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Unintended environmental impacts of nighttime freight logistics activities

Author

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  • Sathaye, Nakul
  • Harley, Robert
  • Madanat, Samer

Abstract

In recent years, the reduction of freight vehicle trips during peak hours has been a common policy goal. To this end, policies have been implemented to shift logistics operations to nighttime hours. The purpose of such policies has generally been to mitigate congestion and environmental impacts. However, the atmospheric boundary layer is generally more stable during the night than the day. Consequently, shifting logistics operations to the night may increase 24-h average concentrations of diesel exhaust pollutants in many locations. This paper presents realistic scenarios for two California cities, which provide diesel exhaust concentration and human intake estimates after temporal redistributions of daily logistics operations. Estimates are made for multiple redistribution patterns, including from 07:00-19:00 to 19:00-07:00, similar to daytime congestion charging polices, and from 03:00-18:00 to 18:00-03:00, corresponding to the PierPASS program at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Results for these two redistribution scenarios indicate that 24-h average exhaust concentrations would increase at most locations in California, and daily human intake is likely to worsen or be unimproved at best. These results are shown to be worse for inland than coastal settings, due to differences in meteorology. Traffic congestion effects are considered, using a new graphical method, which depicts how off-peak policies can be environmentally improving or damaging, depending on traffic speeds and meteorology.

Suggested Citation

  • Sathaye, Nakul & Harley, Robert & Madanat, Samer, 2010. "Unintended environmental impacts of nighttime freight logistics activities," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(8), pages 642-659, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:44:y:2010:i:8:p:642-659
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:transa:v:102:y:2017:i:c:p:172-187 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Gatta, Valerio & Marcucci, Edoardo, 2014. "Urban freight transport and policy changes: Improving decision makers' awareness via an agent-specific approach," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 248-252.
    3. Lee, Gunwoo & You, Soyoung (Iris) & Ritchie, Stephen G. & Saphores, Jean-Daniel & Jayakrishnan, R. & Ogunseitan, Oladele, 2012. "Assessing air quality and health benefits of the Clean Truck Program in the Alameda corridor, CA," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1177-1193.
    4. Meisel, Frank & Thiele, Nicole, 2014. "Where to dispose of urban green waste? Transportation planning for the maintenance of public green spaces," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 147-162.
    5. Cherry, Christopher R. & Adelakun, Adebola A., 2012. "Truck driver perceptions and preferences: Congestion and conflict, managed lanes, and tolls," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 1-9.

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