PUBLICATION

3MTI 02-04

Trucks, Traffic, and Timely Transport: A Regional Freight Logistics Profile

by Principal Investigator John Niles.

Reports the author, "We designed a series of map displays and quantitative measures that provide a linkage between the characteristics of local delivery trucking and the public policy issues that stem from and influence these characteristics. The Regional Freight Logistics Profile (RFLP) emerges as an easy-to-understand yet comprehensive description of urban trucking that stimulates a more constructive dialog among government transportation leaders, shippers, truckers, and the general public."

Niles recommends that metropolitan planning organizations (MPO), as well as those with responsibility for technical assistance to MPOs, review the RFLP design for potential adaptation and adoption.

ABSTRACT

This report justifies and designs a comprehensive tool for describing intraurban trucking, which is the bulk of truck movement in an urban area but typically is unexamined in regional transportation planning.

We begin by reviewing literature describing the characteristics and policy issues bearing on freight. We extract from that literature a structure for describing those policy issues, and then go on to design a series of map displays and quantitative measures that provide a linkage between the characteristics of local delivery trucking and the public policy issues that stem from and influence these characteristics. The Regional Freight Logistics Profile (RFLP) emerges as an easy-to-understand yet comprehensive description of urban trucking that stimulates a more constructive dialog among government transportation leaders, shippers, truckers, and the general public. The design balances coverage of the variety of public and business concerns relative to freight against the costs and other practicalities of collecting data. To overcome reluctance on the part of private companies to reveal performance information, we have designed an institutional approach to gathering truck fleet performance data that does not compromise confidential performance data from competing carriers and shippers.

We recommend that metropolitan planning organizations, as well as state and federal freight mobility offices with responsibility for technical assistance to MPOs, review the RFLP design for potential adaptation and adoption.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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JOHN NILES

John Niles is founder and president of Global Telematics, a contract research and policy consulting firm based in Seattle, Washington, that focuses on the interaction of transportation and telecommunications. In addition, he is a Mineta Transportation Institute Research Associate and Senior Fellow of Technology and Transportation at the Discovery Institute.

Lately, the focus of his work has been on improving the responsiveness of transportation policy decision and public investments to the network economy. He has led research studies on telecom driven reduction of personal travel for several Metropolitan Planning Organizations and the United States Department of Energy. He is a member of the Telecommunications and Travel Behavior Committee of the Transportation Research Board. He earned his M.S. from the Graduate School of Industrial Administration at Carnegie Mellon University and his S.B. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

ABOUT THE TEAM

DICK NELSONDick Nelson is president and senior researcher at Integrated Transport Research, a Washington State nonprofit corporation. He is also a Research Associate at the Mineta Transportation Institute. His recent work has focused on the integration of land use and transportation, specifically the concept of transit-oriented development. From 1977 through 1992, he was a member of the Washington State House of Representatives, where he worked to establish state laws that address growth management, state transportation planning, the linkage of transportation and land use, incentives to use transit and carpool, and transportation demand management. Over the past two decades, he has been a member of numerous state and local boards, commissions, and advisory committees related to transportation. He earned his Sc.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his B.Sc. from the University of Washington.

MARILYN EASTERMarilyn Easter is a lecturer in the marketing program at San José State University, where she is also the Business Communication Coordinator. She was the Acting Director and Consultant of the Marketing and Management Program at the University of California Berkeley Extended Education in Berkeley, California. Her publications include The ABCs of Marketing a Successful Business, several articles in the Journal of Culture and Society and The Independent News. She is also a contributing writer for 14 major daily and weekly papers in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento. Her work in education has been recognized in several national and local publications and newspapers, including Time, U.S. News, the San Francisco Examiner and Newsweek. She earned her M.A. in Administration and Management from Denver University and her Pd.D. from the University of San Francisco.

EHVAN TRANEhvan Tran is a 2002 graduate of San Jose State University, where he earned bachelor degrees in marketing and management information systems. He was twice awarded the academic honor of Woelffel Fellowships. As a special assistant to a professor, he helped college students develop exceptional communication skills as well as better professional resumes. He also led a research team on a study of the effectiveness of students' communications as related to their academic learning at the College of Business.

TECHNICAL

MTI Report 02-04
Trucks, Traffic, and Timely Transport: A Regional Freight Logistics Profile
Principal Investigator: John Niles
Published: June 2003
Keywords: Transportation systems, Indicators, Freight, Sustainable development, Regional planning, Urban transportation
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