In the mid-continent transportation corridor, a study of electronic border clearance technologies found that benefit-to-cost ratios for motor carriers range from 85:1 to 718:1
Date Posted

Analysis of a Multi-State Corridor Deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems for Commercial Vehicle Operations

Summary Information

The purpose of this conference paper was to quantify the benefits and costs associated with public and private deployment of ITS/CVO (Intelligent Transportation Systems and Commercial Vehicle Operations). The survey was limited to the states in the mid-continent transportation corridor along interstate highway IH-35 from Duluth, Minnesota to Laredo, Texas. Three ITS/CVO functions were analyzed during the study:
  • Electronic Credentialing
  • Electronic Screening
  • Electronic Border Screening

To evaluate the benefit-to-cost (B/C) ratios for each of these technologies three different growth scenarios (conservative, expected, and aggressive) were analyzed to account for future market penetration . These three scenarios were then evaluated against estimates of high and low deployment cost to account for large-scale as well as small-scale motor carriers.

Electronic Border Screening

Electronic Border Screening data was collected from the United States Customs Service and the Border Trade Institute at the Texas A&M International University. The data was used to determine the northbound and southbound border traffic at Laredo from 1990-1995. Motor carriers benefited greatly from the deployment of electronic border screening due to the long delays typically encountered at border crossings. State agencies also benefited as enforcement methods were made more efficient.

The cost to carriers included the price of transponders and communications equipment. The cost to state agencies included the cost of AVI readers, WIM scales, and other equipment and maintenance support. The resulting benefit-to-cost ratios were exceptionally high due to the significance of border delays.

The B/C ratios for motor carriers and state agencies were combined to give the following overall results for Electronic Border Screening.

Market Penetration with Low-Cost Initial Deployment
B/C ratio
Conservative Growth
Expected Growth
Aggressive Growth

Market Penetration with High-Cost Initial Deployment
B/C ratio
Conservative Growth
Expected Growth
Aggressive Growth
Goal Areas