Railroads have the largest percentage of intercity freight ton-miles, but motor carriers have the largest revenue. How do you explain this relationship?
While Railroads have the largest percentage of intercity freight-ton miles, this does not necessarily mean that they would have the largest revenue. While the railroads are hauling a greater amount of goods the costs associated with railway transportation are less expensive per freight ton compared
to motor carriers. This can be attributed to the fact that the trains can carry larger loads and that the trucks are able to take good directly to their destinations. So while the trains are carrying more goods, the motor carriers are still able to generate a greater revenue due to the fact that they are more versatile, even with smaller loads. This is especially true for intercity travel because the trucks can be quicker and more efficient than the railways in shorter distances.