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Technical Report

Washington State Freight System Resiliency

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Publication: Transportation Northwest (TransNow)
Publication Date: 2009

The economic viability and well-being of Washington State is significantly influenced by the freight transportation system serving the region. An increased understanding of the vulnerability of this freight system to natural disasters, weather, terrorist acts, work stoppages and other potential freight transportation disruptions will provide the State with the information necessary to assess the resiliency of the transportation system, and provide policy makers with the information required to improve it. This research project: a) Identifies a set of threats or categories of threats to be analyzed. b) Assesses the likelihood of each event occurring within certain time horizons. c) With the threats and their probabilities, analyzes the resiliency of the Washington transportation system.

Authors: Dr. Anne GoodchildDr. Ed McCormack, Eric Jessup, Derek Andreoli, Kelly Pitera, Chilan Ta
Recommended Citation:
Goodchild, A., Jessup, E., McCormack, E., Ta, C., Pitera, K., & Andreoli, D. (2009). Washington state freight system resiliency (No. TNW2009-01). Transportation Northwest (Organization).
Student Thesis and Dissertations

Economic Implications of the Use of Technology in Commercial Vehicle Operations

Publication Date: 2012

The effective and efficient movement of freight is essential to the economic well-being of our country but freight transport also adversely impacts our society by contributing to a large number of crashes, including those resulting in injuries and fatalities. Technology has been used increasingly to facilitate safety and operational improvements within commercial vehicle operations, but motor carriers operate on small profit margins, limiting their ability to make large investments without also seeing an economic benefit from such technologies. This dissertation explores the economic implications associated with using onboard monitoring systems to enhance safety in commercial vehicle operations.

First, to better understand how electronic on-board systems work, paper-based methods of recording driver hours of service are compared to automated (or electronically recorded) hours of service for three motor carriers using process analysis. This analysis addressed the differences between manual (paper-based) and electronic methods of recording hours of service, specifically as they relate to the frequencies and magnitude of the errors. Potential errors are categorized by operations within an information-based process and the findings suggest that a reduction of errors can be achieved with an electronic system.

A benefit-cost analysis provides a better understanding of the economic implications of onboard monitoring systems from the perspective of the carrier. In addition to the benefits of reduced crashes, benefits associated with electronic recording of hours of service, reduced mileage, and reduced fuel costs are considered. A sensitivity analysis is used and demonstrates that on-board monitoring systems are economically viable under a wide range of conditions. Results indicate that, for some fleet types, reducing crashes and improving hours of service recording, provides a net benefit of close to $300,000 over the five-year expected lifespan of the system. Furthermore, when exploring additional benefits such as reduced fuel consumption and reduced vehicle miles, benefits can be upwards of seven times more than safety-related benefits. This research also shows that net positive benefits are possible in large and small-sized fleets. Results can be used to inform policies for motivating or mandating carriers to use such systems and to inform carriers regarding the value of system investment.

Authors: Kelly A. Pitera
Recommended Citation:
Pitera, Kelly Ann. "Economic Implications of the Use of Technology in Commercial Vehicle Operations." PhD diss., 2012.
Thesis: Array
Student Thesis and Dissertations

Economic Characteristics of Drayage Drivers at the Port of Seattle

Publication Date: 2014

The Port of Seattle surveyed drayage truckers serving the port in 2006, 2008, and surveyed drivers again in 2013 in partnership with the University of Washington. This thesis describes the methodology used to survey drayage drivers at the Port of Seattle, describes the economic conditions of drayage drivers at the port and changes in economic conditions since previous surveys, and attempts to model driver earnings based on other driver characteristics.

By increasing the number of days that the survey was distributed, and by soliciting driver feedback to make the survey understandable and relevant to drivers, the 2013 survey was able to gather a larger survey size than previous efforts (290 responses in 2013, compared to 99 responses in 2008 and 167 responses in 2006).

From 2008 to 2013, there was a reduction in the number of drivers working five or more days per week, from 80% in 2008 to 70% in 2013. The percentage of drivers doing work other than port trucking has increased from 8% in 2008 to 37% in 2013. Findings suggest that due to changing conditions at the Port of Seattle, there is a growing population of drivers that do port trucking as a part-time job in combination with other forms of work, rather than a full-time occupation.

Attempts at modeling driver earnings based on other factors (English as a second language, trip type, doing work other than port trucking, and average hours worked per week) did not discover strong relationships between these factors and earnings. It is recommended that future efforts in this area use higher resolution earnings data than the data available from the 2013 survey.

Authors: Jerome Drescher
Recommended Citation:
Drescher, Jerome (2014). Economic Characteristics of Drayage Drivers at the Port of Seattle, University of Washington Master's Degree Thesis.
Thesis: Array