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Student Thesis and Dissertations

Preparing Cities for Package Demand Growth: Predicting Neighborhood Demand and Implementing Truck VMT Reduction Strategies

Publication Date: 2018

E-commerce has empowered consumers to order goods online from anywhere in the world with just a couple of clicks. This new trend has led to significant growth in the number of package deliveries related to online shopping. Seattle’s freight infrastructure is challenged to accommodate this freight growth. Commercial vehicles can already be seen double parked or parked illegally on the city’s streets impacting traffic flow and inconveniencing other road users. It is vital to understand how the package demand is growing in the neighborhoods and what freight trips reduction strategies can cities implement to mitigate the freight growth. The purpose of the research is to analyze Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) reduction strategies in the neighborhoods with different built environment characteristics. First, the impact of individual factors on person’s decision to order goods online for home delivery is analyzed. A predictive model was built that estimates online order probability based on these factors. This model is then applied to synthetic Seattle population to produce estimated demand levels in each neighborhood. Second, two VMT reduction strategies were modeled and analyzed: 1) decreasing number of trucks needed to deliver neighborhoods’ package demand and 2) package locker implementation. Based on packages demand and built environment characteristics, two neighborhoods were chosen for a case study. ArcGIS toolbox was developed to generate delivery stops on the route, ArcGIS Network Analyst was used to make a delivery route and calculate VMT. It was found that VMT reduction strategies have different effects on the delivery system in two neighborhoods. Delivering neighborhoods’ demand in a smaller number of trucks would save slightly more VMT in a dense urban area compared to suburban one. Moreover, since the traffic perception by different road users varies by neighborhood, VMT reduction strategies will be more critical to implement in dense urban areas. Locker implementation strategy will also be more effective in VMT reduction in a dense urban area due to high residential density.

Authors: Polina Butrina
Recommended Citation:
Butrina, Polina (2018). Preparing Cities for Package Demand Growth: Predicting Neighborhood Demand and Implementing Truck VMT Reduction Strategies. University of Washington Master's Degree Thesis.
Thesis: Array