Publication Detail

Environmental Regulation Impacts on Freight Diversion


Research Report

Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy

Suggested Citation:
Fuller, Sam, Kelly Fleming, Austin Brown, Daniel Sperling, Colin Murphy (2018) Environmental Regulation Impacts on Freight Diversion. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RP-18-43

What is the potential effect of environmental policy on freight diversion away from California ports?

Specifically: What does the literature say regarding the real-world impacts of regulations on the way freight is transported? What are the tipping points where regulatory costs could cause some freight transport that would normally come to, through, or out of California to be diverted to other modes and/or to ports outside of the state, and what would be the net change in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions? What is known about this issue as it pertains to goods transported through ports via maritime shipping, primarily bulk and auto transport vessels?

This whitepaper surveys and summarizes the relevant literature regarding freight diversion. It concludes with recommendations for research to better understand the factors that affect how and where shipping companies transport freight, and to inform development of regulations and policies that can achieve environmental goals while minimizing adverse economic impacts.