additional questions for John, feel free to type them in.
We're now going to move onto Joy Sharp of the bureau of transportation statistics.
Hi. John provided a nice overview of the background of the commodity flow survey and the methods used to collect the data. I am going to focus more on the data itself,
especially the preliminary release we released yesterday as well as providing a brief overview of the purpose and uses.
The object active of the commodity flow survey is to provide a comprehensive, multi-modal picture of national freight movement, and this includes producing data products at the national, state,
metropolitan area levels as well as producing origin and destination flows. A very important aspect of the commodity flow survey is that it represents the only available source of data for the highway or trucking mode,
and we know this mode dominates both in terms of value and tonnage on the freight that's been transported.
The next slide is just provides you with a sense of the type of ( indiscernible ) produced in the commodity flow survey, and these results were taken from the 2002 iteration. Essentially what we learned is that in 2002 on a typical day,
approximately 43 million-tons of goods valued at nearly $30 billion move nearly 12 billion-ton miles on our nation's transportation network.
The second bullet again emphasizes what was said on the previous slide in that trucking dominates movement of freight, and we learned in 2002 that about 74% or three quarters of the value of freight and 67%
or two-thirds of the weight removed by the highway mode. Then another important use of the commodity flow survey is that also provides one of the only available sources of hazardous materials shipped by the highway mode,
and from the 2002 survey we learned that about 20% or one fifth of all goods by weight moved were hazardous material.
Analysts and researchers use the commodity flow survey data for a variety of purposes. On the next slide just gives you a sense for what some of those uses are.
It allows us to do trend analysis to look at the movement of goods over time, also allows us to conduct economic analysis at a variety of levels, the CFS at a time a are also used for developing models
and analytic tools used for policy analysis and implanting these decisions and allows us to do forecasting for future demands for goods movements, and also for infrastructure and equipment needs and so forth,
so the commodity flow survey data is used by itself on a number of occasions, but it is also used through a number of value-added or derivative products, for example,
the commodity flow survey serves as the core data component for federal highways freight analysis framework and also used in a number of other private sector products such as global incited,s, Tran search.
John already highlighted a number of differences or improvements made to the 2007 survey, so I will just briefly go through or emphasize some additional ones.
First of all, we expanded the geographic coverage in 2007 to include major freight gateways. These included seven port areas, for example, Charleston and Savannah and also included two border cross areas.
We also included the coverage of certain industries that have previously been excluded, and examples are select retail establishments and service establishments,
and we also expanded the coverage of those industries shipping hazardous materials recognizing that it is begging more and more important for safety and security reasons.
We redesigned a form based on cognitive interviewing as John mentioned.
We also attempted to capture some additional information such as intermodal shipments and on third party logistics use. We doubled the sample size to assist with the reliability of the estimates,
and also to cut down on some of the suppression required in the data. We also expanded the ( indiscernible ) and computers' routines in our processing, and fairly importantly we introduced the new mileage calculation software,
and this software has some changes to the mileage calculation algorithms, and I will touch on a couple of these changes as we go through the table. Finally, the data product has also changed for the 2007.
As John mentioned we're moving more towards electronic system ( indiscernible ) and kind of get ago way from the paper products for the 2007 survey since this will be publishing the results on their American fact finder,
their own ( indiscernible ) tool, and BTS will also continue to produce electronic products on its website and a variety of formats.
I want to add for the preliminary results of a release yesterday there will not be a paper product.
Instead, the six tables released will be available on both the BTS and census website.
Again, the preliminary release consists of national level tables, there are basically six transportation characteristics characteristics
or attributes for each of these tables including the ones that those of you familiar with using the CFS data will recognize, those being mode, total modal activity,, distance, weight, and commodity
and again as John mentioned the new table that we're releasing this time around is the industry or NACs series of table, one in preliminary, and there will be a whole set of theories released for the final data.
Each of the tables consists of various shipment characteristics, value, tons, ton miles, which is simply a metric consists of multiplying the weight and distance and average miles.
Just as a cautionary note, I wanted to mention these data that we released yesterday are preliminary for the next nine months to a year we'll be continuing the process the data
and make some minor corrections to some of the anomalies we see, and probably more importantly the final data we also weight include another adjustment factor based on the information that's collected in the economic census.
The tables that we produce for the preliminary report tend to be those that are highly aggregated at the national level and fairly stable, so while these numbers in the tables will change,
they're going to remain relatively stable as compared to those that get down to the finer levels on both geography, below the national level, or as you cut and slide say the commodity
or industry data down to finer goods to lower levels of specificity.
The next several slides I just wanted to walk through the tables that were released yesterday. This is the first table, table 1, which is the mode of transportation. As you will see,
the basic layout of the tables are the same in that down the left-hand column we have the categories of the transportation character sticks, this being the mode of transportation or what the establishment reported on way of mode
or modal combination 6 how the commodity was shipped, and you will see the shipment characteristics going across the heading row where we showed the value many million says of dollars, the tons in thousands of dollars,
the ton miles in millions, the average mile per shipment and so forth. You will also see for new columns added to the right-hand side of the table and previous CFS publications we have provided measures of sampling error,
in this case called co-efficients, variation on, or relative strand error, but again these were previously produced in separate tables appearing at the back of the publication or in separate tables on the ( indiscernible ),
so this time around to get the data user a better sense of the accuracy or reliability of the instrument we're actually providing these in the columns to the right. And as a general sum the lower the CD
or co-efficient of variation the more reliability the estimated. We do have a rule in the commodities floor survey we do not show estimates that had a CB of greater than 50%,
and this is pause if you were struck the 95% competent ens interval, that estimate could be as low as zero or as much as twice as eye as the ( indiscernible ), so just view the data quality issues we suppress it.
Just a couple take aways on this table, and again these were just released yesterday. We haven't had a lot of opportunity to do even our own analysis as a result and some of the trends of what we see,
but just quickly comparing to the same ( indiscernible ) in 2002 what we're doing is in terms of value there there has been an increase of about 41% in terms of tons about 12%, and in terms of ton miles 11%,
and this suggests to us that the nation's infrastructure is continuing to be increasingly used for the movement of freight, and it also suggests that we're probably see some changes in the way that freight is being moved.
Table 2 is total modal activity table, and this differs from the previous table in that for the multi-mode components components shown in the first table, we actually break them down into their single mode component,
so in this table we only see the single mode. For example, for truck 24 includes the truck ton miles for those commodities moved only by truck as well as the truck component for multi-modal shipment.
The next tables, 3 and 4, we show the shipment characteristics by ranges of distance shipped, and then in table 4 we show the shipment character characteristics by the ranges and shipment weighs,
and this particular table not too surprisingly if you look at average miles per shipment, the lower weight tend to go the further distances with the exception of the theory lapped categories ( indiscernible ) over 100,000 pounds.
Table 5 is the new table that we talked about, the industry table, and we'll see down the left-hand column the NACS industry code. Just to know a caution to those of you who aren't used to using NACS,
this is a hierarchal industry classification system. There will be industry levels at the two tige, three digit, and four digit. Those within the three digit comprise the two digit and so forth,
so it is just a note to be careful that when you're using these data realize that some of the industries ( indiscernible ) broader industry grouping. This table clearly actually goes on for a few pages.
This is just the first page of the table from the web. Then finally table 6 is the commodities, and again from the national level we produce commodity information for two-digit levels commodity.
John mentioned we'll have a much more comprehensive final data release in December of 2009. The next year we'll be working on computing the processing and the waiting of the data for the time release.
We'll have data produced not only at the national level but eight metropolitan areas as well as ( indiscernible ) origin and destination flow tables. We also produce as we have in the past a special report on hazardous materials
and exports. Based on the information we collected this time on third party logistics provisions, we'll produce data on the extent services that are being use the by these establishments,
and we'll also be putting out some print publications. However, unlike the past where we printed paper publication for national, state, and metropolitan area, this time we'll only be doing three publications at the national level,
and it is for U.S. data, hazardous materials data and the export data.
Finally, for those of you interested in going onto the BTS and/or census website to obtain the tables, look for more information on the survey, these are the two links that you can visit.
The census website is -- that's your link to the American fact finder. Finally, if you have any questions or want to contact me after the webinar, my contact information is provided on the last line. Thank you.
Okay. Thank you, Joy, and I know everyone is rushing to get the web addresses. You can download the presentation on them and I will try to bring them back up at the end.
We're going to move onto our third presentation given by Johanna Zmud, EMEA Zmud and Chris of nu stats.
Thank you. Thank you, everybody, for participating in this. Nustats is presenting the state and local experience on establishment surveys.
At these levels freight surveys are done for three main purposes, policy decision making, improved understanding of freight movements, and for use in freight travel demand forecast modeling. Some studies have multiple purposes,
different purposes lead to different sampling units and to the collection of varying data elements.
It is not showing on my screen.
Okay. Here we go. Try it again.
I will move on and hopefully it will show up for me. Freight movements are considerably more complex than person travel at the local level, and change far more quickly than ( indiscernible ),
so there are significant challenges we need to address at the survey design stage. While there are many, I am highlighting three, sampling, instrument design, and data collection method.
Sampling challenges begin whether we try to define the commercial vehicle universe for a particular vai, goods only, services only, goods and services, ( indiscernible ) flow of goods.
In order to define and limit a specific target population we typically end up with a slice of the freight universe. The typical available sampling frames tend to have limitations that often lead to under coverage and over coverage errors.
Units are often missing from the frame because the rate at which the database has been updated may not ( indiscernible ) or turnover in the area or the universe is simply unknown. Also units may be erroneously included in the frame
or included more than once. This not only causes biases in the survey estimates but also is costly to survey execution in terms of budget and schedule as wrongfully included units are identified and started.
Calculating sample sizes for freight surveys is inherently more complicated than passenger travel surveys because establishment or vehicle attributes, trip rates, and other factors are more het genius than for households.
This causes complex compilations of sample size requirements and stratification approaches and often affects ( indiscernible ).
While there is more to discuss in terms of sample willing, I need to move onto instrument development. The complexity of goods
and services movements means there is an extremely large amount of information required to fully describe every aspect. In order to keep questionnaires short
and mitigate ( indiscernible ) it is almost impossible to collect all of the needed information in a single survey. Many studies we talk about two examples later in this presentation use a combination of two
or more approaches such as a driver survey together with a shipper survey to meet the research purpose. Complicating questionnaire design is the fact that a multi-police at this of agents influence freight movements including the shipper,
receiver, customer, carrier, and distributor. Each are all is a potential respondent, but almost no potential respondent has all of the required answers to our survey questions.
Most have limited or incomplete knowledge, and in our experience in making the first contact you get a lot of passing the buck before you find a respondent who is willing to participate
and qualified enough to accurately answer the question. More data collection challenges focus on the surveying method. While this session is on establishment surveys, it is rent positive to note local
and statewide utilize different approaches. Sometimes due to the specific research objectives and other times to factors in the local survey context that point to one survey method over another. For example,
most local surveys are constrained by the requirement to design, field, and prepare a database in a matter of months. We have commonly used three approaches to meet compliant needs. First, establishment surveys.
Here we typically survey shippers rather than receivers because shippers tend to be few inner number, easy to classify and characterize and easier to identify and locate.
Second are carrier surveys that gather data directly from operators or drivers often as a road site, weigh station or rest stop survey, and last our distributor surveys.
These are surveys of intermediaries such as warehouses, transportation terminals, or distribution centers. The latter are more complicated and costly than the former and our experience tends to focus on establishment
and carrier surveys. We now want to present three case studies to discuss how we addressed these challenges and practice. First, I will discuss a value of time survey of shippers conducted for policy making purposes.
My league EMEA will present a commercial vehicle travel diary survey that captured data to update a travel demand forecast model
and Chris will present a commercial vehicle driver survey that was conducted to understand freight movements on New York state highways.
This value of time survey of shippers was done for the Georgia DOT you under subcontract to HNTB. The purpose was two fold,
first to assess the continues of decision maker as ( indiscernible ) companies with respect for the need for truck only Tolling or TOTs
and second to calculate time for shippers as an important factor in designing the potential pricing structure. This survey was one of two done for the ( indiscernible ).
At the same time as the shipper survey we also conducted a truck operator survey, and the in the interest of time I will discuss the tripper survey. The universe for shipper survey was all trucking companies with vehicles having four
or more axles operating on the specific segment of I-75 that was the focus of the ( indiscernible ). Because we were concerned about under coverage of our survey universe, we used a dual sample approach. First,
we obtained an abstracts of trucking companies operating in Georgia and surrounding states from a database of all commercial trucking companies in the U.S. maintained by the motor vehicle carrier administration.
Second, we obtained other sample records via the truck operator survey we were doing at the same time.
That survey was done at weigh stations.
Our surveyers took a digital photograph of the door panel of vehicles stopped us about -- the employment database did not have information on fleet ownership and could not get access to the DMB records for the region.
Survey process was similar to a travel study diary study in that we mailed an advanced letter to the firm followed with an improvement call to screen for eligibility, and locate the person responsible for fleet management,
eligible firms were then recruited, but rather than sending the did diaries to them for completion,
we opted for a more personable approach in which we delivered them in person with the intention to reduce the opportunity for them to opt out of the survey
and to give us an opportunity to review the process for completing the did diary directly with the operators or the truck drivers. We also picked up
and retrieved the completed did diaries so we could ( indiscernible ) onsite incomplete data by talking directly to the operators of the fleet managers.
The diaries covered information including truck informing, driver information, and identified individual trips on the day of travel. Now we'll review a few of the issues and challenges that were associated with the survey. First,
the incidence was lower than we assumed it would be, and the employer database there were fewer firms meeting our universe definition.
The majority had two axle, four-wheel trucks instead of the two-axle six-wheel trucks. This assumed they made smaller deliveries deliveries or were service trucks.
If the firm did have vehicle that is met our definition the number of vehicles per firm were much fewer than we anticipated. Recognizing that the employment database would want provide us sufficient number of firms to meet our target,
number of diaries that we were hoping to complete and finding that the firms were that would qualify was like looking for a needle in a hey stack among our sample, we quickly looked to supplemental sample frames, and we identified three.
One was fleet seek which provided about 647 additional sample items, the ATA fleet directory provided about 330 sample items, and U.S.
data Corp yielded yielded 357 sample items. The sample frames helped us targeted firms with trucks we new would be eligible.
Another issue we faced, however, and which slowed recruitment was a high amount of noncontact rates. Our rule was to make at least 15 calls before retiring a sample item,
but to improve are the noncontact we researched firms with repeated no answer or disconnects to get new numbers, business company that is went out of business and we did get new numbers that way.
We made in person visits if we repeatedly got answering machines meaning that we would do recruitment in field, go to their place of business to find someone there instead of using the telephone.
We also used in-field recruitment in that we as we delivered diaries when we saw a neighboring company that had qualifying trucks, if it was in our sample frame we would also recruit them while in field.
These all stepped with recruitment but also added to our time for recruitment and data collection and did have an impact on costs.
Finally, overall we did meet our -- sorry. I got lost here. Overall we extended recruitment and data collection from four to eight weeks, and despite receiving fewer number of did diaries per participating firm,
we did collect sufficient data for the modeling effort. Our response rate was 21% eligibility 13%, and we did have a high refusal rate overall of 66%. Now I will hand it over to Chris who will share his experience with the final study.
Thanks, mi A the New York state department of transportation commercial of vehicle intercept survey being conducted on behalf of the New York State Department of transportation
and the New York state thorough way authority as strategic planning study data is currently being connected by Canada as U.S.
Canadian border crossings. It will be used for a myriad of purposes including but not limited to facility location, assessment of commercial vehicle parking, commercial vehicle routing, and traffic count locations.
Data collection was conducted in two distinct phases. The first occurred in April of 2008, and the second in September of 2008. Eligible respond he wants included drivers of commercial vehicles matching FHWA vehicle classes A through 13.
To a large extent it was based on the -- personal computers were used to collect the data in the field. The technology we used allowed to us geo code route origins and destinations in realtime and compute
and verify the route used by the driver at the time the survey was conducted. Data elements collected included but are not limited to vehicle facility and freight characteristics and driver attitudes
and opinions regarding parking availability, route choice, and facility amenities. Over 1,000 surveys were conducted with commercial vehicle drivers at New York State Department of transportation rest areas,
New York stated through way plaza and private truck stops. A total of 30 facilities were sampled statewide with two days of data collection occurring at each facility.
The next particular slide actually describes a couple of graphics that we see here. The one in the upper left-hand side shows a screen shot of the actual survey instruments, actually the introductory screen as was seen by the interviewers,
and on the bottom right-hand graphic is a screen shot of what the interviewer would see after they have collected a number of different origin destination locations from the commercial vehicle driver in the field at a rest area travel
plaza or truck stop. As I said, the technology we used allowed us to compute a route in the field during the time we were surveying the interviewer, and that is the screen that was actually showed to the commercial vehicle driver,
kind of looks like what you expect to see on Mapquest or Google maps once you identified a route. It allowed us to verify the route in the field and move on.
Probably the most challenging aspect of the survey was logistics.
30 facilities were spread out across the state, and we had to go to where the truck drivers were multiple times. As such there were a lot of travel costs involved. Further more the coordination required for the effort was massive.
With the need for constant communication between interviewers, law enforcement, NYSDOT and NYST A personnel, facility operators and the traffic count contractor as well. Survey participation was approximately 70%.
Given the high response rate was being a good listener.
During the time of the survey truck drivers were under the crunch of high gas and diesel prices and seemed to over shadow the curses at many times. It made it difficult to keep the survey length down.
Average survey length was actually approximately 16 minutes but some instances when we had a talkative truck driver that wanted to vent about gas prices or another topic the survey ranged as high as 30 minutes in length.
Properly trained and motivated staff was also key to the success of the project. Training occurred over a two-day period including classroom and mock interviewing facility. I will mention that nothing motivated surveyors like a paycheck,
and we did pay surveyors for more the effort than other field effort we're currently involved. In addition to paying an hourly rate we provided a per diem rate, sometimes if necessary lodging
and mileage reimbursement if there was driving involved from the home location to the interview facility site. Lastly ( indiscernible ) regarding refinement of methods.
In closing I believe we have seen there is some overlap in the challenges faced in the state and national level concerning the collection of commercial vehicle survey date amply there is no single method of sampling
or mode of data collection best suited for commercial vehicle surveys and the aggregate. Rather the specific goals
and data needs much each survey should drive how they're conducted as there is a wide variety variety of factors to affect response rates.
The last slide here simply has Johanna and me and my contact information and should any of you have questions in the near future regarding what we talked about today.
Thank you. We're going to move to the question and answer session now. We have a bunch of questions about the commodity flow survey. I do see a question I believe about the case study Mia was presenting, so I will start with that.
If you continue to think of questions for Johanna, Mia or Chris, type those in but the question for Mia is what is the MAG employer database and is it publicly available?
It is not necessarily the MAG employment database, it was the employment database for the MAG area I guess put out by Phoenix, and it was a publicly accessible database.
I am going to move to some questions for Joy and job right now -- John right now.
If you think of questions for the others we'll move back to those.
Most of these questions about the commodity flow survey I will put out to both of you and let either one of you jump in and answer. The first question was why were imports not included.
That may have been about the reports that were going to be printed, I think.
Imports aren't included in the scope of commodity flow survey as say U.S.-based establishment survey. We don't have the authority appropriate list, staff, or whatever to sample from those establishments and other countries.
What we do get in terms of imports are those domestic legs, so as an import or good comes into the country, and let's say it comes through a port and moves to a distribution center outside the port area,
that's where we would pick up the good, but in terms of sampling companies and other countries obviously we don't have the authority, sufficient list, et cetera, to do that. I hope that that's the question Eric was asking.
Okay. I am sorry --
I was just going to say, John, did you have anything to add to it?
No. I think that covers everything pretty well. One of the features is we really don't have a universe of importers we could really blend in there and would probably be a completely different industry coverage as far as that goes.
The next question, have you thought of adding a question on vehicle type? It would be helpful to link the type of freight transported by a specific vehicle class.
That hasn't really come up. I suspect there would be some issues in trying to add that to the commodity flow collection instrument.
Right now we break out truck, for example, into private truck and for hire truck which granted isn't that all that complex break out,
and yet we have a sufficient number of problems trying to ensure the quality of the minor breakout right there, and along with the fact that each shipment could be not just truck but rail or what we call parcel, waterway shipments,
things like that would be trying to target a very specific subset thereby adding that in that additional information, but it hasn't been really one of our priorities so far.
I agree with John in that I think it is the type of information, the level of detail that most respondents just don't have, and it is kind of the problem we ran into with trying to add the intermodal question this time,
is not only that the respondent didn't really understand what intermodal was, but in some cases they just don't know. They may know a truck of some type shows up at the loading dock, dock, puts the shipment or shipments in the truck,
but they don't know what happens after that, and it could go from truck to rail to some other mode, but sometimes they do,
but it is kind of surprising how much of the time they don't know that sort of basic information about how their product is being transported.
I think to add to that, this is Mike from federal highway office, that a lot of times the respond ends for the commodity flow survey are filling this out after the fact, most cases filling it out after the fact
and going through a list of records from the week that they're being surveyed for, and to ask a question like that at that point you really have a hard time getting any level of accurate data from the respondents.
Thank you. Are there movements by day of the week by state available?
No, there are not. That's very specific for a sample survey of this type even though we do identify when the shipments took place, the design is such that we're aiming to come up with annual estimate of the shipments
and not day by day day.
I think you may have answered this in your presentation, but if you could just mention again, what CFS '07 printed rosters will be created?
Just the three national level reports, the U.S. report, the hazardous materials report, and the export report unlike we have done in the past we will want be doing print publications for any of the state or metropolitan areas.
How are companies like UPS and Fed Ex handled?
I think again I hope I am answering your question, Elaine. The CFS again is shipper-based, so the establishments we have in sample are shippers. They're not transportation companies
and when it is about outbound shipments not shipments coming in bound. We do capture UPS and Fed Ex shipments if the shipping establishment and sample is using UPS and Fed Ex as their transportation provider,
but in terms of sampling the Company of Fed Ex or UPS, we do not do that. Again, UPS and Fed Ex shipments are included in our parcel shipment estimate.
When will the state data be posted on AFS?
State level data will be out with the final report series in December of 2009.
Are all MSAs included?
No. Essentially what -- the MSAs are typically based on those larger metropolitan statistical areas that were used in sampling and where we have sufficient enough data to publish, and I believe in 2002 we had around 64.
Right around there.
I think we have a few more this time around for 2007. John, you have some information on where you can go to find which MAs will be publishing data on?
If they want to, they can go to the 2002 commodity flow survey sites under either AFF or under our census.gov/AFS sites for 2002, and the M A level reports there would give you a pretty good idea of the level of MA that we cover.
As Joy mentioned there is a few more we added in for 2007. Mostly they're what we would call gateways, so maybe sheer not large in population size, but we think they have been increasing in terms of economic
and transportation activity so places like Beaumont, Port Arthur, Texas, Corpus Christi, Kingsville, Texas, El Paso and so on are broken out and included in the 2007 as separate MSAs we would plan to publish for.
Plus if they want a complete list and have trouble finding it anywhere on our site, they can always e-mail me and I can provide them that information.
It is also on -- we also have a listing of the metropolitan area reports from 2002 on the DTS website. -- the BTS website.
Do you release any information on single shipments?
No. That's a quick one. No. The reason for that besides just wouldn't be statistically significant is that we have strict confidentiality rules on that.
And in the past we have gotten a lot of requests for micro data or data at the shipment level,
but at least at this time in planning for the 2007 given the confidentiality restrictions that we're under it just doesn't -- there is just to way that we can ( indiscernible release that level of data.
What was the response rate and what incentives would you use to maximize responses?
Depends on what you want to call response rate. In fact, we're looking into the various measures and coming up with the best measure of a true response rate when you take into account the weighted components of the CFS
and how that comes into play. In terms of a straight return rate, mail back type of situation, I would say we approached 70%, very close to 70% each of the quarters on that.
What we did to try to increase that response rate was the survey as part of the economic sense success a mandatory survey.
Response is required by law, and we do in fact take note of the confidentiality aspects of the survey. That's something that ( indiscernible ) takes very seriously
and we think helps with our response rates across the board in all our programs. As well we did a mail follow up to all the respondents that were late in each quarter reminding them it was mandatory
and gave them a complete new package of forms and instruction guides and so on. As well Midway through the processing cycle if we had establishments and special larger ones that had not reported in either of the first two quarters,
we made calls to them, reminded them, see if they had any questions, needed special reporting arrangements and so on. Some of those folks took us up on our limited option this time around for electronic reporting capability,
and many of them were able to report based on just some secure Excel sheet reporting we provided to them
and we have plans to for a 2012 CFS we would certainly make electronic reporting a key component of our data collection base because more and more establishments are expecting that option.
Okay. Will the CFS origin and destination table be just total flow state to state or by state and industry?
Currently we are planning to produce flow tables by state and industry because the industry tables are new this time around we're going to have to look at the data
and make sure that states are ( indiscernible ) quality to produce but at the time this is our plan to do so.
We would still continue the data sets that we had before such as commodity by mode, by origin, by destination.
Another question. If you want to retype the question, I am not sure what the question is. I am not sure if it is any public data source is available containing information much each shipment?
There really isn't only in the aggregate form that we publish.
The only way to get the individual shipment information or micro level data is through our center for economic studies at census bureau,
and there is a process outlined on their website that could direct people to it if they're interested, but under certain conditions we do allow researchers to become sworn special status folks
and perform certain projects that would be a benefit to those census and the researchers to use the micro data and of course anything would be taken out of the center would have to pass that review as well.
Going back to the vehicle class question do you think it would be effective if establishment survey included a picture of the vehicle class type or if vehicle class information could be obtained would it be useful to others?
I would say yes and no. Again, for the commodity survey I am not too sure what the benefit would be of a picture given some of the reasons we had already stated, person filling the form a lot of times just doesn't know.
They don't see the truck. As Mike point out it is done retro spec actively after the fact.
Do I think it would be useful, it is more for the users to weigh in, but I could certainly see some potential for that data.
I would think if it ever did become an item on the commodity flow survey at the very least in the instruction guides and the web links and all we could include examples and photos, silhouettes of the types of vehicles, sure.
I will go back to a question for Chris now based on the case you present. Can you please expand your comment about no single type such as establishment, operator, or distributor or mode such as intercept, telephone
or web meets needs at the local level?
What I was trying to get at there is the fact that there is no single one method of data collection by itself or sampling methodology in and of itself that is suited for commercial surveys across the board at general level,
rather what I was trying to ( indiscernible ) is that definitely when coming up with research method for commercial vehicle survey,
once should really take a close look at the population that they're trying to capture data from as well as the environment, the survey environment so to speak, where you will be conducting the survey, the pros
and cons of each mode of data collection regarding response rate and potential costs, and then taking that approach in identifying the proper survey method to conduct your survey.
Going back to the CFS survey are the survey questions publicly available?
The questionnaire is currently on -- I see the link has been posted.
If you go to the www.census.gov/CFS website, you can obtain a PDF of the questionnaire directly from that site.
Okay. Mia actually sent me a sheet expanding on the MAG employer database and I will copy that in for everybody to see
and I don't see anything else typed in but we can open the phone lines now to see if anybody has questions over the phone. If the operator could give instructions on how to ask a question over the phone.
Thank you. We will now begin the Question and Answer Session. If you would like to ask a question, please press press star 1. Please state your name clearly when prompted. Your name is required to introduce your question.
To withdraw the request press star 2. One moment for the first question.
Our first question is from Eric Johnson. Your line is open.
Hi. I am wondering about the local surveys. This is basically question about participation by the respondent. What kind of -- how are the challenges with regard to the confidentiality and I know you talked about it a little bit,
but can you maybe add a little detail to that for our benefit?
Are you saying --
Well, they're not really -- this isn't a federally plan dated survey if you're going locally.
My question really is was really the response fairly easy with them seeing the logic and rationale for doing the survey and participating on that standpoint were the issues of confidentiality really a problem
or question that came up at all and if they were, how did you navigate around that with them?
This is really thinking about how to navigated around an interview with potential respondent and really defining when do you give up with them because they really don't want to tell you anything?
Right. Right. I think certainly confidentiality and concerns about privacy of information ( indiscernible ) confidentiality are there.
I think in the surveys of shippers that we did that even in some ways more constraining on response was just people's time constraint, number one, getting to the right person if you notice the noncontact percent
or noncontact rates that both I mentioned in the survey of shippers in Georgia and Mia mentioned in the survey of shippers in Phoenix, very high noncontact rates, just not being able to get someone at the phone.
I think a lot of these companies are sort of mom and pop companies, and so they're multi-tasking doing lots of different things within the organization,
so I think just the type of firms that were surveying a lot of times at the local area are impact response. Obviously once you do get a person, then you need to doing the having a letter
or having some sort of way of documenting the survey as being done for the local public agency does help certainly,
and then just as you would in any normal survey letting the individual know that the information will be held in confidence and that there are methods of separating identifiers from survey data is very important.
I am wanted sure that it is really -- I am not sure that it is really -- I am trying to get to this idea of when you know that the it is privacy of information that they're concerned about as opposed to other factors going on at that
particular time. What we find,
and that's why I am saying I am not sure that privacy is as big an issue sometimes as just time constraints because I know if we go back to the same individual who has said that they don't want to participate for whatever reason at time
A, if we go back sometimes two weeks later or three weeks later, that person will participate or if we go back in person rather over the phone that person will participate, so we haven't changed the concerns about privacy.
We just changed the time of which or the context in which we're making the survey request. I don't know if that answers your question.
( laughter ).
I will reopen the line.
I won't answer any more questions.
( laughter ).
I show no questions at this time. (Operator Instructions).
Why don't we see if anymore questions come in on the phone and we do have another question typed in. The DOT sends out a team to each business establishment in communities of 5,000 or more in population.
The business contact is already being made to collect dated a for associate economic data for modeling. Are you aware of state DOTs including freight data surveys with the establishment surveys?
Does the person define a freight data survey?
I am confused by the freight data and ( indiscernible ).
Maybe if you want to call into over the phone, maybe if you wanted to expand on your question a little bit more, that might help.I believe it is star 1 for saying anything over the phone.
I am showing no questions at this time.
Okay. I think that question came from Mary Lee mall low. If you want to over the phone or type in any more information to expand more on what you mean by freight data surveys. In the meantime I don't see any other questions typed in,
and I don't think we have anything else over the phone.
Mary Lee did just queue up. Her line is open.
Yes. The idea that I was wondering about is having like a two-page freight data survey that would be added to the already developed establishment surveys, and they collect sober owe economic data -- social economic data -- well,
they collect it for a town, and they broke it down by how many students, how many people, live in a -- how many housing units there are, et cetera, et cetera, but they actually visit the businesses,
and in along with that I thought it would be useful to then connect freight data to that business asking certain things such as what type of -- what's the weight, how often is your shipment, when is the shipment.
I mean, I have a list of different things that could some of you already used those same types of data in your surveys, but have it like on a two-pager they could finish, and we've already got them there and just have them fill that out,
find out the weight, maybe the vehicle type, and then we could use that information and we would know at least what's going on within our state,
and we would know which shipments are local versus which ones are passing through cl we do -- which we do know some of that but it would give us more of the local information. Does that explain what I was missing?
Sounds like you already have a survey ( indiscernible ) .
I personally am not aware of any state DOTs who do that, but that's really not my background or where I would necessarily be aware. One thing I would mention is there is always a danger when designing survey
or data collection instruments, and that because you do have the contact sample and a limited pot of funds to collect data, there is this propensity sometimes to want to do it all with one thing,
and a lot of times that kind of -- that can back fire on you and that either you increase the burden on respond end so much that they're not willing to participate at all
or especially in the case of an establishment survey it is hard enough to get to the right person that can answer a limited or more focused set of questions, so in terms of whether or not other states are doing this, I really don't know,
but just in terms of trying to design something that might be multi-purpose, you know, again I would just caution be careful because your response rate and your quality of data could suffer as a result.
I would echo that. This is John Fowler. What kind of rang a bell was back before the commodity flow survey we had a imhod at this transportation survey -- commodity transportation survey,
and I believe they tried to change the methodology on that to make it less burden some and sort of more summary level type of approach as opposed to shipment by shipment we have now
and at least in the 783 version that far we really weren't able to publish anything because of reliability and quality issues on that, so Joy is right.
There are real dangers in trying to come up with a quick summary version of types of freight, might be able to supplement something with a quick question or two and still make it worthwhile depending on your specific goal,
but just have some caveats, I think.
I would say if we do have any state DOTs the call and have any thoughts, anything like that, feel free to type it into the chat area or get in touch with Mayor Lee and discuss that more listserv
and is another area you can send the information over. Do we have any other questions over the phone?
No other questions at this time.
I think we're going to go ahead and close out for today. I would like to thank all of our presenters for today's webinar. Really good turnout today and I think it was a good topic and good presentation.
The next seminar will be held on January 21st. We're still in the process of finalizing the topic for that seminar, so it is not available for registration yet,
but more information will be sent out through the listserv as soon as is becomes available.
With that we're going to end for today, and thank you, everybody, and have a great holiday and happy new year.