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Synthesis of Freight Research in Urban Transportation Planning (2013)

Chapter: Section 4 - Conclusions and Recommendations

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Suggested Citation:"Section 4 - Conclusions and Recommendations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Synthesis of Freight Research in Urban Transportation Planning. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22573.
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Suggested Citation:"Section 4 - Conclusions and Recommendations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Synthesis of Freight Research in Urban Transportation Planning. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22573.
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Suggested Citation:"Section 4 - Conclusions and Recommendations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Synthesis of Freight Research in Urban Transportation Planning. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22573.
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Suggested Citation:"Section 4 - Conclusions and Recommendations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Synthesis of Freight Research in Urban Transportation Planning. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22573.
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Suggested Citation:"Section 4 - Conclusions and Recommendations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Synthesis of Freight Research in Urban Transportation Planning. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22573.
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Suggested Citation:"Section 4 - Conclusions and Recommendations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Synthesis of Freight Research in Urban Transportation Planning. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22573.
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Suggested Citation:"Section 4 - Conclusions and Recommendations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Synthesis of Freight Research in Urban Transportation Planning. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22573.
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Suggested Citation:"Section 4 - Conclusions and Recommendations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Synthesis of Freight Research in Urban Transportation Planning. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22573.
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Suggested Citation:"Section 4 - Conclusions and Recommendations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Synthesis of Freight Research in Urban Transportation Planning. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22573.
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Suggested Citation:"Section 4 - Conclusions and Recommendations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Synthesis of Freight Research in Urban Transportation Planning. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22573.
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Suggested Citation:"Section 4 - Conclusions and Recommendations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Synthesis of Freight Research in Urban Transportation Planning. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22573.
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Suggested Citation:"Section 4 - Conclusions and Recommendations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Synthesis of Freight Research in Urban Transportation Planning. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22573.
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Suggested Citation:"Section 4 - Conclusions and Recommendations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Synthesis of Freight Research in Urban Transportation Planning. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22573.
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69 4.1 Main Findings This synthesis of urban freight literature reveals a grow- ing interest in the topic, but also underscores the need for future studies, particularly those that generate data on freight movements within the urban area. This section summarizes the key findings of this synthesis and lessons learned from this investigation of experiments with various policy mea- sures in places like Southern California, New York, and Paris. Whether these experiments are transferable and may be iden- tified as best practices is also considered in this section. The section closes with some recommendations and suggestions for future research. 4.1.1 Urban Freight Contributes Dis proportionately to Externalities The first finding of this research effort is that urban freight is associated with many externalities that affect the quality and livability of metropolitan areas. Commercial vehicles contrib- ute a significant share of NOx, PM, and CO2 emissions in cities and contribute disproportionately to congestion, noise, and road accident fatalities. The various studies examined in this research indicate that in areas and locations where trucks are concentrated (e.g., freight corridors, ports, warehouses, etc.), pollution is pronounced and associated with public health problems. Outside the United States, there is evidence that the aver- age age of urban delivery trucks is older; a common practice is to use trucks at the end of their service life for short- distance drayage. The research team found no information on the average age of delivery fleets in the United States. Whether or not delivery trucks and vans are older, the nature of local delivery is short trips and frequent stops, which in turn implies lower fuel efficiency and more emissions. There is evidence that the U.S. port drayage sector operates older (and dirtier) trucks because of the structure of this industry segment: owner-operators who earn very low wages. Only a few studies have attempted to quantify the impact of deliv- ery trucks and vans on emissions. Research is necessary to understand the various market segments of local deliveries and their environmental impacts. For example, large corpo- rations, such as FedEx or UPS, have modern fleets and use very sophisticated routing practices to operate as efficiently as possible. Local independent operators likely do not have the scale or profits to operate as efficiently. As noted above, there is a lack of information on the characteristics of local delivery fleets or their travel patterns. Noise is also associated with freight movement, but studies that isolate the noise-related impacts of freight are under- developed. Environmental impacts, in general, and the pol- icy measures to mitigate those impacts are more extensively researched in Europe than in the United States. Finally, trucks and vans contribute to urban congestion not only because they compete with passenger traffic for scarce road space, but also because adequate parking and loading facilities are not always available (causing truck queuing and double parking) and most pick-ups and deliveries take place during hours of high passenger traffic demand. The magni- tude of these impacts is rarely quantified due to a lack of data on truck movements. 4.1.2 Available Data Are Lacking Another important finding of this research is that the data on commercial vehicle traffic in urban areas are extremely limited. The more general problem of national freight data availability is well known and has been the topic of several studies (TRB, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009). The availability of freight data at the urban level is even more limited because there is no common source for sub-metropolitan data. The federal government is a source of valuable information for aggregate data on key areas of concern including intercity truck flows and truck crashes. State departments of transportation S e c t i o n 4 Conclusions and Recommendations

70 are primarily responsible for collecting the data that do exist on freeways and state highways that run through urban areas. There are also some data, again collected by state departments of transportation, that measure truck traffic on urban arterials that happen to be part of the state highway system. MPOs have begun to collect urban freight data, particu- larly with regard to truck movements, as part of the regional transportation planning process, but this is more often the case in trade node metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Chi- cago, or Los Angeles. Moreover, truck flow data are difficult to collect: surveys do not always capture the complexity of freight transfers, including (de)consolidation within regions or intermediate stops made before the final delivery destina- tion. Data from urban intersections and bottlenecks exist, but these data are more often available for locations designated as state highways. These data are also typically collected only for the largest of trucks. The research team did not find any data on the number of non-truck commercial vehicle trips, i.e., those undertaken in vans, pick-ups, cars, or bikes. This is a critical information gap as data from Europe show that about half of urban deliveries are made by vans. Understanding the characteristics of urban freight flows requires basic data on commercial vehicles and what they carry. The lack of data on commercial truck traffic also affects the ability to estimate truck emissions. New modeling tools have made emissions calculations easier, but without reliable data on the commercial vehicle mix, emissions model results have a great deal of uncertainty. In metropolitan areas that do not meet air quality standards, emissions models are used to estimate future emissions and determine mitigation mea- sures to be included in regional transportation plans. Better commercial vehicle data would allow more effective and tar- geted mitigation plans. 4.1.3 Spatial Distribution of Freight Supply and Demand Needs Better Understanding There is a need to better understand the factors that drive intra-metropolitan freight flows and result in changing pat- terns for both local deliveries and pass-through freight. Ship- pers may change where and in what form they move goods (e.g., rail/truck intermodal versus all truck). Just-in-time logistics practices increase the importance of reliability and may result in more frequent shipments. More home-based shopping means more home deliveries and less efficient routing (due to the dispersion of deliveries and risk of non- delivery). Socioeconomic factors, such as rising income, aging of populations, and changing consumer preferences are also important drivers. These factors have made urban economies more dependent on transportation systems, with more fre- quent and customized deliveries. Understanding of how these forces affect urban freight flows and how these flows may be better managed remains very limited. The larger dynamics of urban change and economic devel- opment also affect freight flows. Efforts to revitalize urban cores are widespread, and such efforts typically involve more residential and commercial development. These new activi- ties generate additional freight demand, but freight facilities are incompatible with rising land values, limited road capac- ity, and residential communities. Pick-ups and deliveries still need to be made, but parking and loading facilities are often inadequate. Rising land values provide the economic incentive for land-intensive activities (manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution) to decentralize to suburban or exurban loca- tions. Larger parcels in these areas allow for the development of larger facilities that can take advantage of scale economies, a trend called “consolidation” in this report. This is particu- larly the case in trade nodes that have benefitted from shipper decisions to move more goods in higher volumes through a fewer number of gateways. Nodal cities have the same set of last-mile issues (parking, noise, and emissions) as other regions, but they also have pass-through freight movements bound for locations outside of their region. How these loca- tion shifts affect metropolitan areas and how public policy may influence these shifts are not well understood. 4.2 Best Practices and Policy Initiatives In response to growing urban freight problems, cities around the world have engaged in extensive experimentation to manage urban freight. In the case of last-mile problems, the challenge is to facilitate freight flows that are necessary to sustain urban life while also reducing truck and van volumes, eliminating conflicts with other modes, and minimizing public costs. In trade node cities, the challenge is how to manage flows that are essential to the regional economy yet impose substantial costs on local communities. In this section, the research team summarizes findings from our review, discusses effectiveness and impacts on freight stake- holders, and considers transferability to widespread imple- mentation in the United States. Three general categories are used to discuss strategies: last mile, environmental miti- gation, and trade node strategies. These categories in prac- tice overlap; almost all strategies have an environmental objective, for example. 4.2.1 Last-Mile Strategies The majority of last-mile experiments have come from overseas—Europe, in particular—where local municipalities have more apparent regulatory control over truck access and

71 roads (including non-local roads) than municipalities in the United States. In the United States, the few domestic policy experiments that do exist (like clean truck programs and off-peak deliveries) come from one or the other of the two largest trade node cities: New York and Los Angeles. Other North American cities’ freight initiatives tend to center on new or improved infrastructure (such as grade separations, added highway capacity, or logistics parks) rather than opera- tional changes. In the absence of a clearly defined authority to regulate trade, local governments must resort to enforcement through zoning and land use controls as opposed to new pol- icy initiatives that might have more widespread impacts on regional freight flows. This situation means that frustration with last-mile freight deliveries translates into harder-to- secure building permits for new construction, new parking restrictions, weight restrictions, regulated hours of operation, and/or mandates for off-street loading zones. The main types of last-mile strategies and some examples of each are presented in Table 12. Table 12 clearly illustrates the preponderance of examples coming from outside the United States. 4.2.1.1 Labeling or Other Certification Programs Certification and labeling programs are examples of vol- untary regulation. The public sector negotiates with private industry to develop a set of voluntary targets or operating rules that confer either recognition or special benefits. These include the various “green” certification programs that pro- mote use of cleaner vehicles, cleaner fuels, or operations during less congested periods of the day (see Table 12 for examples). The effectiveness of certification/labeling programs depends on how much agreements change behavior, which depends in Strategy Location Description Consultation processes and certification schemes London Freight Quality Partnership London Freight Operator Recognition Scheme Paris Delivery Charter Netherlands, 25 cities PIEK label program Traffic and parking regulations Paris Daytime hours truck ban (over 29 square meters) Sao Paulo Access 2 days/week/vehicle New York City Commercial Vehicle Parking Plan Barcelona Off-peak hours use of roadways for unloading/loading Los Angeles downtown Arlington, VA Increased enforcement of use of loading bays San Francisco Demand-dependent parking charges Intelligent transport systems Several European and Asian cities Automatic control systems for truck access regulation London Transport for London Freight Website Europe DHL Packstation and United States Postal Service Gopost: automated self-service parcel delivery lockers Planning strategies Tokyo Loading/unloading facilities requirements for new commercial buildings of > 2,000 square meters New York Loading/unloading requirements for new commercial buildings of > 8,000 square feet Barcelona Minimum 5 square meters of storage for new bars and restaurants Paris Technical guide to delivery bays for the City of Paris design guide for on-street loading bays Consolidation schemes and measures targeted toward urban supply chains Paris Urban Logistics Spaces: subsidized rental rates for freight storage in municipal parking garages Europe Kiala network: pick-up points for home deliveries Bristol (U.K.), Motomachi (Japan), Cityporto (Italy) Urban Consolidation Centers London Construction Consolidation Center Off-hours deliveries New York City 2009–2010 experiment, focus on receivers Los Angeles/ Long Beach PierPASS off-peak program Table 12. Last-mile strategies.

72 turn on the costs and benefits of doing so. Certification pro- grams that allow access to loading facilities or extended deliv- ery hours offer a significant benefit to shippers and, therefore, make it easier to justify the purchase of new, compliant vehicles. Most certification programs incorporate environmental goals, typically reduced emissions, and offer last-mile delivery ben- efits. The certification programs reviewed by the research team were perceived as very successful both by the public sponsors and private participants. One potential problem is the buy-in and participation of all industry segments; for example, the large shippers are more capable of negotiating program con- ditions with public sponsors and, hence, programs may be designed to advantage the larger shippers. Certification programs were identified as having addi- tional benefits. First, the process of developing a voluntary program requires engagement of all stakeholders and over a period of time may increase trust and foster more collabora- tive relationships between industry and government. Second, certification programs raise visibility of both the problem and the solution, especially within the targeted industry. Third, industry (shippers) may enjoy a competitive advantage when bidding for contracts, as more clients place value on doing business with “green” firms. Fourth, certification programs are relatively low cost, with most of the costs in the form of transaction costs—establishing and maintaining public– private relationships. Fifth, contrary to the possible fears of industry, the research team has not observed any cases of voluntary certification programs leading to traditional regu- lation. Finally, certification programs may evolve: as targets are reached, new targets are negotiated, leading to significant improvements over time. As noted in the Task 3 discussion, voluntary regulation is a good fit with the U.S. context of decentralized governance and dispersed regulatory authority. In cases where direct regula- tion is either impossible (due to lack of authority) or infeasi- ble, voluntary regulation may be the best available alternative. Certification programs can take a number of forms and have shown themselves to be an effective way to devise incentives that introduce performance goals and incrementally move firms to the desired behavior. The research team found label- ing and other certification schemes to be both highly effective and highly applicable to the United States. 4.2.1.2 Traffic and Parking Regulations City efforts to manage last-mile problems have focused on local traffic and parking regulations because these tools are clearly within local authority. In theory, traffic and parking regulations are effective as long as they are enforced. How- ever, cities have no control over demand for pick-ups and deliveries, and, consequently, traffic and parking regulations are limited tools for managing last-mile problems. In prac- tice, highly restrictive regulations are costly to enforce and may lead to other problems. Restricting truck parking areas may result in trucks double parking in the roadway or using curb space reserved for other purposes. Prohibiting large trucks from certain streets or neighborhoods may increase truck trips and congestion as goods must be transloaded to smaller vehicles. When the demand for truck pick-up and delivery greatly exceeds the supply of loading and parking areas, enforce- ment becomes costly and increasingly difficult. The longer it takes for truckers to locate parking and make the delivery, the higher the cost is of doing so. At some point, the risk of being cited becomes less costly than the delays incurred in waiting for a parking spot. This is observed in dense places like New York and San Francisco. Traffic and parking regulations have a mixed record of success. Restrictions on truck access, such as the ban of large trucks in the center of Paris and in Seoul, or the limit of truck deliveries to certain days of the week, as in Sao Paulo, tend to shift truck traffic to smaller vehicles (generating a net increase in truck VMT) or to concentrate traffic into shorter time periods (generating more congestion). Large truck bans add to delivery costs and may result in more pollution and congestion. Consistent with expectations, Seoul reports seri- ous enforcement problems as a result of the lack of loading and delivery facilities. Regulations aimed at encouraging the most efficient use of road resources tend to be successful. Barcelona’s policy of allowing use of traffic lanes for pick-up and delivery during off-peak hours is an example. San Fran- cisco’s recent implementation of dynamic parking charges is another. The lesson drawn from both U.S. and interna- tional examples is that local freight demand must be accom- modated; hence, strategies that manage rather than restrict freight deliveries tend to be more effective. 4.2.1.3 Land Use Planning Policies Local jurisdictions also have land use planning authority and, hence, may set policies and guidelines for incorporating freight deliveries into new developments, for designing load- ing docks, and for developing parking and loading standards. With increased development in city cores and more frequent deliveries for each business, freight demand has increased; at the same time, the scarcity of road and curb space and ever higher land values have increased the cost of manag- ing demand. New development or redevelopment offers the opportunity to implement planning standards for on-site freight facilities. Examples include Tokyo’s and New York’s requirements for new commercial developments. Barcelona goes further, adding a requirement for minimum storage areas for new restaurants and bars. On-site facilities decrease the need for on-street loading zones, reducing conflicts with pas-

73 senger demands. On-site facilities also add to building costs and, hence, may be resisted by the development community. Cities may also develop freight loading and parking stan- dards for off-site activities (e.g., in a public right-of-way). There are more opportunities in developing areas, where the road infrastructure is still being constructed. However, even in already-developed areas, standards can have an impact over time if they are tied to future development and redevelopment. Experiences with on-site planning policies have been largely positive. Although such requirements add to development costs, these requirements also add to commercial property value by ensuring that freight deliveries are accommodated. Shippers and truck drivers clearly benefit from having reliably available loading facilities. These policies are a good fit in the U.S. context for several reasons. First, the authority of local governments to develop and implement planning and building guidelines is clearly established. The ability to negotiate the zoning and approval process allows for flexibility in enforcement and is widely accepted. Second, the problem of loading facilities being used for other purposes (e.g., storage) that has been observed in other countries (France, Spain, and the United Kingdom) is less likely to occur in the United States due to the generally high level of building code enforcement. Third, U.S. metro- politan areas are characterized by a high level of “churning”: even in times of slow economic growth, there is constant change in business activity, with new firms emerging and old firms leaving. At the same time, less of the building stock is subject to preservation than is the case in most European metropolitan areas. Thus, the long-term impacts of planning policies can be significant. 4.2.1.4 City Logistics and Consolidation Schemes Consolidation schemes seek to reduce truck traffic by finding ways to combine pick-ups and deliveries of different shippers or different receivers. These schemes often focus on changing the supply chain, rather than on the final (or initial) step of the chain. Supply chains are highly complex, and the specific make-up of any specific chain is influenced by many different factors. Efforts to change the supply chain are there- fore challenging. The simplest (from a supply chain perspective) consolida- tion schemes are those that focus on final delivery or pick-up, e.g., on the end of the chain. An example of consolidating final deliveries is the use of common pick-up points for home deliveries, as in the Kiala and the Packstation networks in Europe, and a new locker service being implemented in Arlington, Virginia. These common pick-up points reduce home deliveries (truck trips) but may also increase private vehicle trips. The net impact of common pick-up points on VMT and emissions is unknown. If these facilities are located in or near public transit facilities, the research team would expect that many pick-ups would be made by walking trips. If the facilities are located in shopping centers or parking lots, most trips would likely be made by car. Another version of consolidation is shared logistics spaces, where multiple shippers use an in-town facility to consolidate loads (typically from different, out-of-town logistics facili- ties) before final deliveries. The intent is to reduce truck VMT with more efficient routing of final deliveries (or initial pick- ups). The Paris Chronopost facility is a single-shipper facility; deliveries are trucked to the central facilities and then trans- loaded to electric vehicles for last-mile delivery. Studies of the Chronopost operation showed that total delivery costs (for Chronopost) did not change much. The city of Paris subsi- dizes facility rent and incurred all the up-front capital costs. Due to the use of electric vehicles and more efficient routing, both truck VMT and associated emissions declined. The most ambitious version of consolidation is the urban consolidation center, where goods from multiple shippers or vendors are combined and delivered by third-party trucking firms. The idea is simple. Rather than have goods delivered from many different firms, combine them so that deliveries can be more efficient. As in shared logistics spaces, consoli- dation requires an in-town facility and rental payments to use it. Although it would appear that shippers would ben- efit from the lower costs of consolidated deliveries (more full truck loads), whether these benefits would offset the rental and added labor costs of trans-loading is unclear. In the many European experiments, consolidation centers were not fea- sible without public subsidies, and many have since closed. The transferability of consolidation schemes to the U.S. context is limited. Home delivery centers are the most likely to be adopted as consumers accept the concept of picking up their own e-shopping orders at local depots (which can be located in local stores). Information technology makes possible secure lockers for specific customers. It bears not- ing that there has been experimentation and development in Europe and Asia for over a decade, with some mixed results, some with widespread development (Kiala and Packstation in Europe, deliveries in neighborhood convenience stores in Japan). The project in Arlington, Virginia, is the first in the United States. Home delivery centers require facilities, security, and sophisticated IT, so whether such centers pro- liferate depends on the savings from fewer home deliveries versus the costs of developing and operating the center. The other consolidation models are more problematic. The required subsidies to freight operators would be politi- cally difficult, even if local jurisdictions had the funding to provide them. Any effort to force consolidation via regulation (as in several Italian cities) would be very difficult and pos- sibly impossible due to interstate commerce laws.

74 4.2.1.5 Off-Hours Deliveries The aim of off-hours deliveries is to shift truck activity out of the peak traffic periods and, hence, reduce congestion and emissions. Like consolidation schemes, off-hours delivery appears to be an obvious way to reduce truck-related conges- tion; yet, few examples of off-hours delivery programs exist. Again, the reason is the supply chain: off-hours deliveries require off-hours truck drivers and receivers. Constraints on the trucking side include federal hours of service require- ments, shift premium pay for unionized drivers, and pos- sible efficiency losses associated with spreading shipments out across more hours of the day. Constraints on receivers include having to open receiving facilities early and to oper- ate loading terminals more hours of the day, shift premium pay for terminal workers, and local zoning codes that prohibit after-hours truck activities in residential neighborhoods. In the New York City test, receiver constraints were found to be the most difficult to overcome. There is only one permanent off-hours program in the United States, the PierPASS program at the Los Angeles/Long Beach ports. It was implemented due to unique circumstances that do not exist in other U.S. metropolitan areas. The New York City demonstration is the first and only in-city program. It has resulted in reduced congestion, energy consumption, and emissions and thus demonstrates the potential benefits of such programs. However, adoption on a permanent basis has not yet happened. Receivers have no incentive to incur the additional costs, and local residents have no incentive to be subject to truck noise more hours of the day. Off-hours delivery may have potential as a voluntary regu- lation. The public sector could offer incentives such as rec- ognition (green certification for receivers) or tax breaks to promote off-hours deliveries in areas where residents would not be affected (e.g., commercial zones). Shippers might be incentivized to purchase and use quieter trucks and handling equipment in exchange for being able to deliver off-hours, as in the PIEK program in the Netherlands. 4.2.1.6 Intelligent Transport Systems ITS for monitoring or managing urban freight includes technologies for providing real-time traffic (and parking) information, automated enforcement of parking or traffic regulations, automated toll collection, and automated access control. The research team did not address ITS applications that are purely private in nature, such as GPS technology used for tracking fleet vehicles or packages. Real-time traffic infor- mation is available in the largest U.S. metropolitan areas, and the extent and quality of information is improving as sensing technology continues to develop. The large private shipping companies (e.g., UPS and FedEx) have extensive internal systems to inform near-real-time routing. Experimentation has begun with parking information, but no successful sys- tem has yet been developed due to high costs and complexity. The research team expects that the technical problems will be solved, and parking information systems may soon become a critical element in urban truck movements. Use of ITS for monitoring truck traffic via license plate readers and other devices is extensive outside the United States (e.g., in the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy). Auto- mated monitoring systems involve high up-front costs and tend to be used either as part of road pricing systems or lim- ited access zones. Once implemented, automated systems make possible continuous, low-cost enforcement of tolls or access zones and, thus, can be very effective. How transfer- able are these tools in the U.S. context? Technological exper- tise is not a problem; the United States has examples of toll roads and bridges with automated fare collection systems, an automated bypass system for compliant trucks on Interstate highways, and RFID systems for limited access facilities (e.g., ports). Transferability depends more on the perceived accept- ability of the policies to be implemented. So far, security at limited access facilities has proven to be an acceptable justi- fication for semi-automated monitoring. The use of tolls to manage congestion in metropolitan areas is not yet widely accepted. The New York City congestion pricing proposal is illustrative; it included truck tolls that could be discounted by using clean trucks, and studies indicated that congestion and emissions reductions would be substantial. However, the research team expects that tolls will become more acceptable as congestion increases and funding from traditional sources to support capacity expansion declines. Access zone policies are discussed in the next section. A second implementation challenge in the United States is the general resistance to automated monitoring by public authorities. An illustrative case is the conflict surrounding cameras used to enforce red light violations at intersections. Monitoring could provide comprehensive data on truck movements, which are greatly needed for better analysis of urban freight problems. However, these data may be per- ceived as proprietary, and, therefore, monitoring may be resisted by trucking companies and shippers. Use of ITS for truck tolls or automated monitoring outside limited access facilities appears to have limited transferability to the U.S. context. 4.2.2 Strategies to Reduce Environmental Impacts Strategies to reduce environmental impacts are aimed at reducing truck emissions and energy consumption by improv- ing engine performance, shifting to cleaner (and quieter) con- ventional diesel trucks or alternative fuel trucks, or shifting

75 freight to more energy-efficient modes. The research team’s review yielded these observations: (1) strategies that address the entire commercial fleet have the most impact, even if the impact is small on a per-vehicle basis; (2) strategies that impose substantial costs on private industry will not be adopted unless industry is forced to do so; and (3) strategies that seek to shift freight from trucks to slower modes are not attractive to industry without large subsidies and may have little impact on emissions or energy consumption. Strategies to reduce envi- ronmental impacts are summarized in Table 13. 4.2.2.1 Truck Fuel Efficiency and Emissions Standards The United States has a now long history in regulation of vehicles for fuel efficiency and emissions reductions. National fleet standards are among the most effective tools for reduc- ing emissions. The recent changes in light truck CAFE stan- dards will have a significant impact on the light truck portion of the freight vehicle fleet. The shift to cleaner diesel engines and fuels is having a similar impact on heavy-duty diesel trucks. As discussed in Section 2.2, increasing the stringency of fuel efficiency and emissions standards and accelerat- ing the targets has had significant impact in California. The Los Angeles/Long Beach Ports’ Clean Truck Program is by far the most ambitious emissions reduction program in the United States and, in 4 years, led to large reductions in die- sel truck emissions. The research team expects fuel efficiency and emissions regulations to continue to be one of the most effective tools for reducing air pollution and CO2 emissions in metropolitan areas. 4.2.2.2 Alternative Fuels and Vehicles Alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) have been widely pro- moted in the United States, but they have achieved little market penetration due to higher capital and operating costs, the complexities of operating diverse fleets, limited range, Strategy Location Description Truck fleet emission standards California CARB truck, diesel particulate filter standards United States EPA 2011 truck CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency standards LEZs Greater London LEZ: access restrictions on old trucks and large vans Milan Historic center truck regulations Swedish, Dutch, and Danish cities Regulations based on Euro standards Alternative fuels, electric delivery vehicles London, Milan Congestion charge exemption for alternative fuel vehicles U.S. cities Delivery company use of alternative fuel trucks and vans European cities Electrically assisted cargocycles France Program to group purchases of electric vans for commercial fleets for public administrations Los Angeles/Long Beach Ports Clean Air Action Plan Technology Advancement Program Promotion of alternative modes, cargo diversion United States U.S.DOT (MARAD) Marine Highways/Short Sea Shipping Grant program San Francisco Bay Area FedEx BART pilot program Paris Cargo-Tram, Monoprix rail, and waterways deliveries projects Dresden Cargo-Tram Restriction on truck idling California 5-minute limit on diesel truck idling United States Truck-stop electrification Delivery noise reduction Netherlands PIEK research, development, and regulation program Atlanta ASTROMAP Environmental justice, community mitigation measures Greater Los Angeles Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Toolkit for Goods Movements County of Riverside, CA Truck Routing and Parking Study New York City Truck Route Management and Community Impact Reduction Study Baltimore Maritime Industrial Zone Overlay District Europe Freight villages Atlanta Regional commission's freight studies United States Environmental Justice Guidelines Publications (NCHRP Report 320, NCFRP Report 13, and NCFRP Report 14) Table 13. Strategies to reduce environmental impacts.

76 and lack of fueling infrastructure. AFVs are limited largely to public fleets (transit buses) and utility firms. Efforts such as the National Clean Fleets Partnership are voluntary pro- grams aimed at reducing barriers to adopting AFVs in pri- vate industry; these have had limited success. In Europe, even large subsidies (as in London) have not prompted adoption of AFVs on any significant scale. However, the largest private delivery firms—FedEx, DHL, and UPS—are all experiment- ing with AFVs and have small numbers of electric and hybrid electric trucks operating in various cities. It is possible that these numbers will increase as the technology becomes more competitive with conventional fuels. For large trucks, AFVs are not yet sufficiently competitive with diesel engines, and the progress being made in reducing diesel emissions may make it more difficult for AFVs to com- pete. Research is needed on the costs and benefits of AFVs in comparison to cleaner diesel and on which types of AFVs (natural gas, electric, or biodiesel) may be the most effective to pursue and develop. AFVs are a potential long-term solu- tion for GHG emissions and energy consumption. The research team noted experiments in Europe with smaller AFVs, such as small electric vehicles and “cargocycles” for local deliveries. Because of the small capacity and range of these vehicles, they are a feasible option only for small, concentrated pick-up and delivery points. Niche markets may exist in the most dense U.S. city centers (e.g., New York, Chicago, and Boston), depending on the costs (labor, new vehicles) relative to conventional vans or small trucks. Lack of a potentially large market suggests that these strategies would have little impact on emissions reductions. 4.2.2.3 Low Emission Zones LEZs have been established in several European cities to limit the types of vehicles that may operate within the zone based on their emissions and energy consumption. The most notable examples are London, where the LEZ is combined with the congestion toll (the LEZ encompasses a much greater area, as all the metropolitan area is covered), and Milan. LEZs have some obvious advantages: to the extent that perfor- mance standards are imposed on all trucks, the entire urban fleet is affected, and emissions reductions could be large. It is argued that LEZs generate secondary benefits by forcing the reorganization of the local trucking industry into larger and hence more efficient operations.30 Although LEZs are a potentially effective strategy, the transferability of LEZs to the U.S. context is low. The only comparable program is the Los Angeles/Long Beach Clean Truck Program. It was implemented under unique conditions, and parts of the program remain in legal dispute 6 years later. The ports argued that they could impose requirements on those seeking access to their facilities, much as airports regu- late taxi and shuttle access. In an LEZ, the local jurisdiction would have to make such an argument, and this would vio- late current interstate commerce protections. In the absence of jurisdictional authority, an LEZ would have to be estab- lished as a voluntary program. Cities might offer off-hours delivery or other benefits, but these could be offered without the structure of an LEZ. Otherwise, cities would have to offer subsidies to purchase and operate cleaner vehicles, which is unlikely given fiscal and political constraints. 4.2.2.4 Alternative Modes Efforts to shift truck freight to slower but more energy- efficient and cleaner modes have not been successful. The Paris Monoprix experiment of using the regional rail system to ship goods to central Paris for distribution and delivery requires large public subsidies. Studies of using commuter rail for package delivery in both the United States and Europe failed to result in demonstrations or experiments. Efforts to shift freight to water have been similarly unsuccessful, in both the cases of coastal shipping and river transport, with a few exceptions such as parcel and beer distribution in some Dutch cities on inner canals. In fact, waterborne freight con- tinues to lose market share in the United States. Mode shifting has large impacts on the supply chain. In order to use a slower mode, cargo owners must hold the inventory longer, and these inventory costs tend to exceed the higher costs of using faster modes. In addition, mixing modes adds to the number of times shipments must be handled, further increasing labor and facility costs. The most promis- ing segments for mode shifting are (1) through freight traf- fic (port or airport imports/exports) in large volumes, as for example increasing on-dock rail facilities to eliminate short drayage trips, or (2) large-volume, longer distance deliveries (say to distant distribution and warehouse centers) where use of rail is close to competitive with use of trucks. It is important to note that the research team’s assessment is based on the lack of mechanisms to offset private costs in order to achieve public benefits. It may well be the case (as was shown for short sea shipping in New York) that the social benefits of reduced pollution and energy consumption have greater value than the added costs to shippers and cargo owners. 4.2.2.5 Environmental Justice The United States has taken the lead in the incorporation of environmental justice as a performance measure for new freight projects. In part, this is due to the geography of U.S. 30 The research team notes that whether LEZs generate net benefits is uncertain, as the elimination of small operators would eliminate jobs and small businesses.

77 cities, where poor and minority populations tend to be con- centrated near major freight facilities. The environmental review process provides a venue for environmental justice concerns. More recent research on the relationship between emissions and health has created an imperative for industry to find solutions to problems that might otherwise prevent them from securing the needed support of elected officials and regulatory agencies. Environmental justice consider- ations are therefore widely institutionalized in the trans- portation planning process. Examples include the Southern California Association of Governments’ (SCAG’s) Toolkit for Goods Movement, New York City’s truck impact study, and Baltimore’s industrial overlay zone study. Some of the most effective, long-lasting, and widespread solutions to environ- mental justice problems have been industry driven or have involved industry–government partnerships. These include clean truck programs, certification and labeling programs, and off-peak deliveries. U.S. ports have been particularly proactive in addressing environmental justice concerns. In addition to the extreme case of Southern California, clean truck programs, freight rail investments, and elimination of at-grade rail crossings are part of programs in New York/New Jersey, Seattle, and Oakland, as well as Chicago and Atlanta—two major inter- modal hub cities. Environmental justice, however, remains a contentious topic, and solutions to the inequitable incidence of freight transport impacts are often difficult. Research is needed to better understand the effectiveness of alternative mitigation strategies on local communities. 4.2.3 Trade Node Strategies Unlike the last-mile and environmental strategies out- lined above, the majority of trade node strategies have been developed and tested in the U.S. context. The largest trade nodes—in particular, Southern California—have had the greatest influence in the development of strategies to address environmental problems. In the Southern California gateway, which includes the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the threat of leg- islative mandates and rising trade volumes created a unique set of conditions that favored an industry-driven response to environmental pressures. The question is whether the same conditions exist in other places in the United States. Both political pressure and competitive pressures exist in other parts of the world, but it is apparent from the research that the two in combination drive the environmental agenda in trade gateways. Rising trade volumes have increased throughput at major gateways in Europe and Asia as well as in North America, but for ports that serve as major trans- shipment centers, where cargo moves largely from one ves- sel to another, the landside pressures are not as great. Many leading Asian ports serve as trans-shipment centers. For trade gateways located in places with strict environmental controls (like those in Europe), the volumes may not be as great, and the principal concern may be with congestion in the urban core. In the United States, however, where good intermodal connections encourage the development of pass-through traffic transited through trans-load centers, the gateway plays a pivotal role in framing the debate surrounding the envi- ronmental impacts of trade. Trade node strategies are high- lighted in Table 14. 4.2.3.1 Appointments and Pricing Strategies at Ports Increased congestion at maritime ports encouraged solu- tions that attempted to spread out the flow of truck traffic passing through terminal gates across more hours of the day. As noted with several strategies discussed above, truck traf- fic at ports is part of a complex set of movements that make up the supply chain. Thus, the feasibility and effectiveness of different strategies depends on how the supply chain is affected. Truck appointments or reservation systems were a logi- cal first step in seeking a smoother flow of port truck traffic. Appointments have been implemented at several ports. They have the potential to increase the efficiency of port opera- tions and therefore reduce truck turn times (hence reduc- ing truck idling), but to date there is little evidence that such efficiencies are being realized. Appointments require opera- tional changes by terminal operators, so appointments are likely to be used effectively only when yard congestion makes it worthwhile. Thus, although appointment systems are pro- posed as a means for reducing truck queuing at gates (and hence reducing emissions), their effectiveness depends on whether they offer efficiency benefits for terminal operators. The sole example of pricing-based terminal gate operations is the PierPASS program in Southern California. PierPASS was intended to reduce road congestion, and it proved successful at shifting a significant amount of eligible cargo to the evening (approximately 40 percent). It also created a possible model for other ports by facilitating cooperation among competitors through discussion agreements approved by the FMC as well as cooperation between industry and elected officials. The model has not been transferred elsewhere in the United States, however. No other U.S. metropolitan area has the severity of congestion and air pollution to motivate use of peak fees, and no other port is inclined to take the risk of losing business in response to a fee. Thus, although pricing is clearly an effective way to spread port truck traffic more smoothly across the day, it is not likely to be adopted at other ports. The model also promotes changes along the rest of the supply chain, including at distribution centers and retail

78 establishments, which presumably also operate on more tra- ditional work schedules. The net benefits at the system level are not yet proven. 4.2.3.2 Road Pricing and Dedicated Truck Lanes to Manage Hub-Related Truck Traffic Despite the demonstrated effectiveness of congestion pric- ing in the few places where it has been implemented, pricing strategies continue to be difficult to implement. There is more use of pricing strategies in Europe and Asia than in the United States and at least a few examples of truck pricing—notably, the weight-distance fees in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany and the cordon pricing scheme in London. There are numer- ous proposals for truck tolls in the United States, including the New York bridge toll plan, and proposed tolled truck lanes in Atlanta and in Los Angeles, but none of them have even reached the stage of being part of an accepted project. Truck pricing is perhaps more difficult than pricing of pas- senger cars because of the competition between truck and rail. The trucking industry argues that they already pay their “fair share” for using the roadways, and additional charges would reduce their competitiveness with rail. From an envi- ronmental perspective, if trucking generates more emissions per ton of freight carried, this shift would be socially ben- eficial despite the negative impact on the trucking industry. Despite the promise of pricing strategies for managing con- gestion, implementation of pricing strategies will require extensive education and political leadership. A second strategy (often linked with tolls to offer a fund- ing mechanism) is truck-only lanes. They have been pro- posed in major metropolitan areas (most notably Atlanta) and included in regional transportation plans. Truck-only lanes have failed due to lack of funding and scarcity of land. Truck lanes are costly to build due to pavement and geometry requirements and can rarely be justified on the basis of truck volumes. The truck lanes that currently exist in this country are largely access roads; they include the 1.5-mile South Boston Haul Road for commercial vehicles, the I-5 truck bypass lanes in Los Angeles, and the Clarence Henry Truckway, which pro- vides truck-only access to Mississippi River terminals in New Orleans. Given the fiscal constraints facing the U.S. highway system, truck-only facilities do not appear to be a promising option for dealing with truck traffic. 4.2.3.3 Accelerated Truck Emissions Reduction Programs Given the success in the United States of national regula- tion to increase fuel efficiency and decrease emissions of the Strategy Location Description Congestion pricing: marine terminal gates Los Angeles/ Long Beach Ports PierPASS off-peak program Vancouver Off-peak gate program Busan, South Korea Evening gate program Congestion pricing: road pricing New York City Proposed pricing Europe Truck VMT pricing Truck reservation and appointment system Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland Ports Reduction of truck queues at marine terminals under CA state law (Assembly Bill 2650) Port of Vancouver Reservation system Lane separation/ Truck-only lanes Georgia Statewide truck-only lanes (proposed) South Boston, Southern CA, Port of New Orleans Short-distance/truck-only access roads Elimination of at- grade crossings Los Angeles Alameda Corridor Greater Los Angeles Alameda Corridor East Chicago CREATE Seattle FAST program Border crossing delays Washington State FAST Corridor U.S./Mexico Border Crossing Pilot program Accelerated emissions reduction Los Angeles/ Long Beach Ports Clean Air Action Plan Clean Trucks Program Port of Vancouver Truck Licensing Program New York and New Jersey, Seattle, Oakland Voluntary truck emissions programs Equipment management New York and New Jersey, Oakland Virtual Container Yards Worldwide Industry-driven chassis pools Table 14. Trade node strategies.

79 vehicle fleet, a logical extension of regulation is to accelerate the introduction and use of cleaner vehicles at trade nodes. Several U.S. ports have “clean truck” programs, which are intended to accelerate the use of cleaner diesel and AFVs in drayage trucking. The most aggressive effort is the Clean Truck Program at the Los Angeles/Long Beach ports; Seat- tle, Oakland, and New York/New Jersey have programs with more flexibility and less aggressive targets. These programs are examples of voluntary regulation: the targets are reached via negotiation and are beyond regulatory requirements. As voluntary, negotiated programs, they are a good fit in the U.S. context. The targets and program structure differ from place to place, reflecting the different circumstances of each metro- politan area. The Clean Truck Program has been successful in turning over almost an entire drayage trucking fleet. While the Clean Truck Program had many consequences (lawsuits that con- tinue as this report is written, conflicts between port stake- holders, many independent operators driven out of business), it also achieved its goal of large emissions reductions from port-related sources. Similarly, it appears that the other pro- grams are progressing as anticipated. These “beyond compli- ance” voluntary efforts are successful and have good potential for more widespread adoption. 4.2.3.4 Equipment Management Another potential strategy for reducing truck VMT is to use port-related freight equipment—chassis and containers— more efficiently. Section 2.3 describes how ownership prac- tices often require the repositioning of containers and chassis, which can result in additional truck trips and increased VMT. If these ownership practices were relaxed, it would become possible to share containers and chassis, reducing VMT asso- ciated with picking up or moving containers or chassis. VCY allow truckers to locate and use an empty container close to the site where they have an import drop-off, thereby elimi- nating a non-revenue trip to a terminal where the empties are typically stored. Although carrier-owned (steamship line) chassis are still the dominant model in the United States, there are experi- ments with different models. Maersk, the world’s largest shipping line, decided to change its equipment management structure in 2009. Maersk owns some 90,000 chassis in the United States, a significant percentage of the 550,000 chassis in use. Maersk’s ChassisLink, launched in August 2009 in the Port of New York and New Jersey, charges truckers a daily fee—initially $11—which allows them to use a Maersk chas- sis any way they want and make as many trips as they want until it is returned. Since then, three industry approaches have emerged: (1) carriers charge truckers for equipment usage, (2) carriers divest themselves of equipment fleets and require truckers to lease equipment from a third party, or (3) carriers pool their equipment with other ocean carriers. In some cases, carriers adopt some combination of these approaches. Equipment owners are motivated to experiment with dif- ferent models due to the growing standardization of equip- ment characteristics (and therefore the declining value of branding one’s own equipment), the cost of owning equip- ment that is idle much of the time, and the cost of storing equipment at land facilities. Despite such motivations, public sector assistance may be necessary to assist with land assem- blage for shared equipment facilities and to sponsor studies that document the savings from such programs. Shared equipment offers a promising way to reduce truck trips while increasing the efficiency of port-related freight operations. Since it is industry motivated, it is a good fit in the U.S. context. The research team is unaware of studies that quantify the savings from shared equipment programs; this is clearly a topic for future research. 4.2.3.5 Rail Strategies Efficient rail and intermodal facilities are critical to interna- tional trade. However, at-grade rail crossings are vulnerable to conflicts among high-volume rail corridors, surface road traf- fic, and passenger commuter rail traffic. The main trade node city strategy to address these problems is capital investment to increase rail capacity and to eliminate at-grade rail crossings. The Alameda Corridor is a good example of both increasing rail capacity and reducing at-grade conflicts. CREATE in Chi- cago is a more ambitious project that seeks to rationalize the maze of rail and highway networks that converge in Chicago. A lesser known example is ReTrac, in Reno, Nevada, which relocated a major rail corridor and reconstructed it below grade to reduce impacts on downtown Reno. The major challenge to capital investment strategies is the lack of an obvious funding source. Railroads have little incen- tive to incur costs to solve a problem for road transport and, hence, are typically unwilling to pay for these investments. Local jurisdictions have no authority to force railroads to incur these costs, and local jurisdictions also have little incen- tive to pay for these investments, as they view rail traffic as a national responsibility. At the national level, there is no spe- cific funding source for such projects. Federal funding has in the past come from earmarks.31 In concept, capital invest- ments to reduce the impacts of rail on local residents and at the same time to increase rail efficiency are a reasonable and effective strategy. However, absent a federal funding source, 31 The freight programs in SAFETEA-LU were largely earmarked; see Giuliano (2007) for details.

80 such investments do not happen, as in the case of Alameda Corridor East. 4.2.3.6 Border Crossings Border crossing regions are a unique subset of trade nodes. Like port regions, border crossings generate truck traffic des- tined for local distribution or transfer facilities as well as mar- kets beyond the immediate metropolitan area. This means last-mile impacts as well as the pass-through impacts. Border crossings provide a unique challenge with regard to manag- ing regional freight capacity because of their international context. Both assessing and mitigating the negative impact of freight flows can be problematic and data collection can be difficult. The results of this research suggest that the literature on cross-border freight management is decidedly underdevel- oped. ITS-based projects have been used to mitigate delays at border crossings, but fewer projects (with the exception of the Pacific Northwest FAST project) have taken a more com- prehensive approach to cross-border freight management. A more comprehensive approach would factor in issues in addi- tion to delays at the border itself, including a lack of driver preparedness and the need for trusted traveler programs. The unique nature of North American border crossings (including the United States, Canada, and Mexico) demands responses that are tailored to the type of activity at each location. 4.3 Recommendations 4.3.1 Urban Freight Management Strategies The research team’s review and assessment suggests some promising options for improved management of freight in U.S. cities and metropolitan areas. The findings of this research are summarized in Table 15. Each strategy discussed previously is rated based on its effectiveness (meaning the extent to which the intended objectives were achieved) and applicability to the U.S. context. The section number in this report in which each strategy is discussed is also given in Table 15. Among the last-mile strategies, labeling and certifi- cation programs, land use planning (in the longer term), and off-hours deliveries are the most effective strategies. However, off-hours delivery programs are less transferable due to the many changes they require across the supply chain. Traffic and parking regulations are less effective, because they do not have an impact on the underlying demand for freight moves. The research team has rated the effectiveness of ITS strate- gies as medium due to their limited implementation feasibil- ity and the need for more development of some of the most potentially beneficial applications, such as truck parking and loading information systems. Within the category of environmental strategies, global fuel efficiency and emissions regulations have proven their effec- tiveness over several decades. LEZs are the most effective at addressing local hot spots, but do not appear to be feasible Table 15. Summary of strategies and their effectiveness and applicability to the United States. Section Number Strategy Effectiveness Applicability to United States La st -m ile 4.2.1.1 Labeling or other certification programs High High 4.2.1.2 Traffic and parking regulations Medium High 4.2.1.3 Land use planning policies High High 4.2.1.4 City logistics and consolidation schemes Low Low 4.2.1.5 Off-hours deliveries High Medium 4.2.1.6 Intelligent transport systems Medium Medium En vi ro nm en t 4.2.2.1 Truck fuel efficiency and emissions standards High High 4.2.2.2 Alternative fuels and vehicles Low Medium 4.2.2.3 Low emission zones High Low 4.2.2.4 Alternative modes Low Low 4.2.2.5 Environmental justice Medium High Tr ad e no de 4.2.3.1 Appointments and pricing strategies at ports Medium High 4.2.3.2 Road pricing and dedicated truck lanes to manage hub-related truck traffic High Low 4.2.3.3 Accelerated truck emissions reduction programs High Medium 4.2.3.4 Equipment management Medium Medium 4.2.3.5 Rail strategies Medium Medium 4.2.3.6 Border crossings Medium High

81 under current U.S. national and state policies. AFVs may prove to be very effective in the long term, but the technol- ogy and market penetration are not yet sufficient to achieve significant reductions in emissions or energy consumption. Environmental justice efforts are more advanced in the United States than in other countries; however, environmental justice problems are challenging to solve. Among the trade node strategies, road pricing and acceler- ated emissions programs are among the most effective strat- egies. Despite the effectiveness of road pricing, the research team has rated its applicability as low because of the con- tinuing strong political opposition from various stakeholder groups. Accelerated emissions-reduction programs based on negotiation and voluntary targets have proven to be effective and are a better fit in the U.S. context. Rail strategies can be effective, but involve high costs for which funding sources are not obvious. 4.3.2 Future Research Needs There are many opportunities for further research. First, most cities cannot answer the following questions: How many vehicles (be it a heavy-duty truck, a light-duty truck, a van, a car, or even a bike) are engaged in commercial activity? How many deliveries and pick-ups occur in a day or a week? As an example, the research team found little information on van deliveries and small package services. Data on delivery characteristics that are accessible to planners and research- ers are almost non-existent. Without these data, it is hard to confirm or refute conventional wisdom such as the idea that the rise of e-commerce means a net increase in commercial VMT. It may be that as people shift to buying goods online, small parcel delivery trucks are fuller, but do not increase their VMT. It may also be that as consumers buy fewer prod- ucts in stores, those retailers get fewer deliveries (although as today’s urban economy requires more frequent, customized deliveries, this may be unlikely). The basic task of describing the current state of urban freight flows is clearly a research priority. Additionally, the research team has found that while there is abundant research on system optimization, there is little research on how optimization methods work out in practice. Better data are needed on, for example, real-time route optimization that is based on actual fleet movements. Border crossings are a place where this could be done. Simi- larly, there is a great need for field tests in the area of tech- nology deployment. Since many urban areas are watching their logistics indus- try simultaneously decentralize and consolidate, studying the effect of this phenomenon on VMT is critical. It may be that the efficiency gains of consolidation outweigh the increase in VMT attributable to decentralization. If so, regions may wish to facilitate or even encourage these shifts. Of course, the converse may be true, resulting in its own policy implications. As centralization-consolidation occurs in the logistics industry, there are winners and losers. Central city neighbor- hoods may welcome the exodus, but the move is just a shift in the problem. With regard to consolidation, are dense freight centers worse for the environment than multiple smaller, dis- persed facilities? One of the biggest problems associated with urban freight is truck emissions, and this review has shown the many dif- ferent approaches being taken to address this problem. There seems to be limited information on the relative benefits and costs of truck registry systems, certification systems, or LEZs. Research is needed to better understand the effectiveness of these strategies. For example, in the case of LEZs, (1) what are the associated costs for both the government and logistics firms; (2) what is the impact on the trucking industry; and (3) are LEZs legally possible in the United States and, if so, at what level of government? Finally, there is a need for careful and systematic evalua- tion of existing policies and experiments. There is a lack of analysis of the impacts of certification schemes, truck access restrictions, and requirements for alternative fuel trucks. Ongoing experimentation provides a rich resource for dis- covering whether these efforts have the expected results or have unintended consequences that reduce their benefits.

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TRB’s National Cooperative Freight Research Program (NCFRP) Report 23: Synthesis of Freight Research in Urban Transportation Planning explores policies and practices for managing freight activity in metropolitan areas. The primary focus of the report is on “last-mile/first-mile” strategies, but it also addresses strategies affecting environmental issues and trading hubs or nodes.

The research used to develop the report looked beyond the United States—mostly, but not exclusively, in Europe and the European BESTUFS (Best Urban Freight Solutions) program—for potentially relevant policies and practices that could be used in the United States.

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