Publication Detail

National Impacts of E-commerce Growth: Development of a Spatial Demand Based Tool


Research Report

National Center for Sustainable Transportation, Sustainable Freight

Suggested Citation:
Jaller Martelo, Miguel, Xiao Runhua, Sarah Dennis, Daniel Rivera, Anmol Pahwa (2022) National Impacts of E-commerce Growth: Development of a Spatial Demand Based Tool. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-22-44

This project aims to study the impacts of e-commerce on shopping behaviors and related externalities. The objectives are divided into five major tasks in this project. Methods used include Weighted Multinomial Logit (WMNL) models, time series forecasting, and Monte Carlo (MC) simulations. The American Time Use Survey (ATUS) and the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) databases are used for identifying the independent and dependent variables for behavioral modeling. At the same time, the researchers collected all MSA population data from the U.S. Census Bureau and combined the shares of each variable from ATUS to generate a synthesized population, which serves as input into the MC simulation framework together with the behavioral model. This simulation framework includes the generation of shopping travel parameters and the calculation of negative externalities. The authors do this to estimate e-commerce demand and impacts every decade until 2050. The results and analyses provide information that supports the generation of shopping travel and the estimations of a series of negative externalities using MC simulation, which includes shopping travel parameters, last-mile delivery parameters, and emission rate per person. For different parameters, a unique probability distribution or a regression relation is obtained for different MSAs, and this distribution is fed into the subsequent MC simulation. Finally, the researchers simulated shopping behaviors for synthesized populations (until 2050) and to estimate the expected negative externalities. The MC simulation generates aggregate average vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and emissions (negative externalities) for different shopping activities in the planning years and different MSAs.

Key words: e-commerce, shopping behavior, externalities, forecast, Monte Carlo simulation