Activities of commercial vehicles just prior to or just following international border crossings are not well understood. Logistical responses to border crossings are believed to increase empty miles traveled, travel times and total vehicle emissions. Analysis of observational data and surveys taken by commercial carriers at the Cascade Gateway border crossings (between Whatcom County, Washington State and Lower British Columbia) improves understanding of the manner by and extent to which the border and the associated policies and regulations impact logistics operations near the border. Findings suggest that the border creates logistical incentives for trucks to both deadhead (cross the border without carrying goods as part of a cross-border round trip journey) and make staging stops near the border for border-related transloading. Policies such as cabotage laws and the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program are both believed to increase the negative logistical incentives which the border creates. This thesis examines how these policies negatively impact logistical efficiency and suggests avenues to explore policy reform.
Klein, Matthew (2010). Pacific Highway Commercial Vehicle Operations: Border Policy and Logistical Efficiency in a Regional Context, University of Washington Master's Degree Thesis.