Understanding and Modeling Freight Stakeholder Behavior

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Research Brief Final Report

Primary Investigator

Jessica Y. Guo
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1206 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706


This project will develop a conceptual model of private-sector freight stakeholder decisions and interactions that impact freight demand and that are impacted by policy variables and system conditions. Using East Central Wisconsin as a study area, empirical models will be estimated for selected elements of this conceptual model that are fundamentally significant to the production/attraction, spatial distribution, and modal split of freight movements. The empirical results will be used to formulate recommendations to the ECWRPC on freight planning and demand model enhancement.


  1. To develop a comprehensive representation framework of freight stakeholder decision-making processes for forecasting freight demands in response to key policy variables.
  2. To develop behavioral models of selected freight-decision dimensions, identify the underlying behavioral determinants, and make policy/investment recommendations.
  3. To develop recommendations on ways of enhancing and verifying East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission’s (ECWRPC) current freight demand model.


  1. Review the literature on behavioral analysis of freight stakeholders as well as on logistic and transportation decision-making.
  2. Develop a representation framework of private-sector freight stakeholder activities, decisions, and interactions.
  3. Conduct interviews and focus groups to verify and enrich the representation framework.
  4. Define the scope of analysis, identify the data needs, and review available data sources.
  5. Develop data collection method and conduct surveys.
  6. Prepare data and develop analysis plan.
  7. Estimate models for selected aspects of freight stakeholder behavior.
  8. Prepare policy/investment and model improvement recommendations.
  9. Prepare project report and summary.
  10. Revise and finalize project report and summary.

Project Information

  • Duration: 24 months
  • Dates: September 1, 2008 – August 31, 2010
  • Budget: CFIRE: $150,000; Total: $157,700
  • Modal Orientation: Multimodal
  • Project ID: CFIRE 02-06
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