Factor Rationale
Economy General derived demand impact. Linked with the GDP. Function of the structure of the economy in terms of resources, goods, and services.
Industrial location Effect on ton-kms and on modal choice.
Spatial structure Effect on ton-kms. Function of international trade structure. Containerization and intermodal transportation.
International agreements Both concerning trade and transportation. Economic specialization. Increased transborder traffic. Simplified custom procedures.
JIT practices and warehousing Decreased inventories. More shipments. Smaller line hauls. Shift to faster and more reliable modes. Use of 3rd party logistics providers.
Strategic alliances Between carriers, shippers and often producers and retailers. Lower distribution costs.
Packaging and recycling Increased transportability of products. Lower freight density. Reverse distribution.
Regulation and deregulation Increased competition, level of service and lower costs. Growth of intermodal transportation.
Fuel costs, taxes and subsidies Large and volatile cost components, specifically for energy intensive modes. Preferred mode or carrier.
Infrastructure and congestion Efficiency, operating costs and reliability.
Safety and environmental policies Operating speed, conditions and costs. Capacity and weight limits.
Technology Containerization, double-stacking, automation and robotics, handling and interchange systems and automated terminals. Information systems (IDE). Lower costs, increased efficiency and reliability and new opportunities.
Source: adapted from Cambridge Systematics (1996) Quick Response Freight Manual, Federal Highway Administration, Office of Planning and Environment Technical Support Services for Planning Research, http://tmip.fhwa.dot.gov/clearinghouse/docs/quick/Quick.pdf
Factors behind Freight Transport Demand