There are many inefficiencies in today’s freight system as a result of information constraints, lack of coordination across the supply chain, as well as institutional and organizational constraints. In addition, as zero-emission freight vehicles are developed, the performance of those vehicles will likely differ from traditional internal combustion engines for a period of time.
In this project, the researchers will develop a methodology to reduce such inefficiencies by incorporating a centrally coordinated load balancing system. In the system, a central coordinator with access to information from all parties involved, including port terminals, trucking fleets and railyards, will be responsible for achieving optimum load balancing strategies. The researchers will also investigate the impact of new technologies such as hybrid and zero-emission freight vehicles on load balancing and management. The research will aim to identify the best use of these trucks in combination with conventional trucks to achieve desired energy efficiency and reduction in criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases through simulation modeling.