Port Runners: Impacts and Solutions
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Port Runners: Impacts and Solutions

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  • Alternative Title:
    Port runners - impacts and solutions : final report 563.
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    Final Report 563
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  • Abstract:
    This purpose of this research is to quantify the occurrence of port running in the State of Arizona. Port running is the term used to describe the action of evading or bypassing ports of entry. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) uses various ports of entry scattered throughout the state to monitor the commercial truck traffic that travels through the state for compliance with weight limits, safety regulations, and fee payments. Port runners create a large problem for ADOT because they potentially endanger the safety of other motorists, they over-stress our highways, causing major maintenance issues, and they avoid paying the fees that ADOT uses to maintain and construct new roadways. In addition to noncompliance, port runners are sometimes found carrying unlawful cargo, such as uninspected agriculture and/or illegal aliens, which create large economic and security risks for the State. This report contains a literature review of the current research that has been performed on this issue. An understanding of the existing literature on port runners and overweight commercial trucks helps to provide a framework for the rest of the research. It reveals estimated volume, safety, revenue, and pavement impacts related to this problem. It also begins to show the extent to which this problem affects other states and the methods they use to deter port runners. The research includes a study of the current data collected by the ADOT on traffic and revenue. These data have been used to estimate the volume of port running that occurs in Arizona. These data also offer insight into the actual dollar cost this problem presents for the State. A survey of all other state department of transportations was conducted to gain a better understanding of the prevalence of this problem. The survey questions were directed to gain each state’s estimate of the volume of port evasion that occurs in the state and how it is monitored. The survey also reveals techniques used by other states to reduce the frequency of port running, if any. This data were compiled and the results shown in tabular and graphical formats. A significant portion of this project consisted of field time—time spent at various ports of entry through out the state. The researchers conducted a sampling of the commercial truck traffic at carefully selected ports. Researchers monitored the number of trucks that successfully passed though the weigh station in a given amount of time. Researchers also recorded the number of trucks that were not inspected but rather waved through, along with trucks that passed through when the weigh station is not open. Finally, routes that could be used to bypass the weigh stations were staked out, and the number of trucks that passed along those routes in a given amount of time was recorded. These data was used to estimate the total volume of trucks that are evading Arizona’s weigh stations. The report concludes with a summary of the impact of port running on the State of Arizona. It also offers operational, structural, and business-related recommendations ADOT can use to reduce the prevalence of this activity.
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