Publication Detail

Cargo Routing and Disadvantaged Communities


Research Report

Suggested Citation:
Jaller, Miguel, Anmol Pahwa, Michael Zhang (2021) Cargo Routing and Disadvantaged Communities. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-21-21

Freight is fundamental to economic growth, however, the trucks that haul this freight are pollution intensive, emitting criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases at high rates. The increasing volume and time-sensitivity of freight demand over the past decade has encouraged carriers to take the fastest route, which is often not an eco-friendly route. The increase in urban freight movement has thus brought along negative externalities such as congestion, emissions, and noise into cities. Alternative fuel technologies, such as electric trucks and hydrogen-fuel trucks can significantly reduce freight-related emissions. However, despite their lower operational costs, the high purchase cost and consequent longer payback periods compared to traditional vehicles, have resulted in slow adoption rates. Since the need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and local criteria pollutants is immediate, accounting for externalities in carriers’ tactical and operational decision-making in the form of eco-routing can bring about desired reductions in emissions. The objectives of this work are to explore the possibilities and potential of eco-routing from the perspective of the carrier, in terms of cost-benefits and trade-offs, and from the perspective of the regulator, in terms of network-wide effects and policy initiatives that could encourage carriers to eco-route. This study evaluates reduction in global greenhouse emissions and local criteria pollutants, with a particular focus on direct impacts on disadvantaged communities in the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) region.

Key words: Eco-routing, multi-criteria traffic assignment, origin-based traffic assignment, TAPAS, geofencing