Comparative Contact Methods in Freight Establishment Surveys Session Presentation Abstract

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Comparative Contact Methods in Freight Establishment Surveys
Session Presentation
Karl Sturm1, Kouros Mohammadian2
Abstract
This paper describes the methodology and results of a recently completed online freight
establishment survey. The survey was designed shed light on freight shipping practices and to
further develop an associated freight demand microsimulation model. The demand model is then
be used by elected officials and transportation planners to better inform investment decisions. In
dealing with the well known difficulties in securing survey responses, a variety of approaches
were implemented. The individual success rates and financial costs of such contact methods as
personal telephone calls, web crawling, and mass e-mailing are detailed in this paper. In all, over
115,000 contacts were attempted in all 50 U.S. states, resulting to date in 438 usable surveys,
with 559 individual shipment forms completed. This level of response rate indicates both the
difficulties and the expense involved in collecting information considered sensitive by potential
respondents, and the importance of maximizing one’s response rate using proven methods.
Key words: Freight Transportation, Travel Survey, Online Survey
1
Graduate Student, University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Civil and Materials Engineering, 842 West
Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60607-7023, Tel: (312) 996-0962, Email: [email protected]
2
Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Civil and Material Engineering, 842 West
Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60607-7023, Tel: (312) 996-9840, Fax: (312) 996-2426, Email: [email protected]
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