Information Required for Increasing the Energy Efficiency of Goods Movement

Focus Area



Air Quality






1-2 years

Research Idea Scope

Phase I: Information Collection and Needs Analysis – Based on the literature review and assessment of other information collection activities, the Phase I report will summarize what is known about HDV and other goods movement operations and how additional information could assist planners in developing improved plans. From this a work plan will be developed for the conduct of the Phase II data collection efforts. The work plan will specify the objectives of the data collection activities and provide a plan for the use of the information in improving goods movement fuel efficiency. Phase II: – Information System Design and Development of a Web-Based Interactive Tool: Task 1-Design a freight activity database that will provide the framework for describing the activities of heavy-duty trucks and other modes. Data should be included on fleet characteristics such as number of vehicles, body types, goods carried, weights, areas of operation, engine types, energy efficiency technologies, operating behavior (starts, idle time, speed profile, fuel use, fuel efficiency, loads, trip length, etc.), and other data of interest for energy efficiency, air quality, and highway capacity planning. Task 2-Select two or three regions/states to develop a freight information database. The selection will be based on the availability of state and local freight information such as a multimodal management plan or an HDV emission information system. Selection will also consider the regional characteristics, types of goods moved, and other factors. Task 3-Develop the regional/state freight information system for selected regions. The information will be incorporated from secondary sources and from surveys and HDV monitoring activities conducted to fill data gaps. Task 4-Design surveys of truck, rail, water, and other goods movement operations in local areas to collect information needed to fill data gaps in the freight information system. Information collection activities may include surveys of shippers, shipping facilities, and carriers, as well as the instrumentation of vehicles to collect detailed operational data. Task 5-Conduct surveys and instrument vehicles as needed to complete the information system for each region and finalize the data set. Provide and demonstrate the information in each selected region. Task 6-Develop a web-based interactive tool comprising a freight information system for energy, environmental, and transportation planning. The tool will identify sources of data and methods for developing local information to supplement what is known from other studies, and will provide a model database, including default values for most cells. Instructions for the use of the information and the calculation of project benefits will also be developed. Task 7-Provide a detailed final report that will document all information, processes, procedures, and data that were reviewed, prepared, or developed in the course of this study.

Suggested By

ADC70, Transportation Energy Committee, as specified in the TRB Research Needs Data Base, 2009. Source Info: ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH NEEDS CONFERENCE 2002 TRANSPORTATION ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH NEEDS STATEMENTS