Vol III, Issue 6  June 2007

Non-Agricultural Transportation Demands
NETS researchers Kenneth Train, PhD, and Wesley W. Wilson, PhD, have issued a final report documenting “Transportation Demands for the Movement of Non-Agricultural Commodities Pertinent to the Upper Mississippi and Illinois River Basin.” The results of a survey of non-agricultural shippers provided considerable information on stated preference responses. The survey was stratified by commodity and by distance to the waterway. Among the findings were that (1) both the choice and the volume models provide strong evidence that shippers respond to changes in rate, time, reliability, price, and distance and (2) in mode choices, there are statistically important differences with respect to rail shipments compared to truck and barge shipments, but little, if any, differences across commodity groupings.

Fact Sheet  | Report (pdf, 2.7MB)

Transportation Demand for Agricultural Products in the Upper Mississippi and Illinois River Basin
Researchers Kenneth Train, PhD, and Wesley W. Wilson, PhD, report on a survey of 480 agricultural shippers located in a 10-state area to examine shippers’ choice of mode and destination and their decisions regarding the volume of shipments. Choices of mode and destination were examined using both revealed and stated preference data collected in the survey. The choice model estimated was framed around shipment attributes and shipper attributes. The shipment attributes were the price received, rate paid, shipment time, and reliability. The shipper attributes included both rail car siding capacity and elevator storage capacity.

The survey solicited stated preference responses to changes in shipment attributes, including the next best alternative to the shipment made to a destination by mode. Questions were framed to solicit information on the responsiveness of annual volumes to changes in shipment characteristics. The analysis featured use of a mixed logit model. Washington State University Social and Economic Sciences Research Center conducted the survey and it was overseen by NETS researcher Kenneth Casavant, PhD.

Fact Sheet | Report (pdf, 1.5MB)

Genetic Algorithm Enhancements Completed
Navigation System Simulation Model (NaSS) researchers Shiaaulir Wang, Ning Yang, and Paul Schonfeld, PhD, completed the third in a series of Genetic Algorithm optimization process enhancements. Their third report documents enhancements specifically tailored to optimizing waterway enhancements, the addition of a demand function to the SIMOPT model, improvements to the genetic algorithm search process, and exploration of using parallel computing with the GA process.

Fact Sheet | Report (pdf, 661KB)


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