Vol III, Issue 2  February 2007

Upper Mississippi and Illinois Transportation Demands
NETS Researchers Kenneth Train, PhD, University of California at Berkeley, and Wesley W. Wilson, PhD, University of Oregon and Institute for Water Resources, have published two final draft reports for Upper Mississippi and Illinois Transportation Demands, one focusing on agricultural products and the other on non-agricultural products. The reports are now undergoing independent peer review. In the survey examining decisions of agricultural shippers, both revealed-choice data and stated-preference data were used. The study captured two other features: (1) ethanol production and its effect on both demand for corn as an agricultural commodity and its use as an additional transportation fuel and (2) the use of mixed logit, an uncommon feature in freight market demand studies. The second report examined results of a survey of non-agricultural shippers and an analysis of the associated choice and volume responses as a function of changes in rate, transit time, and reliability. Data was limited to stated-preference data and the estimated models were separated into mode/destination choices and volume decisions.

Fact Sheet
Agricultural Survey Report (pdf, 1.05MB)
Non-Agricultural Survey Report (pdf, 2.17MB)

Port Efficiency and Trade Flows Report Accepted for Publication
A modified version of Port Efficiency and Trade Flows was recently accepted for publication in the Review of International Economics ( You are leaving a Federal Government web site. Click this icon for more information.) In this paper, Professors Bruce Blonigen and Wesley W. Wilson develop and apply a method to estimate port efficiencies and then tie these into trade. The approach uses detailed data on U.S. imports and associated import costs, yielding estimates across ports, products, and time. These measures are incorporated into a gravity trade model, where it is estimated that improved port efficiency significantly increases trade volumes. Growing international trade and increasing congestion focus attention on trade facilitation. Ocean ports are a central and necessary component in facilitating trade. This paper addresses the limited comprehensive information available on the efficiency of ports and its effect on trade.

Fact Sheet | Report (pdf, 472KB)

Determining System Capacity to Accommodate Grain Flows by Rail
A November 2005 report on Determining System Capacity to Accommodate Grain Flows by Rail to the Mississippi River at St Louis has been published as a NETS report. In it The Louis Berger Group, Inc. documents findings obtained from interviews of major grain terminal operators operating in the St. Louis area (conducted during the period11 November to 28 November 2005). Among the most significant findings are that the majority of all grain coming into St. Louis is transported by truck, not rail, for a variety of reasons, none having to do with rail capacity or transfer facility capacity, and the majority of grain loaded on barges in St. Louis is destined for New Orleans export markets.

Fact Sheet | Report (pdf, 645KB)

Global Grain Model Workshop Conducted
A Global Grain Model workshop was conducted on February 14 and 15 in St. Louis, Missouri. The workshop was hosted by the Corps Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP) project delivery team. NESP is evaluating waterway improvements on the Upper Mississippi River system and is using the Global Grain Model , a NETS product, as one of its evaluation tools. The objective of the workshop was to share model inputs and function with Upper Mississippi River stakeholder groups and to solicit ideas regarding potential model input values to be used in development of traffic scenarios. Dr. William Wilson, Global Grain Model developer, presented details on the model to an audience that included representation from agriculture, the barge industry, and conservation groups.

Fact Sheet
Global Grain Model (pdf, 3.17MB)
The ACE Grain Flow Model: Background, Model and Data (ppt, 1.83MB)
The ACE Grain Flow Model: Results and Discussions (ppt, 3.6MB)
Scenarios for Grain Model (ppt, 29KB)

American Economics Association Meeting Presentations
Wes Wilson presided over a standing-room only crowd for the “Spatial Modeling, Discrete Choices and the Costs and Benefits of Transportation Network Improvements” session at the American Economics Association meeting in January. These presentations are now available on the NETS web site:

Overview (ppt, 15.5KB) | Agenda (pdf, 12.6KB)

Transportation Demand Modeling: Econometric Analysis of SP Experiments Constructed from RP Choices (ppt, 5.52MB)
KENNETH TRAIN, University of California-Berkeley
WESLEY WILSON, University of Oregon

Spatial Modeling in Transportation: Railroad Pricing, Alternative Markets and Capacity Constraints (ppt, 695KB)
SIMON ANDERSON, University of Virginia

International Trade, Transportation Networks, and Port Choice (ppt, 293KB)
BRUCE BLONIGEN, University of Oregon

Congestion at Locks on Inland Waterways: An Experimental Testbed of a Policy of Tradable Priority Permits for Lock Access (ppt, 560KB)
JOSEPH COOK, National Economic Research Associates
CHARLES PLOTT, California Institute of Technology

VAN KOLPIN, University of Oregon
Comments on “Spatial Modeling in Transportation…” (ppt, 41KB)

KENNETH BOYER, Michigan State University
Comments on “Estimation on Stated-Preference Experiments Constructed from Revealed-Preference Choices” (ppt, 29KB)

NETS Fact Sheets Print to PDF Real-Time
NETS activity fact sheets on the web site now have a real-time “print to pdf” function. The pdf is created on the fly with current information housed in the NETS database. You can print the fact sheet on your local printer or save it to your desktop. The link is at the top right of each NETS fact sheet. A book of all NETS fact sheets is available at the following link:

NETS Activities


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Navigation Economic Technologies Program, US Army Corps of Engineers