7.1. Demand Management
CASE STUDY: OFF-HOURS DELIVERIES IN NEW YORK CITY
The New York City (NYC) Off-Hour Delivery (OHD) Program is an example of freight demand management, an emerging field that endeavors to increase the sustainability of freight activity by modifying the nature of the demand that generates freight-vehicle traffic. The OHD project has been implemented through collaboration between the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and the NYC Department of Transportation (NYCDOT). Freight carriers travel during congested hours (slower trips, higher costs, parking fines, etc.) only because their customers (the receivers of the supplies) demand it. The OHD program exploits this fact by inducing receivers to accept deliveries during the off-hours (7PM to 6AM). Incentives were offered to receivers in exchange for their commitment to accept OHD. A proactive voluntary program, OHD leads to a range of beneficial impacts for congested urban environments: reduced congestion and air pollution; increased economic productivity; and enhanced sustainability and quality of life, with fewer conflicts between freight traffic and passenger vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.
The NYC OHD project has gained the support of the private sector, which is cooperating in its implementation. Leading partners include: Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, New York State Motor Truck Association, New Jersey Motor Truck Association, SYSCO, Whole Foods, Wakefern, Duane Reade, Waldorf-Astoria, Beverage Works, among others. More than 200 NYC companies have switched to the off-hours. The project has wide ranging potential impacts on the economy, environment, and the quality of life in urban areas. OHD’s focus is urban deliveries, which dwarf all other freight trips; deliveries to restaurants in Manhattan alone attract and produce more truck trips daily than do the Ports of New York and New Jersey combined. It has been estimated that the OHD program in NYC has produced economic savings of $100-$200/million per year to carriers, shippers and receivers. Given that it could influence large numbers of deliveries, the program could lead to reductions of: 202.7 metric tons (t)/year of CO; 40t/year of HC; 11.8t/year of NOx; and 69.9 kg/year of PM10 (Holguín-Veras et al., 2011b). By removing the interferences produced by freight deliveries, OHD programs could facilitate the implementation of other sustainability initiatives, such as bus rapid transit systems, bike lanes, and enhanced pedestrian walkways that also need curb space. Most of all, the OHD project has dramatically confirmed the potential of public-private sector and academic cooperation in solving urban congestion.
Two sets of estimates are presented below. The first represents the congestion and pollution savings accrued by all of the regular-hour travelers, as a result of freight deliveries switching to the off-hours. The savings were estimated using the Best Practice Model, the federally approved transportation network model used by the Metropolitan Planning Organization in the NYC area. The second set of estimates represents the pollution impacts accrued by the OHD trucks when they travel in lighter traffic. These estimates provide complementary views of the program’s congestion and pollution impacts.
Congestion and pollution savings accrued by all regular hour travelers
Different levels of pollution savings were estimated based on the percentage of deliveries shifted to the off-hours. For example, if 20.9% of the deliveries in Manhattan were shifted to the off hours, each receiver would be responsible for a reduction of about 551 vehicles miles traveled (VMT), and 195 vehicle hours traveled (VHT), and a reduction in CO of 12 kg. One could obtain an estimate of total congestion and pollution savings by multiplying these numbers by the number of receivers accepting OHD.
Pollution savings accrued by trucks making OHD
Using GPS data collected from the participating companies, the team computed fuel consumption and emissions using the Comprehensive Modal Emission Model (CMEM) (Barth et al., 1996; An et al., 1997; Barth et al., 2000). The results shown here correspond to three key segments of the network that were used in both regular and off-hour deliveries. Given the second-by-second speed profiles, the fuel consumption rate and emissions rates (in terms of CO2, CO, HC, NOx) are estimated by CMEM. The results are shown in Table 1 and Table 2 for fuel consumption and emissions, respectively. The “Difference” row in the two tables shows the improvement of the two measures for off-hours vs. regular hours (negative values indicate reductions).
It was also found that the average fuel consumption rate and total emission rates during the off-hours are significantly lower than those during regular hours for the same segment. The exception is the fuel consumption for ‘highway segment 1,’ which seems to be anomalous. The differences are generally larger than 20% for highway and toll road segments, and larger than 50% for urban arterial road segments because: (i) traffic is generally much smoother during off-hours than regular hours, leading to reduced fuel consumption and emissions for off-hour deliveries; and (ii) for toll roads and urban arterials, such a smoothing effect is more significant (e.g., vehicles stop less frequently at toll booths or signals), leading to more dramatic reductions of fuel consumption and emissions. The results therefore confirm that OHD do help reduce fuel consumption and emissions during urban freight activities.
Estimates of financial impacts on carriers
Based on the research, one could estimate that for every delivery tour that switched from regular to the off hours carriers save, on average, $212.50 per day or $42,500/year/OHD-tour (assuming 200 days/year). The parking fines in New York City average about $750/truck-month. Since it is easier for truckers to find legal parking spaces near their delivery locations during off hours, every OHD route that replaces a regular hour route saves about $9,000/year/OHD-tour in parking fines. Essentially, the total savings to carriers amounts to about $51,500/year/OHD-tour. It is estimated that approximately 40-50 daily delivery tours in Manhattan have been switched to the off hours, equaling a total savings to all participating carriers of over $2,250,000 per year.
The OHD program is sustainable on all fronts. Economically, by removing the market failure (the receivers’ reluctance to accept OHD) that restricts OHD from taking place naturally, the program allows entire supply chains to switch to their most efficient outcome. The ensuing increases in productivity enhance the economic competitiveness of congested urban areas, reducing the cost of doing business for receivers and the carriers. The program allows for lasting, sustainable economic shifts through entire supply chains, and the resultant potential for realizing sustainability goals. The OHD program is a win-win solution that benefits carriers, receivers, and urban communities at all hours, enhancing quality of life, economic development, and environmental sustainability.
7.2. Land Use Policy
In considering the relocation of LTGs to improve traffic conditions, misconceptions abound, and the potential for unintended effects is very high. Although it is natural for local communities in close proximity to a LTG to want it relocated on account of the externalities it produces, experience suggests that careful consideration should be given to this initiative’s often unintended impacts. NYC, where the port activity was left to wither in the 1950s, is a dramatic example, as the port’s demise, and the development of the port on the New Jersey side, led to massive amounts of cargo destined to NYC being unloaded in New Jersey. From there, the cargo must be trucked over a handful of congested bridges and tunnels to its final destinations in NYC. Over the decades, the cost of the additional congestion produced by this traffic is likely to reach tens of billions of dollars. In essence, the disappearance of the NYC port opened the door to urban redevelopment, though at a monumental cost to the economy in terms of congestion and pollution.
Moreover, in the last several decades, because of land costs, regulations and traffic conditions, many cities are observing “logistic sprawl”. For example, in (Dablanc and Rakotonarivo, 2010), the locations of the 17 largest companies that provided parcel and express transport service to the city of Paris between 1974 and 2008 were mapped. Over those 35 years, their freight terminals moved from the urban core to the inner suburban ring, and now to the greater metropolitan area. On average, these terminals have moved about six miles away from the center. As a consequence, more than 13,000 tons of CO2 are generated every year (Dablanc and Rakotonarivo, 2010; Dablanc, 2013). Another example that could be cited is the relocation of the South Water Produce Market in Chicago, IL to the Chicago International Produce Market. The original market was constructed when there were horses bringing the produce to market and evolved as trucks were introduced. Over time, as the trucks grew in size the efficiency of the market worsened. In an effort to improve conditions, the market was relocated to a brand new, more spacious facility to manage in a more comfortable way the traffic of freight vehicles in the zone. Overall, this relocation was successful in that the efficiency of the trucks has been improved, but there have been some negative consequences such as an unexpected growth in the market due to retailers being able to expand their operations beyond what they were at the South Water Produce Market.
 Chicago Produce Marker: http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/history-and-mystery-behind-chicago%E2%80%99s-produce-market-107918
A more proactive approach is to incorporate the consideration of freight in the urban land use planning process. In order to achieve this, it is first important to understand the sources of conflict between freight and other land uses, based on which strategies enabling compatible development can be selected. The NCFRP Report 13 “Freight Facility Location Selection: A Guide for Public Officials”, the NCFRP Report 16 “Preserving and Protecting Freight Infrastructure and Routes,” and the NCFRP Report 24 “Smart Growth and Urban Goods Movement” can all provide helpful guidelines for agencies to achieve the integrated planning(Steele et al., 2011; Christensen Associates et al., 2012; Bassok et al., 2013). Some local authorities have already put it into practice successfully. For example, Chicago DOT accommodates site expansion associated with a rail terminal into the city planning and takes proactive measures to coordinate surrounding land use and the freight infrastructure.