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Truck activity and wait times at international border crossings : USDOT Region V Regional University Transportation Center final report.
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  • Alternative Title:
    USDOT Region V Regional University Transportation Center final report : technical summary.
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  • Abstract:
    Documenting the times trucks incur when crossing an international border facility is valuable both to the private freight industry and to gateway facility operators and planners. Members of the project team previously developed and implemented an approach to document truck activity times associated with crossing an international border by using technologies that are already in use by truck fleets. The approach relies on position, navigation, and timing (PNT) systems in the form of on‐board GPS‐enabled data units, virtual perimeters called geo‐fences that surround areas of interest, and a mechanism for data transmission. The project team has been teaming with a major freight hauler whose trucks regularly traverse two of the busiest North American freight border crossings – the privately owned Ambassador Bridge, connecting Detroit, MI, and Windsor, ON, and the publicly owned Blue Water Bridge, connecting Port Huron, MI, and Sarnia, ON– to determine times associated with the multiple activities associated with using the facilities at these border crossing sites.

    In the study reported here, additional data were collected for future analysis, and previously collected data were processed to determine truck queuing times immediately upstream of the primary inspection facilities at the Ambassador Bridge (AMB) and Blue Water Bridge (BWB) facilities in both the Michigan‐to‐Ontario (MI‐ON) and Ontario‐to‐ Michigan (ON‐MI) directions, the times trucks spent in inspection at the facilities in each direction, and the times trucks spent traversing surface streets in Windsor, ON, after exiting or before entering the Ambassador Bridge facility. (Little border crossing truck traffic uses surface streets in Detroit, Sarnia, or Port Huron, so these areas were not considered for surface street analysis.) These more recently estimated queuing, inspection, and surface street times were compared to times previously estimated in another project. Additionally, an approach to portray deseasonalized trends in queuing, inspection, and surface street times was applied to these unique historical data. Empirical investigations of the association between queuing and inspection times were conducted, and models relating queuing times to truck volumes and inspection times were developed.

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