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Research Project

Developing Performance Measures for the Illinois Maritime Freight Transportation System

This report provides the framework needed for Illinois to establish goals and performance standards to better utilize commercial waterways – Lake Michigan, major rivers and the canal network – to transport agricultural products, chemicals, petroleum, coal and other freight.

The objective of the research is to provide recommendations for the development of a performance measurement system for general freight transportation as well as specifically for maritime freight transportation in Illinois.

Principal Investigator
Ginsburg, Robert
Research Area(s)
Policy Analysis
Funding Source
Illinois Department of Transportation


The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) commissioned this report to assist IDOT’s efforts in developing performance measures to improve the maritime freight transportation industry in Illinois. The report includes data on the nature, size, and benefit of the maritime freight industry. There is a brief focus on the state of Illinois’ role in freight operations in Illinois’ ports and waterways, and an examination of performance measurement systems used in other places to improve maritime freight transportation.   The development of performance measures is essential to the federal government’s Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), the most recent surface transportation authorization bill. Download the "Developing Performance Measures for the Illinois Maritime Freight Transportation System" study.