Characteristic Fixed Infrastructure Variable Costs
Examples Highways, rail tracks, airports, ports Trucks, railcars, planes, ships
Ownerships Mostly public Mostly private
Lifespan Very long (decades) Short to average (5 to 20 years)
Rate of change Slow Rapid redeployment
Impact on service Shapes accessibility Shapes level of service
Competition Level the playing field Source of comparative advantages
Source: adapted from J. Cortright (2001) Transportation, Industrial Location and the New Economy: How Will Changes in Information Technology Change the Demand for Freight Transportation and Industrial Location? Impresa Inc., March.
Fixed and Variable Costs and Service in the Transportation System