Midwest FreightView and the Great Lakes Maritime Information Delivery System: A Resource for the Regional Analysis of Intermodal Freight Flows

Quarterly Reports Other Documents Final Report
Final Report

Primary Investigator

Peter Lindquist
Department of Geography and Planning
University of Toledo


Midwest FreightView and the Great Lakes Maritime Information Delivery System is a comprehensive data repository and information clearinghouse in support of Great Lakes maritime commerce.  This multifunctional resource integrated in a geographic information system focuses on relating economic spatial data with commodity flow data and traffic patterns in order to effectively document and explain patterns of economic activity among all major sectors of the regional economy with an emphasis on their linkage to freight movements.


The main objective for the system is to update and maintain a long-term database and data distribution system that is available for state transportation agencies, regional planning agencies, port authorities and economic development organizations, as well as other interested decision makers and stakeholders within the region by serving as an information resource for public policy decision-making and for drawing the link between maritime freight movements, economic viability, and environmental quality throughout the region. The system is designed to be a diversified web-based information delivery site that houses a detailed data repository consisting of 1) vessel movements and commodity flows, 2) port and dock functions, 3) regional economic activity, 4) regional population/socioeconomic patterns, and 5) environmental impacts.


  1. Expand data resources in the Midwest Freight Data Repository by including new data sources such as port and dock facilities and by increasing the geographic region to include all states in the Mississippi Valley Freight Coalition.
  2. Implement technical support services for users that improve user access and that allow the team to track who is using the data.
  3. Deploy analytical tools that involve intermodal routing models and location analysis.
  4. Link transportation flows to regional economic data including regional, national, and international input-output data to create a profile of commodity flows for the Midwest region.
  5. Use the system to identify the location of existing manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution systems and identify relationships among suppliers, manufacturers, and customers. This is critical to see supply chains emerging within the region and between the region and the rest of the U.S. and with the global economy.
  6. Preliminary assessment of commodity flow categorization by mode.

Project Information

  • Duration: 60 months
  • Dates: October 1, 2007 – September 30, 2012
  • Budget: CFIRE: $500,000 (Total: $1,000,000)
  • Student Involvement: Nine graduate students
  • Modal Orientation: Multimodal
  • Project ID: CFIRE 02-33
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