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Chapter 2: Evaluating Freight Facility Impacts and Benefits Freight facilities change the flow of traffic, bring jobs, impact land use development patterns, and may or may not bring other development opportunities. They may represent desired investment in the community, actively sought by economic developers and planners alike. Alternatively, these facilities may be seen as a mixed blessing, with both wanted and unwanted consequences. Public officials need to understand these potential changes before considering how to attract or plan for freight facilities. Only by understanding and evaluating these costs and benefits can public officials properly evaluate how freight facilities match community goals and prepare accordingly. While cost reduction and productivity improvements drive most private freight facility location decisions, the public sector experiences the benefits and drawbacks of freight facilities differently. The transportation, economic, and societal effects of freight facilities will vary depending on the type of facility, the modes used at the facility, and the geographic perspective of stakeholders (local, regional, state, and national). Significant research exists on the topic of economic impacts, benefits, and costs of freight and more detail can be found in NCFRP Project 23 final research report available as NCFRP Web-Only Document 1 (http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/165743.aspx) as well as U.S. Department of Transportation reports such as the Guide to Quantifying the Economic Impacts of Federal Investments in Large-Scale Freight Transportation Projects from 2006. Impacts thus fall into several different categories and not all of them will apply to each type of logistics center, but the principal broad categories are: Economic Effects including construction impacts, direct economic activity, multiplier effects, and economic development/business attraction and Freight Facility Location Selection: A Guide for Public Officials 11

OCR for page 11
Transportation Effects including mode choice and traffic volumes, direct travel impacts, supply chain logistics impacts, environmental impacts, and safety/security impacts. The following table illustrates a range of effects from several case studies of specific freight logistics facilities. Table 2. Facility Impact by Case Study Facility Case Study Direct and Indirect Freight Volume Transportation Impacts Type Jobs Inland Port Virginia Inland Port 17 direct jobs, over 8,000 33,600 containers 5.4 million VMT reduction, $105,000 (Front Royal, VA) indirect jobs (2008) greenhouse gas emission savings Intermodal Rickenbacker Approximately 150 direct 250,000 annual 49 million fewer truck miles in Ohio Terminal Intermodal Terminal jobs at Intermodal facility, container movements in 10 years $2 M in pavement (Columbus, OH) projection of 20,000 jobs maintenance savings, $2.45 million at freight industrial park in accident reductions Bulk or Savage Safe Handling 100 direct jobs 500,000 tons per year $619,500 accident reduction, Transload (Auburn, ME) 5,000 railcars per year $506,000 pavement maintenance Terminal from using rail over truck Distribution Family Dollar 515 direct jobs; catalyst 90 trucks/day 32,000 16.2 million in truck VMT per year Center (Marianna, FL) to another 155 DC jobs trucks per year Warehouse Murphy Warehouses 20 direct jobs (per 10,000+ carloads per 1.3 million VMT reduced annually. warehouse facility) year 6,730 fewer greenhouse gas tons emitted Integrated Alliance Texas (Fort 28,000 direct jobs; 600,000 intermodal rail N/A Logistics Worth, TX) 63,388 indirect jobs lifts per year Center Hub Old Dominion 750 direct jobs 75 to 90 trucks per day 21.5 million to 25.9 million truck VMT Terminal (Morristown, TN) per year Note: VMT = vehicle miles traveled. Private sector investment in buildings and equipment and permanent jobs at a facility represents very real local and regional economic gains that need to be balanced with the potential traffic or other impacts that might result from such a location decision. For example, a warehouse located in a specific area may result in potential jobs and employment, additional traffic servicing the warehouse with the inbound goods necessary for inventory, and the outbound transport of goods to receivers and final users. The broader regional picture should also be considered. In keeping with the example above, the region or metropolitan area surrounding the new warehouse site might also experience increased traffic and job gains, but could also benefit from better access to goods through the distribution center. 12 Freight Facility Location Selection: A Guide for Public Officials