Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
Good afternoon or good morning to those of you to the West. Welcome to the Talking Freight Seminar Series. My name is Jocelyn Bauer and I will moderate today's seminar. Today's topic is Updates to the Quick Response Freight Manual. Please be advised that today's seminar is being recorded.
Today we'll have two presenters: Tianjia Tang of the Federal Highway Administration Office of Highway Policy Information and Dan Beagan of Cambridge Systematics.
Dr. Tang serves in the position of Division Chief for the Travel Monitoring and Surveys Division with FHWA's Office of Highway Policy Information. Prior to his current assignment, Dr. Tang was a transportation specialist with the Office of Freight Management and Operations. Before joining the Federal Highway Administration Headquarters, Dr. Tang worked in FHWA's Resource Center where he provided technical assistance to State DOTs, MPOs and various other organizations in areas of travel demand modeling and transportation conformity. Prior to his Federal tenure, he had over ten years experience in private consulting and State DOT works. Dr. Tang is a registered professional engineer in the State of Georgia.
Daniel Beagan is a principal at Cambridge Systematics with over 31 years of experience in various aspects of transportation planning. In addition to his role as the lead author for the Quick Response Freight Manual Update, Mr. Beagan developed and instructed NHI's Freight Forecasting course, was the principal investigator for the development of a Statewide Freight Forecasting Toolkit, which will be published in 2008 as NCHRP Report 606, and worked on freight plans and/or models for many state DOTs and MPOs. Mr. Beagan has first hand knowledge of the needs of state DOTs and MPOs. Before joining Cambridge Systematics in 1998, Mr. Beagan directed transportation planning for the state of Massachusetts and for the Boston and Brockton MPOs.
I'd now like to go over a few logistical details prior to starting the seminar. Today's seminar will last 90 minutes, with 60 minutes allocated for the speakers, and the final 30 minutes for audience Question and Answer. If during the presentations you think of a question, you can type it into the smaller text box underneath the chat area on the lower right side of your screen. Please make sure you are typing in the thin text box and not the large white area. Please also make sure you send your question to "Everyone" and indicate which presenter your question is for. Presenters will be unable to answer your questions during their presentations, but I will start off the question and answer session with the questions typed into the chat box. Once we get through all of the questions that have been 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 you to use the Freight Planning LISTSERV. The LISTSERV is an email list and is a great forum for the distribution of information and a place where you can post questions to find out what other subscribers have learned in the area of Freight Planning. If you have not already joined the LISTSERV, the web address at which you can register is provided on the slide on your screen.
Finally, I would like to remind you that this session is being recorded. A file containing the audio and the visual portion of this seminar will be posted to the Talking Freight Web site within the next week. We encourage you to direct others in your office that may have not been able to attend this seminar to access the recorded seminar.
The PowerPoint presentations used during the seminar are available for download from the file download box in the lower right corner of your screen. Additionally we have the Quick Response Freight Manual up there on the file share pod as well that can be downloaded or you can look into the chat area where I have posted a link to where you can go and see the freight manual online at the Federal Highway Administration Office of Operations website there. The presentations will also be available online within the next week. I will notify all attendees of the availability of the PowerPoints, the recording, and a transcript of this seminar.
We're now going to go ahead and get started. Today's topic, for those of you who just joined us, is Updates to the Quick Response Freight Manual. Our first presentation will be a brief introduction given by Tianjia Tang of the Federal Highway Administration Office of Highway Policy Information. As a reminder, if you have questions during the presentation please type them into the chat box and they will be answered in the last 30 minutes of the seminar.
Good afternoon or good morning if you're on the West Coast. Again, this is a Tianjia Tang. While I was with the Freight Office, I led the updates to the Quick Response Freight Manual. The objective of the freight manual is two fold. First it is to provide new practitioners knowledge on modeling and planning. Second, it is to provide practitioners a quantitative method, the equation and parameters to do quantitative analysis. If you have ever tried to write a book through a large committee, I am sure you know how that process, how challenging that process is. Well, the freight manual, the qrfm is a big book, a large book. It is a huge challenge for us for the committee. Without cooperation and team work from the members, there would be no such success in publishing of this book, so I would like to acknowledge the folks participated and contributed to the successful delivery of this update. From the Federal Highway Administration Bernadette Dupont, Kentucky Division, Spencer Stevens, Eric Phil, Lorie Lau, and Sara Sun. From the State DOTs Richard Nordhal from California DOT, Lynn Soporowski from Kentucky DOT, and Andy Moore from Pennsylvania, and Vidya Mysore from Florida DOT. Last but not least our program manager from Cambridge Systematics, Dan Beagan. Without Dan's cooperation, Dan's leadership, there is no such manual, so on behalf of the team I would like to say thank you, Dan, for your superior performance on this job. Now I am going to turn to Dan to give you the presentation.
Thank you, Tianjia, and thank you to those who are posting questions. Feel free to post any more that you have. And now we're going to move onto our next presentation given by Dan Beagan of Cambridge Systematics.
Good afternoon and again good morning to those of you on the West Coast. I would be remiss and I hate to sound like a mutual admiration society, but I also want to thank the State and MPO partners that helped on this, the FHWSA staff and Tianjia as well. It has been a pleasure to work on this project.
What I am asked to do today is provide highlights of the Quick Response Freight Manual update, It contains a wealth of information, and I hope you take advantage of that in the months and years to come. As Tianjia mentioned, it is an update of the 1996 manual, so I am just going to briefly talk about what is in that manual, spend the most time talking about what is in the current update to the manual and then conclude with lessons learned that I think might be appropriate.
The original QRFM manual was prepared back in 1996. If has been a widely used and well-received document. The original purpose of the freight manual was to assist transportation planners newly charged with doing freight planning, to provide them background information on the methods used to introduce them to freight data and to provide some transferable parameters for incorporating freight in traditional four-step planning or do site planning. It has been wildly successful. The way the manual was organized back in 1996 was to provide chapters on a variety of topics dealing with things such as simple growth factoring, methods, data collection, and some short case studies because there wasn't that much doing way back then. Probably the most popular part of the chapter was incorporating commercial vehicles into urban models. The formulas, the methods, the equations in the Quick Response Freight Manual have been widely adopted into urban transportation, planning and state transportation planning models to the extent that if you look at many of documentation for the model prepared in the last ten years, you will find that many of them will define their truck purpose as "Quick Response Freight Manual" trucks.
But it has been ten years. It is time to update the manual. There has been a great deal of advances in the practice since that time, and FHWA wanted to take advantage of the updates and prepare a new manual. The idea was this time to provide a freight manual that was appropriate for different geographic and temporal scales, recognizing there are different sized areas with different resources and capabilities, and also that there needs to be recognition of the different time periods that people need to avail themselves of in conducting freight planning. And to provide some alternative analysis methods, to identify what data sources might be available, and to generally assist in how people can do freight planning and incorporate it into their regular practice. In terms of the contents of the manual, when you download it, as I hope you will, you'll find that it is organized in four sections. We'll go over each of those four sections to at least provide you some idea of what you can expect to find there.
The first section deals with an introduction, and general principles of why freight planning is -- how freight planning is done, and here the intent is to try to go over the five "journalistic" questions of "who", "what", "why", "where" and "how" to indicate how freight planning is conducted with the methods being used because if you understand those things, you can find out what elements you have to incorporate into your freight models. If you understand the economic factors that are involved in producing freight, you can make sure that your trip generation equations or trip distribution equations incorporate those economic factors. If you understand the modes that are being used to carry freight, you can make sure that your mode split equation and travel demand networks incorporate those modal networks.
The second part of the manual is organized into a variety of chapters focusing on the methods of transportation planning with a freight focus. The first chapter, which is the only one I won't deal with in-depth in this presentation, deals with some simple growth factor messages. As you can imagine those are trend analysis, and the only thing that I urge people to remember is that you only use trending and forecasting if you think the future will be like the past, so if you have a new automobile plant, don't expect the past is going to be a good indication of how freight is going to flow in the future.
What I would like to talk about is in-depth some of the different methods available in transportation planning. The first one is four-step models. Now, most transportation planners are familiar with the four-step process as it is used in passenger planning, and what we try to do is organize this section to indicate to people that the methods you're familiar with in passenger world, trip generation, distribution, mode split and network assignment are essentially the same kind of methods you would use in freight forecasting as well. The primary difference is that instead of forecasting person trips, you'll be forecasting tons of freight. Otherwise you would generate those tons of freight, you would distribute them to various destinations, you would calculate what modes are being used to carry that freight, and you would eventually assign it to the modal networks.
The process is very similar to what you would be doing for passenger vehicles. The four-step models have become more sophisticated over time, and we provide some examples of how the equations that were in the original freight manual have been updated over time. People have developed friction factors for passenger models for years. Those replicate the kind of average trip lengths and the kind of impedances that you find from surveys. You have the ability to do that same kind of thing for freight. Those freight friction fcator equations have become more sophisticated. You can see from the medium truck equations from Puget Sound. It is more complicated than exponential of factor minus .01 times time. Same thing for the heavy truck function. The idea is to fit your data area into a process that is very similar to what you would do for passenger forecasting. The other part that I think I would like to make a note on is in the assignment step. Truck models and freight planning generally have to accommodate the fact that trucks don't always behave exactly like automobiles, like the other cars on the road. When you believe that trucks do not change routes in response to congestion, they should either be preloaded to the network, in an assignment reflecting that they don't aren't going to be given the opportunity to change the route, or possibly doing assignment as a post load after the automobiles have been assigned and you have some idea of what the congested times are. That is, calculate the path being used for the freight trucks, but don't allow them the opportunity to change their route. However, if trucks do change their route in response to congestion, you might consider doing it as a multi-class or simultaneous assignment. In that case, the manual points out some of the things you have to be concerned about. If you are including trucks with all other vehicles in your assignment, it might be appropriate to consider the Passenger Car Equivalent of trucks. Trucks are larger than automobiles. It is quite common to give them a weighting of 1.5 to 5 in terms of Passenger Car Equivalents depending on traffic conditions and grades. If you do change to Passenger Car Equivalents, do remember you also have to adjust the capacities on the links. If the capacities in your model are expressed in vehicles per hour, make sure you convert them to passenger cars per hour. If an All Or Nothing assignment is not quite the way you think the things are being done, then you may want to try to assign trucks not to allow to change a route but have a wide range of routes, the models generally provide an ability to do stochastic assignments. You can take advantage of reasonable routes per travel based on how you define that and not necessarily allow them to change their route in response to congestion. However, if you do want to do a multiclass assignment where trucks are treated in exactly the same way as all other vehicles and can change their route in response to congestion, it is certainly another option available to you.
The manual points out there is another class of Commodity models that focus on an alternative way to come up with trip tables that you use in freight forecasting. The first two steps of the four-step process are designed to come up with the rows and the cells of a trip table. It is also possible to get the trip table from alternative sources. The commodity flow databases available commercially from the federal government provide information about the kind of freight flowing between origins and destinations that is often expressed in annual tons and may have to be converted into daily trucks. It also is limted, particularly for trucks to only the trucks that the freight database defines as being used to carry freight. It will not include trucks that are being used for service, utility, or other purposes, nor will it include a lot of the trucks that are being used in urban goods movement. Quite often the freight databases exclude truck that is are serving retail establishments, commercial offices or households, so you have to be careful when you are using the databases to understand what it is you're getting in terms of truck flows. But once you have that understanding you can easily convert it into a trip table that you can use in the rest of the process. That's where you have the advantage of taking that trip table, doing mode choice, mode split in that the same way you would with a trip table developed from a regular four-step process and assigning it to modal networks once you have the flows between various zones by mode. Since it is a trip table that you're obtaining from another source, to develop forecast, you have to factor the table. You will not have employment equations you can toss into a trip generation to come up with productions, and there are ways and many states and MPOs have used way to say factor the table based on employment and population and other economic conditions in their areas.
While those are probably the two main classes of models, the four-step process and the commodity approach, many people will find that they want to adopt a hybrid approach to take the best of some of these various techniques. Quite often the commercial vehicles are calculated separately. Those vehicles will include the service trucks, the garbage trucks, the utility trucks, the urban goods movement, but they're done as part of an internal trip table and handled separately. Whereas the commodity information is used to be able to provide the information for the external flows, the flows going to, from or through your region that might be hard to come up with through some other process. Quite often if models are being used to do just truck modeling, obviously trucks are a mode in and of themselves. In that case you don't have to do the mode split step so you really have a three-step model. If you're going to be doing four-step commodity flow models, you can incorporate a variety of factors into that in terms of how those -- that information is going to be collected over time.
One of the things you have to be sensitive to is that you are need to come up with some conversion factors to convert from annual tons to say daily trucks. You have to be sensitive to some of the conversions from annual to daily- seasons of the years, but it is a powerful technique that many areas we have found are doing and those techniques are documented in the book. There fortunately are case studies that have been included in the chapter, as well as more detailed case studies we'll talk about later, to give you an idea of how you do this hybrid approach. Some of the issues have you to deal with in the hybrid approaches are, as I mentioned, you don't always get all of the freight flows that you would expect to find in these -- all of the truck flows you expect to find. You have to be careful because the commodity flow databases are expensive or difficult to process, so if you either don't have the budget to afford these commodity flow databases to turn into a hybrid approach or you don't have the resources to be able to process a free database, this approach may not be the best for you.
Another class that we talk about in the freight manual is economic models. It is probably easiest to think of these as equivalent to the land use modeling in passenger planning. Just as in passenger transportation planning, population and employment can move around in the area depending on how the transportation improvements and the congestion that might arise in your area. Here you have the same opportunity in freight planning as well. The difference being perhaps that in most land use models the location and size of core employment is already predefined and can't move. The idea in the freight economic models is that those core industries will respond to changes in the transportation system and the models will incorporate how that employment in your area is competing with other more distant areas and how that may change over time. The examples that we provide indicate how these are quite often incorporated in passenger planning as well, because the way people respond to changes in transportation system is not terribly dissimilar to the way freight responds to changes in the transportation systems. So the economic models often are included within a land use context as well.
One of the other important parts that we want to talk about in the manual is how you validate the various freight forecasting tools that you might have available to you. There is a discussion of how you might generate some of the trip generation processes: comparing it against trip rates from national averaging; comparing it against other business sectors and other local models and data you might have available; how to compare the trip distribution validation, what are you getting in terms of average trip length against data you might have by different geography or sectors; checking how well the model compares to survey records that you might have available. In terms of mode split-, how well is your model replicating the kind of changes you might expect based on changes in travel, cost, and in providing freight service. And in doing the assignment validation, how you might change your all of the components to match flows on observed screen lines. I am showing the graph from the one of the validation manuals on the slide to indicate to people that freight is really just another observation. The process of developing these error rates, what is an acceptable error for certain kinds of models versus observations, was developed on a statistical basis, and it doesn't recognize the different classes of vehicles that are out there, so just because if you're willing to accept a 30% error at 45,000 AADT, you shouldn't be saying, that, well, I should be accepting 35% error for 4,500 AADT because for trucks because trucks are only 10% of the flow. The trucks count the same way as all other vehicles when you read along that axis and you would therefore tolerate a higher error rate for 4,500 trucks than 35%..
Part C of the manual deals with the various data sources that you might have available to you. There is a wide variety of data sources available for freight planning with which you may not be familiar. The good news is most of those dat sources are free. All but one of the databases we discuss in the manual are available from the federal government or other sources at no cost. Of the commodity flow databases we touch on, the one for a fee database is Global Insights TRANSEARCH database which is one of the more widely used and cited freight databases, but there is also the Freight Analysis Framework (FAF) database that is provided by the federal government. FAFprovides data at less geographic specificity, and a different commodity system, but it that commodity system is also used by the US Census's Commodity Flow Survey. You can find more modal specific data from many of the federal agencies that are responsible for regulating the flow of freight. From the Surface Transportation Board, you can find the Carload Waybill Survey that provides detailed information about the origin and destination flow by commodity of rail goods. From the Army Corps of Engineers, you can find the Waterborne Commerce information that will provide similar information for goods carried by water. And,from Federal Highway Administration, you can find the Vehicle TRavel Information System, VTRIS, and I will talk about most of these in a little more detail. For the employment and industry data there is information available from the U.S. Census, from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that will provide information about the kind of employment you have by industry and how that relates to the various commodities that are being moved by freight. You can also have access in many cases to source data if you contact your state labor bureaus. State DOTs and MPOs often find they can cut a deal with those agencies to get access to what otherwise would be confidential information. Since your interest is largely in aggregating that data to a large scale anyway, and not looking at individual firms and employees, you can have access to,what generally is called the ES202 data to find out what industries are producing receiving and shipping freight in your area. Another source for economic data is the Bureau of Economic Analysis that provides income information. Performance data can generally be obtained from state DOTs. It will provide data in terms of the kind of volumes that are being moved by particularly by truck, but also includes FHWA's Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) data.
The VTRIS data, which you may not be familiar with but it is out there, provides all of the information that the Federal Highway Administration collects from vehicle classification counts and the Weigh In Motion information that's being collected nationally, so if you want to find out the flow for a particular geographic location or particular classes of road in your state, that information is readily accessible. It is, however, not a be all and end all. It will not provide you information about the detailed payload of particular types of goods because VTRIS will provide no information about what's included inside the truck or even how packed the truck could be. It does not provide any information about the weight of the truck itself and for freight planning purposes your interest is primarily in what is the load that's being carried. While you can make some educated guesses about that from the VTRIS system, for instance looking at the slide if you look at the three-axle trucks, you can probably make a guess most of those trucks weigh at least 20,000 pounds and move the curve to the right to get an idea of what the pay load distribution is. Similarly you can do that with the five-axle trucks and say that they probably weigh out at about 30,000 pounds and shift the curve to the left. That is a generalized assumption. You really don't know that. The trucks and the trailers can weigh from 30,000 to 40,000 pounds and if you try to estimate what is going on from the charts, you might miss that. One interesting thing you can pick up from the VTRIS system is the dual peaks in weights of the five-axle trucks where you can almost see where the fully-loaded trucks are and how widespread those are at about 80,000 pounds which is the legal load limit in most states.
I mentioned that the federal government provides the Freight Analysis Framework for free, and I recommend that you do visit the website and download the data sets available to you there. You'll find that while it does not include all trucks, it does include those trucks that are considered by the commodity flow survey and others to be carrying freight, and it also includes international origins and destinations. So if you have an interest in knowing what are the international origins and destinations by seven major regions of regions of the world to and from your area, that information is available on the FHWA website through the Freight Analysis Framework. The map on the slide shows the region for which FHWA provides that information. Those regions are the states and the 50 or so largest metropolitan areas within those states, and also international gateways. International Falls, Minnesota, as shown on the maps is obviously not considered to be one of the top 50 urban areas, but it is an international gateway of flows coming to and from Canada. The Freight Analysis Framework does use a commodity flow classification that is different than you would find from the TRANSEARCH or the older FHWA Freight Analysis Framework 1, FAF1, data. FAF2 uses the SCTG, often pronounced "skating" commodity code definition, which is widely used in NAFTA reporting at the moment. The Commodity classification system corresponds fairly well to the industry classification that's now commonly used by the U.S. government in the County Business Patterns (CBP), the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS). That CBP employment information is available also to you for free on the various websites that are quoted in the manual. It will provide information by industry in terms of the number of employees and the number of establishments by size that are located in various industries going down into excruciating detail of those industries, down to I think about the three or four digit NAICS level, more details than you're likely to be interested in, and it will also provide that at different level of geographies. It will provide it for the entire United States, for states, Counties, metropolitan areas, and zip codes. The one drawback with the data set is that because of the proprietary nature of the information collected from the filings by firms, the federal government has to suppress some of the information at the geography or the industry levels become more detailed. It does provide establishment information so you can at least provide a rough guess as to the size and the activity in the particular areas you're looking at.
The Army Corps of Engineers does provide a Waterborne Commerce database that provides information about the value and flow of service on U.S. waters. It does provide information about imports and exports, and in a great deal of detail. You can see that it provides information for ports as small as Stamford harbor. I am not showing that because I think Stamford, CT is a major port but just because it happened to be something where you could fit the entire record for Stamford on the slide. You notice it does provide a breakdown of the various commodities. You will also want to note that the commodity classification system that the Army Corps uses is different than the classification system that the FAF and the Commodity Flow Survey uses are different, that are different from what the Surface Transportation Boards's rail Carload Waybill uses, etc.. It is an example of why can't we all get along together., A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, it would be nice to all refer to commodities using the same numbers.
There are times where data collection, collection, data that you can provide for yourself from existing data sources may not be sufficient. You may be looking to get at seasonal information, time of day information, or information on specific corrdiors or specific to your local area that you can't get from the existing sources. The manual provides the discussion of how you can provide vehicle classification accounts to get the information. I hope I didn't give you the impression that vehicle classification counts such as those maintained by VITRIS are not useful in freight planning, were tremendously useful in identifying where are the high truck volume corrdiors, and the high volume truck corrdiors will be largely be the ones that are are carrying freight. They may carry other activity as well, but you can be fairly confident they're also going to be significant freight corrdiors.
If you have the opportunity, if you're not either constitutionally or policy prohibited from doing roadside intercept surveys, that is an excellent way of just stopping freight vehicles, largely trucks, and asking the drivers what are they doing, where are they coming from, what's the content of their load, what's the weight of their load, etc.. You can get information that you might not have access to otherwise. You certainly can't get from the trck volume counts themselves, and can have some idea of being able to make that information specific to certain corridors, so what are the performance, what are the pay loads on certain corridors in your region. You might have the opportunity to do establishment surveys, looking towards particular portals, doing gate counts, looking for large shippers and asking them questions about how many employees they have, what are the nature of the loads that are coming in, what times of day are they active, various things that might assist you in doing your transportation planning or preparing your demand models for free. The Cadillac of all of these is to do a travel diary, putting a diary in the hands of operators of freight vehicles, largely truck drivers, in much the same way that you would do a personal household travel diary on the passenger side, to try to get an idea of how the trips interact with each other, what's the average trip length, what's the amount of freight being generated by certain kinds of land use that is those trucks stop at.
The last thing that the manual is organized to do is talk about some practical applications, some of the difficulties you might have, some of the issued you might face in doing freight transportation planning. The first thing that the manual looks at is some of the application issues.
I mentioned before in growth factoring, to be very careful when you're doing a trend line analysis of traffic counts or growing a commodity flow database, to be aware of the fact that if you're applying growth fcators you are assuming that the trends that you're observing will exist in the future. We've seen people try to apply growth factoring to an existing trip table where the flow is zero because there is no freight activity, no buildings at the zone in the base year, and certainly factoring a zero is going to always end up with zero. Be careful when you're doing growth factoring.
Some of the issues associated with four-step modeling are just the ability of try to get all of the dated a you need, how you want to incorporate the information into your network, your zone structures, if you are going to be including freight in forecasting, you may have to have a different zone structure for freight as opposed to passenger modeling. Freight often has more of a national focus. You have average trip lengths of hundreds if not thousands of miles where as your passenger trips might be confined to a much more focused urban area and you can provide different scales for the forecasting within a four-step model. You have to be concerned about how you convert the freight flows, and if you are doing them in a four-step modeling and a multi-modal four-step modeling, you'll be using a unit that is dimensionless like tons so you can then allocate it to the various modes, Be sensitive how you have to do that conversion from tons to the various freight vehicle that is are moving out there.
Also that there is an issue of how you integrate freight forecasts into passenger forecasting, certainly for trucks, we may talk about a truck network but they're moving on the same highways automobiles are. If you're going to be able to properly account for the congestion that trucks experience in that case you have to model them together with other passenger vehicles. Those of us in the Northeast know that passenger trains often get delayed by freight trains and that kind of interaction should be accommodated as well.
Let's turn to the case studies. We provide details for four different models and one of the nice things about ten years having passed is there has been a great deal of effort on the part of many urban areas, and these are not the only four cases, but they're four we thought would provide insights on how freight modeling can be done. The Los Angeles freight model is perhaps interesting in that it uses a concept of Transportation Logistics Nodes to get at the how freight moves from one mode to another. You can almost look at it as a commuter rail station for freight. How do you change from a long distance trucks to urban distribution trucks, how do you switch from a railroad to a drayage truck. The Portland metro model is one that appears to be somewhat of a hybrid model in that it incorporates the commodity flows from a larger area as a way of informing the internal/external flows. The Florida state model was a largely four-step commodity-based model that does focus primarily on trucks. It does calculate the other flows by water and rail, but frankly doesn't provide a use for them. The Texas statewide model on the other hand, while it is not a national in scope, it does provide a rail network where the rail calculations for mode choice within the state of Texas can be assigned to a rail network.
The last chapter in the manual deals with intermodal considerations. What are the things that are important to be concerned about in drayage? When we're talking about freight moving by rail, by water, by air, the terminal where it lands is not the place where freight it going to be consumed. Quite often and almost always the freight will have to travel the last miles of its trip in a truck. What are the things you have to be concerned about? You first have to be aware of the fact that there are going to be those modal interchanges from sea to truck, from rail to truck, and have you to understand where those facilities are located and the kind of movements that are going to be associated with those. You may find that some of the intermodal exchanges will occur for international cargo and may have to have customs clearance or security clearance involved i that is going to dictate where and how those movements are going to be made. You have to understand the characteristics of intermodal transportation. The QRFMII manual goes over the kind of things you might want to be concerned about in terms of container size of the boxes that carry freight, some information about the intermodal chassis used by truck to say haul those boxes, some information about the intermodal yard terminal equipment used to lift trucks and how those intermodal containers and how you might be able to use that in some of your forecasting process. In some databases, intermodal trips are listed separately as a particular movement by rail and also for truck drayage movements. Lisitt drayage movemtns separtelyt is very good for doing assignments since you know where the intermodal exchange is located. It doesn't however provide you any linkage between those trips. The Freigth Analysis Framework does provide information about truck-rail movements or truck-sea as a particular mode, but it doesn't give you information about where that trip is being made. This is suited for doing mode choice analysis, but perhaps less well suited for being able to do assignment since while you know that the modes are linked, you don't know where the exchange occurs.
Those are the chapters in the manual, and I hope you have the opportunity to peruse it and make use of it in your freight transportation planning. What I wanted to leave you with is some of the lessons I think we picked up and wanted to communicate briefly in the Quick Response Freight Manual. Freight is more than trucks. For those of you who have been primarily concerned about developing truck models, freight also moves on rail, water, air, and that is something that has to be included in certainly national models, state models, and some limited extent in urban models as well. But trucks also carry other things than freight, so the plumber's trucks, the garbage trucks, the Fed Ex trucks out there may not be incorporated in the freight information you're using to develop your freight models.
For those of you familiar with doing passenger modeling, you do have a paradigm that you can use to develop freight models. Freight follows most of the same steps you would use in passenger modeling. Instead of dealing with passenger trips, you deal with tons. Instead of dealing with auto occupancy you delal with payload factors. You can provide a framework where you can think of how freight planning needs to be done based on the passenger transportation planning that you're already familiar with.
There are many sources of freight data out there. We touched on many in the manual. Most of them are available for free. Do take the time to become familiar with some of the data sources and how you might be able to use them. And as you can pick up from the manual itself, there are many approaches to freight modeling.
One of the things that the first Quick Response Freight Manual was mistaken for was as being an instant freight manual, where you could just take the factors that are included in that manual and go off and do freight planning. It is unfortunately a little more complicated than that. The QRFM II is an attempt to give you some guidance, but you're going to have to adapt whatever information to your local urban areas. With that I would like to conclude it, and open it for questions.
Thank you, Dan. It appears as though we have not had too many questions here. We have had one question that was sent to me privately that probably would be helpful for everyone to hear. We're wondering if there are going to be hard copies available of the manual.
The answer is no. Actually it will be available -- it is available for download on the website and also available for download through that file share as a PDF that the user can print, but other than that, that's the only way.
All right. Well, I think we're going to go and try the audio questions now and since we haven't had many if any chat questions, and see if maybe there is folks out there who have some remaining questions to ask. Fran, could you read the instructions on that now.
Of course. If you have a question over the telephone lines press star 1 and record your name. I need the name to introduce for the open line. To withdraw press star 2. [Operator Instructions] On the telephone lines I have no questions.
Okay. I saw a question come in here on the chat box. Federal Highway has guidelines for traditional model calibration and validation. Will Federal Highway produce any similar guidelines for freight modeling? Tianjia, would you like to take that?
I think we did have a chapter on validation in the manual, and I think that one of the things we would like people to take from the QRFM is that the validation standards apply to a statistical base, and it is based on model flows versus observed flows, and the same standards apply for freight whether the vehicle is an automobile or a truck or both. I am not sure there needs to be a whole lot more standards for validation. If you're validating your model in the same fashion as FHWA's model validation standards prescribed, you're really validating your freight manual to model to acceptable standards as well.
This is Tianjia. On the current we do not have plans to develop guidelines on validation.
Thanks for addressing that. I haven't seen any others come in on the chat box. I reposted that link because we had to switch out chat boxes there, so if you missed it, it is up again. Is there anything on the phone line?
No. I still have no questions audio.
Okay. Then I guess we will just close out for the afternoon. Thank you all for attending today's seminar. The recorded version of this event will be available within the next week on the Talking Freight website.
The next seminar will be held on March 19 and will be about Tolling and Pricing. If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to visit the Talking Freight Web Site and sign up for this seminar. The address is up on the slide on your screen. I also encourage you to join the Freight Planning LISTSERV if you have not already done so. Enjoy the rest of your day!