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Jana Chiang

Jana Chiang
Jana Chiang
  • Net-Zero Logistics Intern, Urban Freight Lab
  • Undergraduate Student, Community, Environment, and Planning

Jana’s research interests include last-mile delivery, shared mobility, and logistics in the urban environment.

Jana Chiang is an undergraduate student pursuing a Community, Environment, and Planning degree at the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington. Jana prides herself on her melon-picking abilities.
  • B.A., Community, Environment, and Planning degree at the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington (in progress)

WAlking and PArking Dynamics of Drivers (WAPADD): Analysis and Model Development for Sustainable Urban Delivery

The project addresses the critical but often overlooked aspects of delivery drivers’ walking and parking behaviors in urban logistics. With 80% of a delivery driver’s time spent outside the vehicle during the last leg of delivery, comprehending these dynamics becomes pivotal for sustainable urban delivery routes.

For the first time, the University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden) will work together to address this challenge, with the support of two established logistics companies operating in Stockholm (Sweden) and Seattle (WA, US) as well as input from Seattle and Stockholm planning agencies.

The project aims to develop empirical models to reproduce these walking and parking behaviors (in contrast with theoretical routes) and employ them into the evaluation of innovative solutions, such as e-carts (electric trolleys) and parking management strategies.

This project aims to answer two research questions:

(1) How do delivery drivers’ walking and parking behaviors affect the efficiency and sustainability of delivery routes in urban settings?

(2). Can new technological solutions help carriers reshaping delivery routes and achieve more sustainable and efficient urban delivery operations?

Jake Paulsene

Jake Paulsene
Jake Paulsene
  • Research Assistant, Urban Freight Lab
  • B.S., Civil Engineering

Jake Paulsene is a current undergraduate student in the Civil & Environmental Engineering program at the University of Washington. His research interests include studying urban and last-mile freight movement, the intersection between transportation engineering and urban planning policies, and the solutions tackling social equity and justice issues.

Outside of academia, you can find Jake rock climbing or cafe hopping in Seattle.

  • Urban & last-mile freight movement
  • Transportation & urban planning policy
  • Social equity, justice, and safety
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Washington (in progress)
Paper

Ecommerce and Environmental Justice in Metro Seattle

 
Download PDF  (8.55 MB)
Publication: Research in Transportation Economics
Volume: 103
Publication Date: 2023
Summary:

Urban distribution centers (UDCs) are opening at unprecedented rates to meet rising home delivery demand. The trend has raised concerns over the equity and environmental justice implications of ecommerce’s negative externalities. However, little research exists connecting UDC location to the concentration of urban freight-derived air pollution among marginalized populations.

Using spatial data of Amazon UDCs in metropolitan Seattle, this study quantifies the socio-spatial distribution of home delivery-related commercial vehicle kilometers traveled (VKT), corresponding air pollution, and explanatory factors. Results reveal that racial and income factors are relevant to criteria air pollutant exposure caused by home deliveries, due to tracts with majority people of color being closer in proximity to UDCs and highways. Tracts with majority people of color face the highest median concentration of delivery vehicle activity and emissions despite ordering less packages than white populations. While both cargo van and heavy-duty truck emissions disproportionately affect people of color, the socio-spatial distribution of truck emissions shows higher sensitivity to fluctuations in utilization.

Prioritizing environmental mitigation of freight activity further up the urban distribution chain in proximity to UDCs, therefore, would have an outsized impact in minimizing disparities in ecommerce’s negative externalities.

Recommended Citation:
Fried, T., Verma, R., & Goodchild, A. (2024). Ecommerce and Environmental Justice in Metro Seattle. Research in Transportation Economics, 103, 101382. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.retrec.2023.101382
Blog

Urban Freight in 2030: What Will We Measure?

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

The meteoric rise in urban deliveries and the lingering societal effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are having dramatic implications for the future of business, climate, and cities.

Together with our collaborators and subject matter experts from across the logistics landscape, we are creating a collective vision for the urban freight system in 2030 and we are excited to present it in a new blog.

We have identified four topics surfacing in urban freight and six performance metrics around which we hope to see progress. Our topics for exploration are Electrification, Digital Transformation, Planning Streets for People and Goods, and Microfreight.

Complementing these, we have identified six priorities for progress by 2030: Reducing CO2 emissions, Reducing congestion, Reducing roadway fatalities, Increasing/improving protected spaces for vulnerable users, Making transparent the cost of delivery, and Improving equity.

Though not directly linked to our research topics, these metrics  serve as tangible measures to assess progress, or lack thereof, toward our collective vision of Urban Freight in 2030.

The Urban Freight Lab launched the Goods Movement 2030 Blog in 2022 to create a collective vision for the urban freight system in 2030. In this space, we are exploring emerging trends in last-mile delivery, asking big questions, and analyzing implications.

Recommended Citation:
"Urban Freight in 2030: What Will We Measure?" Goods Movement 2030 (blog). Urban Freight Lab, August 1, 2022. https://www.goodsmovement2030.com/post/what-will-we-measure
Blog

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

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

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. https://www.goodsmovement2030.com/post/delivering-equitable-cities-p2
Blog

How Can Digitization in the Private Sector Benefit Everyone?

Publication: Goods Movement 2030: An Urban Freight Blog
Publication Date: 2023
Summary:

We’ve dug into how digitization continues to spark new developments in the urban freight landscape across the private and public sectors alike — with cities lagging behind digitization veterans like Amazon.

As Urban Freight Lab members noted at the fall meeting, it’s understandable why the private sector is ahead. Digitization helps companies improve operations toward lowering costs, saving time and money, and keeping customers satisfied. In other words, digitization helps companies with their fundamental concern: The bottom line.

And yet, companies’ choices and behavior in using digital tools can have the effect of helping more than their bottom lines. Private sector digitization can have spillover benefits, winding up helping communities and society at large, too. (To be clear, when we talk here about societal benefits, that includes mitigating and/or reducing the negative impacts of delivering goods to our homes and businesses.) But too often we treat the private and public sectors as wholly separate and siloed systems — though clearly they’re not.

The efficiencies digitization supports in urban freight might well wind up contributing to quality of life in city neighborhoods and communities. Those efficiencies can impact everything from congestion and traffic flow to pollution and Co2 emissions that contribute to climate change.

In this blog, we map three digitization moves in the private sector that could generate benefits for the public.

Recommended Citation:
"How Can Digitization in the Private Sector Benefit Everyone?" Goods Movement 2030 (blog). Urban Freight Lab, February 14, 2023. https://www.goodsmovement2030.com/post/3-digitization-moves
Blog

How Could a More Integrated Private-Public World Advance Goods Movement?

Publication: Goods Movement 2030: An Urban Freight Blog
Publication Date: 2023
Summary:

Consider it the left-hand, right-hand challenge of the urban freight landscape. But a gentler riff on the whole “the left-hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.” Each hand does know something about what the other hand is doing, but probably not enough.

On the left, there are Urban Freight Lab (UFL) member companies like Amazon and UPS that use the public right of way to move goods. On the right, various levels of government manage and regulate that public right of way for all users. The hands are connected. Yet each is independently engaged in digitization. If we’re serious about driving progress on the UFL’s six collective priorities by 2030, the left and the right hands need to be more synced.

This blog examines three digital ideas that could foster the private-public integration that we believe is needed to advance these priorities. Here’s a 2030 vision for that more integrated world — and how we might tap digitization to get there.

Recommended Citation:
"How Could a More Integrated Private-Public World Advance Our Goods Movement 2030 Priorities?" Goods Movement 2030 (blog) Urban Freight Lab, March 8, 2023. https://www.goodsmovement2030.com/post/a-more-integrated-world
Blog

Lost in Translation? Considering Overseas Freight Planning Designs through a North American Lens

Publication: Goods Movement 2030: An Urban Freight Blog
Publication Date: 2023
Summary:

At the spring Urban Freight Lab (UFL) meeting, members heard about four innovative approaches to planning streets so both people and goods can move more efficiently, safely, and sustainably. The catch? Europe is the only place most of these ideas have successfully scaled. So, how might these ideas translate or get adapted to a North American context as we look toward 2030?

In our last blog, we talked about an integrated freight and pedestrian approach Gothenburg, Sweden, has had on its streets for two decades. London, for its part, has had a low-emission zone (LEZ) for a decade and a half, with plans to expand its ultra-low-emission zone (ULEZ) in summer 2023. Meantime, in North American cities by and large we’re still figuring out how to pilot innovations — let alone roll them out on city streets in a big way.

And that’s no surprise, said Philippe Crist of the The International Transport Forum (ITF).

“Going from what is possible to what is actionable is going to be challenging in some instances, quite difficult in some instances, and in a handful of leading cities we’ll see some real progress,” Crist told UFL members. “And that’s OK because that’s how progress happens.”

So, what can we tackle first to make headway here? Ramp up modeling of innovative strategies, then test them on the street — much like the UFL has done with parcel lockers, a zero-emission last-mile delivery hub, and a first-of-its-kind real-time and forecasting curb parking app for commercial delivery drivers. Maybe that’s how we come up with a homegrown U.S. approach that works for our diverse physical and political landscape.

Here, we explore UFL member reflections to four innovative strategies presented and discussed at the spring meeting. We share overall reactions as well as questions and concerns raised about the challenges such strategies might face in a North American environment.

Recommended Citation:
“Lost in Translation? Considering Overseas Freight Planning Designs through a North American Lens.” Goods Movement 2030 (blog). Urban Freight Lab, May 15, 2023. https://www.goodsmovement2030.com/post/strategies-for-freight-planning-from-overseas.
Paper

Ecommerce and Logistics Sprawl: A Spatial Exploration of Last-Mile Logistics Platforms

 
Download PDF  (3.64 MB)
Publication: Journal of Transport Geography
Volume: 112
Publication Date: 2023
Summary:

The rise of ecommerce helped fuel consumer appetite for quick home deliveries. One consequence has been the placing of some logistics facilities in proximity to denser consumer markets. The trend departs from prevailing discussion on “logistics sprawl,” or the proliferation of warehousing into the urban periphery. This study spatially and statistically explores the facility- and region-level dimensions that characterize the centrality of ecommerce logistics platforms. Analyzing 910 operational Amazon logistics platforms in 89 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) between 2013 and 2021, this study estimates temporal changes in distances to relative, population centroids and population-weighted market densities. Results reveal that although some platforms serving last-mile deliveries are located closer to consumers than upstream distribution platforms to better fulfill time demands, centrality varies due to facility operating characteristics, market size, and when the platform opened.

Ecommerce has transformed the “consumption geography” of cities. These transformations have major implications for shopping behaviors and retail channels, last-mile operations and delivery mode choice, the management and pricing of competing uses for street and curb space, and the spatial ordering and functional role of logistics land uses. In the latter case, researchers have observed a diversification of logistics platforms to more efficiently serve home delivery demand. These platforms range from “dark stores” and “microfullfilment centers” that fulfill on-demand deliveries and omni-channeled retail without a consumer facing storefront, multi-use urban distribution centers that convert unproductive sites (e.g., abandoned rail depots) to more lucrative land uses, and “microhubs” that stage transloading between cargo vans and e-bicycles suited for dense urban neighborhoods.

Logistics spaces play an important role in improving urban livability and environmental sustainability. Planning decisions scale geographically from the region-level to the curb. Facilities such as urban consolidation centers and loading zones can mitigate common delivery inefficiencies, such as low delivery densities and “cruising” for parking, respectively. These inefficiencies generate many negative externalities including climate emissions, air and noise pollution, congestion, and heightened collision risks, especially for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and bicyclists. Limited commercial data has made it difficult, however, to observe spatial patterns with regards to ecommerce logistics platforms.

Using detailed proprietary data, this paper explores the evolving spatial organization of ecommerce logistics platforms. Given the company’s preeminence as the leading online retailer in the U.S., the paper presents Amazon as a case study for understanding warehousing and distribution (W&D) activity in the larger ecommerce space. Utilizing proprietary data on Amazon logistics facilities between 2013 and 2021, this research explores the geographic shape and explanatory dimensions of ecommerce within major U.S. metropolitan areas. In the following section, this study defines the state of research related to broader W&D land use and its implications to ecommerce’s distinct consumption geography. Afterwards, two methodologies for measuring logistics centrality are tested: a temporally relative barycenter-based metric, the prevailing method in literature, and another GIS-based, population-weighted service distance metric. The two measurements reveal nuances between facility- and region-level differences in the spatial organization of ecommerce platforms, which has yet to be fully researched. After presenting results from an exploratory regression analysis, this study discusses implications for future urban logistics land use and transport decisions.

Recommended Citation:
Fried, T., & Goodchild, A. (2023). E-commerce and logistics sprawl: A spatial exploration of last-mile logistics platforms. Journal of Transport Geography, 112, 103692. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2023.103692