FastPath 2 Will be Put to the Test in the Philippines News Feed

Second-generation diagnostic tool has broader and more refined applications

May 12, 2014—Experts from Nathan Associates are getting ready to evaluate how well certain products are transported through the Philippines. Those products could include cacao, coffee, bananas, seaweed, mango and shrimp. Led by Transport Economist Daniel Perea, a team of analysts will focus on three transport “corridors”: roads connecting production areas to ports on Mindanao, the multimodal terminals that connect Mindanao with the western and central nautical highways, and transport links between Mindanao and Cebu, where many agricultural products are processed for export. They will also assess whether developing an export corridor on the island of Palawan is viable.

The Nathan team—consisting of Mauricio Posada, Peter Cook, and Asaf Ashar in addition to Mr. Perea—will be using FastPath II, the second generation of Nathan Associates’ tool for diagnosing and analyzing the performance of transport and logistics corridors. Mr. Posada is an expert in applying FastPath; Mr. Cook, is a FastPath modeler and transport expert; and Mr. Ashar is a port operations expert. They will work directly with a three-member local team: Lydia O. Martinez, agribusiness specialist, and Marc Ayes and Jeremiah Acena, both transport experts. 

The assessment in the Philippines will culminate in a workshop in September 2014, during which the team will present its findings and recommendations to those who operate, use, and oversee the country’s transport corridors. FastPath II results will give all these stakeholders an objective basis for making choices that will improve the time, costs, and reliability of commodity shipments in the Philippines.

FastPath has been used in 28 countries in Africa, Asia and Central America to provide transport and trade officials with the objective data and actionable recommendations needed to improve trade flows within and between countries. Our experts gather data through observation and interviews, then feed the data into FastPath. The software modeling tool pinpoints bottlenecks in corridors and their impact on shipment time, cost, and reliability. Equipped with this information, experts develop scenarios, introducing proposed and ongoing improvement projects into FastPath to model expected impact. The results help decision makers rationalize and prioritize a range of projects—from procedural and regulatory reform to operational upgrades to infrastructure maintenance and development.  

In addition to software configured for international corridor analysis, FastPath II includes a configuration for food security assessments and a configuration for U.S. transportation network and port system analysis. Each configuration can assess environmental impact by calculating fuel consumption and emissions. 

Nathan Associates’ current work in the Philippines is as a subcontractor on the USAID Philippines COMPETE project. From 2004 to 2012, we led the LINC-EG and EMERGE projects. 

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