Office of Operations Freight Management and Operations
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Cost Benefit Analysis

The Office of Freight Management and Operations sponsors economic research on the benefits and costs of transportation improvements and the development of new and better methods for making investment decisions. Research and analysis undertaken by FHWA are highlighted here.

Tool for Operations Benefit Cost Analysis (TOPS-BC)

The FHWA Office of Operations Tool for Operations Benefit-Cost Analysis (TOPS-BC) is a sketch-planning level decision support tool for benefit/cost analysis of Transportation System Management and Operations (TSMO) strategies, including freight.  Freight-related strategies are included, including: 1) Electronic screening, credentialing and permitting systems (including weight-in-motion); 2) Real time traffic, truck parking and reservation systems; 3) Off-Hours Delivery; 4) truck climbing lanes; and 5) truck-only lanes.

Benefit Cost Study

The Freight Benefit/Cost Study project has gone through three phases of development. Phase I focused on developing the theory and logic. Phase II determined the sensitivity of a firm to infrastructural investment on a national level. Phase III established the approach, sensitivities and data inputs required to calculate long-term benefits of highway-freight infrastructural investment on a regional level and will investigate the construction of a tool for state and local entities to estimate additional benefits derived through logistics rearrangements from highway performance improvements.

  • Freight Benefit/Cost Study: Capturing the Full Benefits of Freight Transportation Improvements (Phase I) [HTML, PDF 385KB]
  • Benefit Cost Analysis of Highway Improvements in Relation to Freight Transportation: Microeconomic Framework (Phase I) [HTML, PDF 1.27MB]
  • Freight Benefit/Cost Study: Compilation of the Literature (Phase I) [HTML, PDF 902KB]
  • FHWA Freight BCA Study: Summary of Phase II Results (Phase II)
  • Freight Benefit/Cost Study: Phase III - Analysis of Regional Benefits of Highway-Freight Improvements (Phase III) [HTML, PDF 513KB]

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