Analysis of inbound freight to Newfoundland

Batstone, Paul S. (1990) Analysis of inbound freight to Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The prime purpose of this research was to analyze the historical patterns of inbound general freight to Newfoundland by mode of transport, to identify the socio-economic factors which chiefly influence the inbound traffic, and to develop and test a forecasting model. A secondary objective was to investigate and test several non-causal forecasting techniques whose results could be compared with those of the model tested. -- The approach to this transportation planning topic was guided by the well developed method of analysis used in traffic engineering and urban transportation planning. Having reviewed the literature and collected a suitable data set, a preliminary statistical analysis was conducted. This was followed by the application of linear regression with the appropriate testing of the underlying assumptions using the t-test, the F-test and the Bartlett's test. Other methods used included the calculation of simple ratios of traffic volume to the various socio-economic factors, and time series and smoothing techniques. -- The historical pattern of general freight to Newfoundland has demonstrated constant growth over the last 20 years with considerable variability in the split between the rail, truck and direct shipping modes. Current inbound traffic by all modes is in the order of 1 million tonnes annually. Using multiple linear regression, the combination of population and the value of retail trade was found to influence the inbound traffic to the greatest extent. Simple ratios of inbound traffic to selected socio-economic employment ratio demonstrated the least difference between forecast and actual value. -- The best straight line fit was found to be the combination of population and the value of retail trade with the use of regression analysis. The resulting equation had an R-Square of 80%, which is considered an acceptable degree of accuracy for the industry, and intuitively made sense. The predictions calculated from non-causal techniques resulted in similar orders of accuracy. -- In a broader vein, it was also concluded that the analysis of freight transportation issues has been inhibited in the past by the lack of data at the regional and national levels. -- A logical extension of this research is further application of the classical transportation planning process; that being the analysis of modal choice and traffic assignment. The use of one or more of the qualitative methods of forecasting should also be investigated. This was felt to be particularly important since the rail mode in Newfoundland has been eliminated and a newly regulated transportation environment is evolving. -- Key Words: freight; freight demand; freight forecasting; freight transportation; general freight; modal choice of shipping; modal split; mathematical modelling; operations research; regression analysis; statistical applications; time series; transportation engineering and transportation planning.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5311
Item ID: 5311
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 181-188.
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: 1990
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Freight and freightage--Newfoundland and Labrador--Mathematical models; Choice of transportation--Mathematical models

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