Modeling Urban Freight Vehicle Choice in Retail Supply Chains

Although urban freight vehicle travel can substantially impact urban networks and environments, existing behaviorally based methods to quantify these impacts fall short. Estimating the vehicle supply in terms of fleet sizes by vehicle type is a critical step to assess potential remediation using policy levers such as regulations and network-based measures in the urban goods distribution context. This paper presents an approach to analyze individual shippers’ long-term, and strategic transportation choice of vehicle type and fleet size. The study focuses on the distribution of goods in the retail sector due to data availability, although the application can be extended more broadly. Given the demand-driven behavior of the retail industry, the system is modeled from a pull perspective where retailers’ needs are considered paramount in interactions among shippers, carriers, and receivers. As such, retailer-focused survey data on delivery patterns and observed delivery vehicle types are the key information sources on vehicle usage, delivery frequencies, commodity types and industry types. The main methodological components are as follows. Transportation cost approximation method is employed to evaluate average daily costs to the shipper. This methodology allows costs to change in response to retailer demand, city forms and average transportation system performance, e.g., speeds, and stop times. Vehicle type choice is evaluated using random utility maximization, allowing both observed and unobserved attributes to be accounted for. Fleet size is an outcome of the cost approximation process. The model is applied to demonstrate its potential for evaluating policies.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee AT015 Standing Committee on Freight Transportation Planning and Logistics.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Lee, Yinjin
    • Stinson, Monique A
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2017


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 19p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 96th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01627889
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 17-04094
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 8 2016 11:34AM