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Rail freight service productivity from the manager's perspective


  • Martland, Carl D.


To be beneficial to management, productivity concepts must be translated into terms that are meaningful to managers at all levels of the organization. Productivity per se is not nearly as important to these people as service quality and financial performance, especially since measured productivity can improve while profits or service levels decline. Productivity must, therefore, be related to an integrated set of performance measures that reflect costs, revenues, trip times and reliability, equipment availability and other matters of continuing concern to transportation companies. Planning and control are critical components of any program to improve productivity. The techniques required to measure and understand productivity are precisely those used in planning and in developing control systems. Furthermore, productivity is conceptually very close to cost analysis, which is a major focus of planning and control. Any transportation company has access to the data needed to develop a vast array of performance measures, including many productivity measures. This paper will illustrate the way that railroads can integrate productivity concepts within more global performance measurement systems. Specific attention will be given to terminal control systems, costing systems for origin-to-destination movements and life-cycle costing techniques for track maintenance planning.

Suggested Citation

  • Martland, Carl D., 1992. "Rail freight service productivity from the manager's perspective," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 457-469, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:26:y:1992:i:6:p:457-469

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    Cited by:

    1. Ferreira, L., 1997. "Planning Australian freight rail operations: An overview," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 335-348, July.

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