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Service Quality and Motor Carrier Costs: An Empirical Analysis


  • Allen, W Bruce
  • Liu, Dong


This paper overcomes the long-standing problem of measuring motor carriers' service quality by utilizing service quality data collected from shippers. A service quality controlled cost function is estimated for a sample of less-than-truckload motor carriers. It is shown that excluding service quality variables from cost estimation significantly underestimates carriers' scale economies. These scale economies enable large carriers to offer higher quality services at competitive or even lower costs than small carriers. Copyright 1995 by MIT Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Allen, W Bruce & Liu, Dong, 1995. "Service Quality and Motor Carrier Costs: An Empirical Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(3), pages 499-510, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:77:y:1995:i:3:p:499-510

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. KONISHI Yoko & Se-il MUN & NISHIYAMA Yoshihiko & Ji Eun SUNG, 2012. "Determinants of Transport Costs for Inter-regional Trade," Discussion papers 12016, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    2. McCann, Philip, 2001. "A proof of the relationship between optimal vehicle size, haulage length and the structure of distance-transport costs," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 671-693, September.
    3. James M. MacDonald & Michael E. Ollinger, 2000. "Scale Economies and Consolidation in Hog Slaughter," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(2), pages 334-346.
    4. Milton Madison & James MacDonald & Michael Ollinger, 2000. "Technological Change and Economies of Scale in U.S. Poultry Slaughter," Working Papers 00-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    5. Ollinger, Michael & Ralston, Katherine L. & Guthrie, Joanne F., 2012. "Location, School Characteristics, and the Cost of School Meals," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 37(3), December.
    6. David Levinson & Michael Corbett & Maryam Hashami, 2004. "Operating Costs for Trucks," Working Papers 000024, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    7. Ollinger, Michael, 2009. "The Cost of Food Safety Technologies in the Meat and Poultry Industries," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 48783, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    8. Rich, Daniel P., 2004. "6. Productivity, Technical Change And Labor Relations In Transportation Industries," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 109-135, January.
    9. Díaz-Madroñero, Manuel & Peidro, David & Mula, Josefa & Ferriols, Francisco J., 2010. "Enfoques de programación matemática fuzzy multiobjetivo para la planificación operativa del transporte en una cadena de suministro del sector del automóvil = Fuzzy Multiobjective Mathematical Programm," Revista de Métodos Cuantitativos para la Economía y la Empresa = Journal of Quantitative Methods for Economics and Business Administration, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Quantitative Methods for Economics and Business Administration, vol. 9(1), pages 44-68, June.
    10. Tsubota, Kenmei, 2015. "Agglomeration and directional imbalance of freight rates : the role of density economies in the transport sector," IDE Discussion Papers 488, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    11. Alberto Fernández & Benito Arruñada & Manuel González, 1998. "Quasi-integration in less-than-truckload trucking," Economics Working Papers 292, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2002.

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