The Impact of Truck Repositioning on Congestion and Pollution in the LA Basin
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The Impact of Truck Repositioning on Congestion and Pollution in the LA Basin

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      mpact of Truck Repositioning on Congestion and Pollution in the LA Basin
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    • Abstract:
      Pollution and congestion caused by port related truck traffic is usually estimated based on careful transportation modeling and simulation. In these efforts, however, attention is normally focused on trucks on their way from a terminal at the Los Angeles or Long Beach ports to a delivery point or on their way from a pick up point to a terminal. In general empty, repositioning routes, however, are generally discarded in the overall analysis of a truck’s pollution and congestion impact, or at best a simple estimate is used instead. This is reasonable as long as it can be assumed that the drivers live very close to the port, a fact that may potentially change, however, in the near future. Namely if drivers will be required to deliver to and pick up from more distant inland ports - such as Victorville - instead of the ports. It is usually assumed that any inland port location, since it will reduce congestion at the ports automatically will lead to a reduction of congestion and pollution near the ports. Little, however, is so far known about the real impact a potential inland port site such as Victorville would have on pollution and congestion in the Southern California region. Also little is known about the potential subsequent behavior of trucking companies. What if, for example, a company decides not to move close to an inland port site and hence the length of empty repositioning drives increases? In this project we develop accurate data about the repositioning costs of trucks under current and future conditions. Namely, we first survey truck drivers and trucking companies to determine the locations where trucks are currently parked when not in use, and then determine a trucking company's willingness to move closer to a place such as a future inland port where most of their container transactions would be conducted. Most trucks serving the LA/LB ports used to be owner operated. In interviews conducted with truck drivers inside the port complex and trucking company representatives we found that most drivers moving containers to and from the ports are no longer identifying themselves as owner operators and are now working for large or small trucking companies either as employees or subcontractors. As a result drivers are now repositioning their trucks – when not in use – to and from the yards of such trucking companies. Second, at the example of the proposed Victorville inland port and using the California Air resource Boards EMFAC 2007 model we analyze the pollution impact of several possible repositioning and container distribution scenarios. We also discuss the resulting net impact on congestion and pollution in the LA basin under different assumptions about potential trucking company behavior. We develop several example scenarios that allowed us to test different hypotheses associated with inland ports. We show that while an inland port such as Victorville has the potential to significantly reduce pollution and congestion in the region immediately surrounding the ports of Los Angeles / Long Beach; it also has the potential to be a catalyst for a dramatic spike in congestion and pollution in the Southern California region as a whole. We furthermore show that any effort to establish and set up an inland port must be executed in close cooperation and coordination with warehouse owners and the drayage industry. If warehouses and drayage companies do not follow the inland port it will have a negative effect on congestion and pollution in the region as a whole.
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