Forecasting urban commercial freight vehicle movement : a commodity based tour model




Murshed, Mohammad Neaz

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Urban freight transportation is exclusively road based since other modes like air, rail and water ways are considered inefficient due to smaller trip lengths of urban localities, with the majority share being carried by trucks. Recent trends of online shopping along with a faster growing population in urban areas is putting more and more commercial trucks on urban road networks which move in a uniquely different manner forming long trip chains i.e. tours. The two primary classes of freight models, vehicle-based or commodity-based, both have flaws. The vehicle-based models fail to include the underlying economic behavior such as commodity flows from which the demand is actually derived, and the commodity-based models fail to realistically account for vehicle activities, especially in urban settings, for which evaluation and impact assessment are most crucial. As a result, recent developments in this field (urban freight modeling) have been focused toward more disaggregate types of models that incorporate supply chain behavioral mechanics (logistics model) or truck touring aspects (vehicle touring model). A disaggregate level tour-based truck model was developed to estimate origin-destination (O-D) matrix considering both the commodity and vehicular aspects of urban commercial freight movement. The criterion for choosing the next destination zone for tour formation is based on the principle of serving the nearest zone first. The model and its application in case studies related to two different commercial vehicle survey (2006 Austin and 2012 Dallas- Fort Worth) data sets in Texas region are presented. Two major inducers of commercial freight truck tours in urban areas (i.e. delivery of food and kindred products and manufactured goods) were considered in the case studies. Fairly good performance (25% to 30% accurate predictions and about 90% within 3 zones) was displayed by the proposed models (model 1 and model 2) in predicting O-D matrices corresponding to the two commodity classes. One of the significant contributions of this research in the paradigm of urban commercial freight truck tour modeling is the introduction of a novel parameter, i.e. store opening hours in destination choice of the tour building process pertaining to the delivery of food and kindred products.


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