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The State of Sustainable Urban Last-Mile Freight Planning in the United States

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Publication: Journal of the American Planning Association
Volume: 2024
Pages: 1-14
Publication Date: 2024

Problem, research strategy, and findings
The transportation sector is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. To articulate how cities may combat rising emissions, municipalities throughout the country have produced climate action and sustainability plans that outline strategies to reduce their carbon footprints from transportation. At the same time, last-mile delivery—also known as urban freight—is becoming an increasingly important component of urban transport emissions due to the rise of e-commerce. However, few cities are overtly pursuing policies to reduce emissions from this subsector. In this research we used content analysis to determine the extent to which major cities (based on population and growth) were considering or actively developing sustainable urban freight practices. We developed a simple contextual scale to compare the comprehensiveness of planning trends between cities. This content analysis also identified the strategies those cities are considering. Our findings show that fewer than half (45%) of the studied cities have considered last-mile freight in sustainability planning at all. Of those, only 17 (29%) have articulated an intent to dedicate resources toward achieving that goal.

Takeaway for practice
We found that urban freight planning is still in its infancy in terms of actions taken by municipal agencies. Though some cities have comparatively comprehensive plans dedicated to the industry, most are just now scratching the surface. Those cities lacking dedicated last-mile freight plans can learn from those other cities initiating pilots and collecting data from the industry. We point out also, though, that urban freight planning requires an understanding of the stakeholders, namely, delivery companies, and the first step for many cities is to initiate communication and collaboration with the private sector to better understand the environmental impact of urban freight in their city.

Last-mile goods delivery, and the externalities associated with it, is on the rise in urban areas (Buldeo Rai et al., Citation2017; World Economic Forum, Citation2020). The increase in urban deliveries can be attributed to changes in consumer demand, new or better services offered by companies, and the increase in the urban population. E-commerce has changed the way customers interact with companies by offering platforms outside traditional shopping channels (Wagner et al., Citation2020). Services including same-day delivery, prepared food delivery applications, and grocery delivery services have resulted in the growth of e-commerce-related urban freight trips (Rotem-Mindali & Weltevreden, Citation2013) as well as an increase in the number of vehicles competing for limited space on city infrastructure (Chen et al., Citation2016; Viu-Roig & Alvarez-Palau, Citation2020). Cities, then, have been increasingly affected by the local air and noise pollution, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, congestion, and road safety hazards associated with last-mile delivery vehicle activities. Air and noise pollution have immediate, negative impacts on the health of urban populations, and GHG emissions are contributing to long-term climate change (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Citation2016). Dense, highly populated, and rapidly growing cities can expect to see an increase in goods-related vehicle traffic of up to 30% in the coming decade (World Economic Forum, Citation2020).

Our research is part of a larger project aimed at identifying ways to reduce emissions from last-mile goods movement and the challenges that exist to implementation of those strategies. Throughout this article we use urban freight and last-mile delivery or goods movement interchangeably. This research is centered on the planning aspect of urban freight. Policy problems, in this case emissions from freight, are often referenced in long-range planning documents and solutions are offered. Planning documents can be a useful tool to identify the scale and scope of resources being allocated to a problem. Our research is the first to ask: What is the state of sustainable urban last-mile freight planning in U.S. cities?

In particular, we address the following questions:

  • How do U.S. cities define urban freight?
  • What strategies are U.S. cities considering to reduce last-mile delivery emissions?
  • How often are freight strategies considered in urban planning?
  • What is the context in which sustainable last-mile strategies are referenced?

We answered these research questions by performing a scan of the relevant policy documents published by major U.S. cities. We first identified which sustainable last-mile strategies cities were seeking to implement. Then we evaluated the degree to which those strategies were incorporated into city planning documents: Were there tests or pilots ongoing, or was the reference intended to guide policy decisions in the future? Our analysis here provides a general overview of how widespread sustainable urban freight planning is in U.S. cities.

This article is organized as follows: The next section describes the methods used to select U.S. cities to evaluate, extract prescient references from those cities’ planning documents, and the evaluation tool developed for our research. Next, we describe findings from the review of the city plans, organized by research subquestions listed above. We show that the definition of urban freight has been inconsistent and that few cities have considered multiple strategies, much less dedicated resources to testing those strategies. Findings are followed by a discussion of the key findings and conclusions. We found that there were model cities pursuing multiple sustainable freight avenues from which other cities less familiar with the industry could gain valuable knowledge.

Recommended Citation:
Maxner, T., Dalla Chiara, G., & Goodchild, A. (2024). The State of Sustainable Urban Last-Mile Freight Planning in the United States. Journal of the American Planning Association, 1–14.

Freight’s Role in Delivering Equitable Cities (Part II)

Publication: Goods Movement 2030: An Urban Freight Blog
Publication Date: 2022

Moving freight is vital to our ability to live in cities and access goods — but who bears the costs of moving goods, and who benefits from the access that goods movement provides? These costs and benefits have not been borne equally.

The last blog post revealed how urban freight is largely missing in discussions around transportation equity and accessibility. Freight delivers immense benefits to cities and residents. These benefits go beyond economic development, which is often how policymakers see freight. Not to say these economic benefits are small potatoes. Roughly 40 percent of Washington jobs connect to freight, generating $92 billion in economic impact annually.

So while the benefits of the urban freight system are foundational to cities, they go largely overlooked. The value of a freight system comes when you enjoy a good meal, receive essential medicines, or get lost in a favorite book. Put simply: Moving freight is vital to our ability to live in cities and access goods.

But who bears the costs of moving goods, and who benefits from the access that goods movement provides? These costs and benefits have not been borne equally.

Authors: Travis Fried
Recommended Citation:
"Freight’s Role in Delivering Equitable Cities (Part II)" Goods Movement 2030 (blog). Urban Freight Lab, December 13, 2022.

More Online Shopping Means More Delivery Trucks. Are Cities Ready?

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Publication: The Conversation
Publication Date: 2016

Two converging trends — the rise of e-commerce and urban population growth — are creating big challenges for cities. Online shoppers are learning to expect the urban freight delivery system to bring them whatever they want, wherever they want it, within one to two hours. That’s especially true during the holidays, as shipping companies hustle to deliver gift orders on time.

City managers and policymakers were already grappling with high demand and competing uses for scarce road, curb, and sidewalk space. If cities do not act quickly to revamp the way they manage increasing numbers of commercial vehicles unloading goods in streets and alleys and into buildings, they will drown in a sea of double-parked trucks.

The University of Washington has formed a new Urban Freight Lab to solve delivery system problems that cities and the business sector cannot handle on their own. Funders of this long-term strategic research partnership include the City of Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and five founding corporate members: Costco, FedEx, Nordstrom, UPS, and the U.S. Postal Service.

The core problem facing cities is that they are trying to manage their part of a sophisticated data-powered 21st-century delivery system with tools designed for the 1800s — and they are often trying to do it alone. Consumers can order groceries, clothes, and electronics with a click, but most cities only have a stripe of colored paint to manage truck parking at the curb. The Urban Freight Lab brings building managers, retailers, logistics and tech firms, and city government together to do applied research and develop advanced solutions.

Moving more goods, more quickly

We have reached the point where millions of people who live and work in cities purchase more than half of their goods online. This trend is putting tremendous pressure on local governments to rethink how they manage street curb parking and alley operations for trucks and other delivery vehicles. It also forces building operators to plan for the influx of online goods. A few years ago, building concierges may have received a few flower bouquets. Now many are sorting and storing groceries and other goods for hundreds of residents every week.

In the first quarter of 2016, almost 8 percent of total U.S. retail sales took place online. Surging growth in U.S. online sales has averaged more than 15 percent year-over-year since 2010. Black Friday web sales soared by 22 percent from 2015 to 2016.

Online shoppers’ expectations for service are also rising. Two out of three shoppers expect to be able to place an order as late as 5:00 p.m. for next-day delivery. Three out of five believe orders placed by noon should be delivered the same day, and one out of four believe orders placed by 4:00 p.m. or later should still be delivered on the same day.

City living and shopping is still all about location, location, location. People are attracted to urban neighborhoods because they prefer to walk more and drive less. Respondents in the 2015 National Multifamily Housing Council-Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences Survey preferred walking to grocery stores and restaurants rather than driving by seven points. But this lifestyle requires merchants to deliver goods to customers’ homes, office buildings or stores close to where they live.

Smarter delivery systems

SDOT recently published Seattle’s first draft Freight Master Plan, which includes high-level strategies to improve the urban goods delivery system. But before city managers act, they need evidence to prove which concepts will deliver results.

To lay the groundwork for our research, an SCTL team led by Dr. Ed McCormack and graduate students Jose Machado Leon and Gabriela Giron surveyed 523 blocks of Seattle’s downtown (including Belltown, the commercial core, Pioneer Square and International District), South Lake Union and Uptown urban centers in the fall of 2016. They compiled GIS coordinates and infrastructure characteristics for all observable freight loading bays within buildings. Our next step is to combine this information with existing GIS layers of the city’s curbside commercial vehicle load zones and alleys to produce a complete map of Seattle’s urban delivery infrastructure.

In our first research project, the Urban Freight Lab is using data-based process improvement tools to purposefully manage both public and private operations of the Final-50-Feet space. The final 50 feet of the urban delivery system begins when a truck stops at a city-owned curb, commercial vehicle load zone or alley. It extends along sidewalks and through privately owned building freight bays, and may end in common areas within a building, such as the lobby.

One key issue is failed deliveries: Some city residents don’t receive their parcels due to theft or because they weren’t home to accept them. Could there be secure, common drop-off points for multiple carriers to use, attached to bus stops or on the sidewalk?

The most pressing issue is the lack of space for trucks to park and deliver goods downtown. It may be possible to use technology to get more use out of existing commercial vehicle load zones. For example, trucks might be able to use spaces now reserved exclusively for other uses during off-peak hours or seasons.

To analyze the fundamental problems in the urban logistics system, our research team will create process flow maps of each step in the goods delivery process for five buildings in Seattle. We will collect data and build a model to analyze “what if” scenarios for one location. Then we will pilot test several promising low-cost, high-value actions on Seattle streets in the fall of 2017. The pilots may involve actively managing city load zones and alleys to maximize truck use, or changing the way people use freight elevators.

By using information technologies and creative planning, we can make receiving online goods as efficient as ordering them — without clogging our streets or losing our packages.

Recommended Citation:
Goodchild, A., & Ivanov, B. (2016, December 20). More online shopping means more delivery trucks. Are cities ready? The Conversation.

How Many Amazon Packages Get Delivered Each Year?

Publication: The Conversation
Publication Date: 2022

How many Amazon packages get delivered each year? – Aya K., age 9, Illinois

It’s incredibly convenient to buy something online, right from your computer or phone. Whether it’s a high-end telescope or a resupply of toothpaste, the goods appear right at your doorstep. This kind of shopping is called “e-commerce” and it’s becoming more popular each year. In the U.S., it has grown from a mere 7% of retail purchases in 2012 to 19.6% of retail and $791.7 billion in sales in 2020.

Amazon’s growing reach
For Amazon, the biggest player in e-commerce, this means delivering lots of packages.

In 2021 Amazon shipped an estimated 7.7 billion packages globally, based on its nearly $470 billion in sales.

In 2021 Amazon shipped an estimated 7.7 billion packages globally.

If each of these packages were a 1-foot square box and they were stacked on top of one another, the pile would be six times higher than the distance from the Earth to the Moon. Laid end to end, they would wrap around the Earth 62 times.

Back in the early 2010s, most things bought from were shipped using a third-party carrier like FedEx or UPS. In 2014, however, Amazon began delivering packages itself with a service called “Fulfilled by Amazon.” That’s when those signature blue delivery vans started appearing on local streets.

Since then, Amazon’s logistics arm has grown from relying entirely on other carriers to shipping 22% of all packages in the U.S. in 2021. This is greater than FedEx’s 19% market share and within striking distance of UPS’s 24%. Amazon’s multichannel fulfillment service allows other websites to use its warehousing and shipping services. So your order from Etsy or eBay could also be packed and shipped by Amazon.

The supply chain
To handle that many packages, shipping companies need an extensive network of manufacturers, vehicles and warehouses that can coordinate together. This is called the supply chain. If you’ve ever used a tracking number to follow a package, you’ve seen it in action.

People who make decisions about where to send vehicles and how to route packages are constantly trying to keep costs down while still getting packages to customers on time. The supply chain can do this very effectively, but it also has downsides.

More delivery vehicles on the road produce more greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, along with pollutants like nitrogen oxides and particulate matter that are hazardous to breathe. Traffic congestion is also a major concern in cities as delivery drivers try to find parking on busy streets.

Urban freight solutions
Are there ways to balance the increasing number of deliveries while making freight safe, sustainable and fast? At the University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab, we work with companies like Amazon and UPS and others in the shipping, transportation and real estate sectors to answer questions like this. Here are some solutions for what we and our colleagues call the “last mile” – the last leg of a package’s long journey to your doorstep.

  • Electrification: Transitioning from gasoline and diesel vehicles to fleets of electric or other zero-emission vehicles reduces pollution from delivery trucks. Tax credits and local policies, such as creating so-called green loading zones and zero-emission zones for clean vehicles, create incentives for companies to make the switch.
  • Common carrier lockers: Buildings can install lockers at central locations, such as busy transit stops, so that drivers can drop off packages without going all the way to your doorstep. When you’re ready to pick up your items, you just stop by at a time that’s convenient for you. This reduces both delivery truck mileage and the risk of packages being stolen off of porches.
  • Cargo bicycles: Companies can take the delivery truck out of the equation and use electric cargo bicycles to drop off smaller packages. In addition to being zero-emission, cargo bicycles are relatively inexpensive and easy to park, and they provide a healthier alternative for delivery workers.

To learn more about supply chains and delivery logistics, check with your town or city’s transportation department to see if they are testing or already have goods delivery programs or policies, like those in New York and Seattle. And the next time you order something for delivery, consider your options for receiving it, such as walking or biking to a package locker or pickup point, or consolidating your items into a single delivery.

Package delivery can be both convenient and sustainable if companies keep evolving their supply chains, and everyone thinks about how they want delivery to work in their neighborhoods.

Recommended Citation:
Goodchild, A. How many Amazon packages get delivered each year? The Conversation.

An Analytical Model for Vehicle Miles Traveled and Carbon Emissions for Goods Delivery Scenarios

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Publication: European Transport Research Review
Volume: 10
Publication Date: 2018

This paper presents an analytical model to contrast the carbon emissions from a number of goods delivery methods. This includes individuals travelling to the store by car, and delivery trucks delivering to homes. While the impact of growing home delivery services has been studied with combinatorial approaches, those approaches do not allow for systematic conclusions regarding when the service provides net benefit. The use of the analytical approach presented here, allows for more systematic relationships to be established between problem parameters, and therefore broader conclusions regarding when delivery services may provide a CO2 benefit over personal travel.


Analytical mathematical models are developed to approximate total vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and carbon emissions for a personal vehicle travel scenario, a local depot vehicle travel scenario, and a regional warehouse travel scenario. A graphical heuristic is developed to compare the carbon emissions of a personal vehicle travel scenario and local depot delivery scenario.


The analytical approach developed and presented in the paper demonstrates that two key variables drive whether a delivery service or personal travel will provide a lower CO2 solution. These are the emissions ratio, and customer density. The emissions ratio represents the relative emissions impact of the delivery vehicle when compared to the personal vehicle. The results show that with a small number of customers, and low emissions ratio, personal travel is preferred. In contrast, with a high number of customers and low emissions ratio, delivery service is preferred.


While other research into the impact of delivery services on CO2 emissions has generally used a combinatorial approach, this paper considers the problem using an analytical model. A detailed simulation can provide locational specificity, but provides less insight into the fundamental drivers of system behavior. The analytical approach exposes the problem’s basic relationships that are independent of local geography and infrastructure. The result is a simple method for identifying context when personal travel, or delivery service, is more CO2 efficient.

Authors: Dr. Anne Goodchild, Erica Wygonik, Nathan Mayes
Recommended Citation:
Goodchild, Anne, Erica Wygonik, and Nathan Mayes. "An analytical model for vehicle miles traveled and carbon emissions for goods delivery scenarios." European Transport Research Review 10, no. 1 (2018): 8.

Urban Form and Last-Mile Goods Movement: Factors Affecting Vehicle Miles Travelled and Emissions

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Publication: Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Volume: 61 (A)
Pages: 217-229
Publication Date: 2018

There are established relationships between urban form and passenger travel, but less is known about urban form and goods movement. The work presented in this paper evaluates how the design of a delivery service and the urban form in which it operates affects its performance, as measured by vehicle miles traveled, CO2, NOx, and PM10 emissions.

This work compares simulated amounts of VMT, CO2, NOx, and PM10 generated by last-mile travel in several different development patterns and in many different goods movement structures, including various warehouse locations. Last-mile travel includes personal travel or delivery vehicles delivering goods to customers. Regression models for each goods movement scheme and models that compare sets of goods movement schemes were developed. The most influential variables in all models were measures of roadway density and proximity of a service area to the regional warehouse.

These efforts will support urban planning for goods movement, inform policies designed to mitigate the impacts of goods movement vehicles, and provide insights into achieving sustainability targets, especially as online shopping and goods delivery become more prevalent.

Authors: Dr. Anne Goodchild, Erica Wygonik
Recommended Citation:
Wygonik, Erica and Anne Goodchild. (2018) Urban Form and Last-Mile Goods Movement: Factors Affecting Vehicle Miles Travelled and Emissions. Transportation Research. Part D, Transport and Environment, 61, 217–229.

Delivery by Drone: An Evaluation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Technology in Reducing CO2 Emissions in the Delivery Service Industry

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Publication: Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Volume: 61
Pages: 58-67
Publication Date: 2018

This research paper estimates carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) levels of two delivery models, one by trucks and the other by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or “drones.”

Using several ArcGIS tools and emission standards within a framework of logistical and operational assumptions, it has been found that emission results vary greatly and are highly dependent on the energy requirements of the drone, as well as the distance it must travel and the number of recipients it serves.

Still, general conditions are identified under which drones are likely to provide a CO2 benefit – when service zones are close to the depot, have small numbers of stops, or both. Additionally, measures of VMT for both modes were found to be relatively consistent with existing literature that compares traditional passenger travel with truck delivery.

Authors: Dr. Anne Goodchild, Jordan Toy
Recommended Citation:
Goodchild, Anne, and Jordan Toy. "Delivery by Drone: An Evaluation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Technology in Reducing CO2 Emissions in the Delivery Service Industry" Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment 61 (2018): 58-67.

Using a GIS-based Emissions Minimization Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows (EVRPTW) Model to Evaluate CO2 Emissions and Costs: Two Case Studies Comparing Changes Within and Between Fleets

Publication: Transportation Research Board 90th Annual Meeting
Publication Date: 2010

Growing pressure to limit greenhouse gas emissions is changing the way businesses operate. A model was developed in ArcGIS to evaluate the trade-offs between cost, service quality (represented by time window guarantees), and emissions of urban pickup and delivery systems under these changing pressures.

A specific case study involving a real fleet with specific operational characteristics is modeled as an emissions minimization vehicle routing problem with time windows (EVRPTW). Analyses of different external policies and internal operational changes provide insight into the impact of these changes on cost, service quality, and emissions. Specific considerations of the influence of time windows, customer density, and vehicle choice are included.

The results show a stable relationship between monetary cost and kilograms of CO2, with each kilogram of CO2 associated with a $3.50 increase in cost, illustrating the influence of fuel use on both cost and emissions. In addition, customer density and time window length are strongly correlated with monetary cost and kilograms of CO2 per order. The addition of 80 customers or extending the time window 100 minutes would save approximately $3.50 and 1 kilogram of CO2 per order. Lastly, the evaluation of four different fleets illustrates significant environmental and monetary gains can be achieved through the use of hybrid vehicles.

Authors: Erica Wygonik
Recommended Citation:
Wygonik, Erica and Anne V. Goodchild. “Using a GIS-based emissions minimization vehicle routing problem with time windows (EVRPTW) model to evaluate emissions and cost trade-offs in a case study of an urban delivery system.” Proc., 90th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC.
Student Thesis and Dissertations

Emissions, Cost, and Customer Service Trade-off Analyses in Pickup and Delivery Systems

Publication Date: 2011

As commercial vehicle activity grows, the environmental impacts of these movements have increasing negative effects, particularly in urban areas. The transportation sector is the largest producer of CO2 emissions in the United States, by end-use sector, accounting for 32% of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion in 2008. Medium and heavy-duty trucks account for close to 22% of CO2 emissions within the transportation sector, making systems using these vehicles key contributors to air quality problems. An important well-known type of such systems is the “pickup and delivery” in which a fleet of vehicles pickups and/or delivers goods from customers.

Companies operating fleet of vehicles reduce their cost by efficiently designing the routes their vehicles follow and the schedules at which customers will be visited. This principle especially applies to pickup and delivery systems. Customers are spread out in urban regions or are located in different states which makes it critical to efficiently design the routes and schedules vehicles will follow. So far, a less costly operation has been the main focus of these companies, particularly pickup and delivery systems, and less attention has been paid to understand how cost and emissions relate and how to directly reduce the environmental impacts of their transportation activities. This is the research opportunity that motivates the present study.

While emissions from transportation activities are mostly understood broadly, this research looks carefully at relationships between cost, emissions and service quality at an individual-fleet level. This approach enables evaluation of the impact of a variety of internal changes and external policies based on different time window schemes, exposure to congestion, or impact of CO2 taxation. It this makes it possible to obtain particular and valuable insights from the changes in the relationship between cost, emissions and service quality for different fleet characteristics.

In an effort to apply the above approach to real fleets, two different case studies are approached and presented in this thesis. Each of these cases has significant differences in their fleet composition, customers’ requirements and operational features that provide this research with the opportunity to explore different scenarios.

Three research questions guide this research. They are explained in more detailed below. The present study does not seek to provide a conclusive answer for each of the research questions but does shed light on general insights and relationships for each of the different features presented in the road network, fleet composition, and customer features.

In summary, this research provides a better understanding of the relationships between fleet operating costs, emissions reductions and impacts on customer service. The insights are useful for companies trying to develop effective emission-reduction strategies. Additionally, public agencies can use these results to develop emissions reductions policies.

Authors: Felipe Sandoval
Recommended Citation:
Sandoval, Felipe (2011). Emissions, Cost, and Customer Service Trade-off Analyses in Pickup and Delivery Systems, University of Washington Master's Degree Thesis.
Thesis: Array
Student Thesis and Dissertations

Moving Goods to Consumers: Land Use Patterns, Logistics, and Emissions

Publication Date: 2014

Worldwide, awareness has been raised about the dangers of growing greenhouse gas emissions. In the United States, transportation is a key contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. American and European researchers have identified a potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by replacing passenger vehicle travel with delivery service. These reductions are possible because, while delivery vehicles have higher rates of greenhouse gas emissions than private light-duty vehicles, the routing of delivery vehicles to customers is far more efficient than those customers traveling independently. In addition to lowering travel-associated greenhouse gas emissions, because of their more efficient routing and tendency to occur during off-peak hours, delivery services have the potential to reduce congestion. Thus, replacing passenger vehicle travel with delivery service provides opportunity to address global concerns – greenhouse gas emissions and congestion. While addressing the impact of transportation on greenhouse gas emissions is critical, transportation also produces significant levels of criteria pollutants, which impact the health of those in the immediate area. These impacts are of particular concern in urban areas, which due to their constrained land availability increase proximity of residents to the roadway network. In the United States, heavy vehicles (those typically used for deliveries) produce a disproportionate amount of NOx and particulate matter – heavy vehicles represent roughly 9% of vehicle miles travelled but produce nearly 50% of the NOx and PM10 from transportation. Researchers have noted that urban policies designed to address local concerns including air quality impacts and noise pollution – like time and size restrictions – have a tendency to increase global impacts, by increasing the number of vehicles on the road, by increasing the total VMT required, or by increasing the amount of CO2 generated. The work presented here is designed to determine whether replacing passenger vehicle travel with delivery service can address both concerns simultaneously. In other words, can replacing passenger travel with delivery service reduce congestion and CO2 emissions as well as selected criteria pollutants? Further, does the design of the delivery service impacts the results? Lastly, how do these impacts differ in rural versus urban land use patterns? This work models the amount of VMT, CO2, NOx, and PM10 generated by personal travel and delivery vehicles in a number of different development patterns and in a number of different scenarios, including various warehouse locations. In all scenarios, VMT is reduced through the use of delivery service, and in all scenarios, NOx and PM10 are lowest when passenger vehicles are used for the last mile of travel. The goods movement scheme that results in the lowest generation of CO2, however, varies by municipality. Regression models for each goods movement scheme and models that compare sets of goods movement schemes were developed. The most influential variables in all models were measures of roadway density and proximity of a service area to the regional warehouse. These results allow for a comparison of the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions in the form of CO2 to local criteria pollutants (NOx and PM10) for each scenario. These efforts will contribute to increased integration of goods movement in urban planning, inform policies designed to mitigate the impacts of goods movement vehicles, and provide insights into achieving sustainability targets, especially as online shopping and goods delivery becomes more prevalent.

Authors: Erica Wygonik
Recommended Citation:
Wygonic, Erica. 2014, Moving Goods to Consumers: Land Use Patterns, Logistics, and Emissions, University of Washington, Doctoral Dissertation.
Thesis: Array