Goods Movement

Goods movement is a term used to describe the way goods are transported by truck, train, ship, and plane. Not only is goods movement vital to the health of the country’s economy, it impacts the health of its citizens. California’s roadways carry more commercial vehicle truck traffic than any other state, and almost all of these trucks run on diesel.  Diesel exhaust has serious effects on human health; it is classified by California as a carcinogen and contains 40 hazardous air pollutants listed by the U.S. EPA.  Moreover, of all transportation sources, heavy-duty vehicles generate 19 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., and are therefore a significant contributor to global warming.

IMR’s goods movement projects are aimed at researching innovative solutions to reduce the negative environmental and health impacts associated with getting products from Point A to Point B. Currently, IMR’s projects include smart parking for trucks and virtual weigh stations. 

TRB_Smart Truck Parking in California

Download attachment(s): [ TRB_Smart Truck Parking in California.pdf ]

Smart Parking for Trucks

“Smart Parking” for trucks employs advanced technology, called Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), to help truck drivers find available space to park their trucks when they are out on the road.  Drivers can be notified of parking availability through technologies such as on-road signs, onboard computers, or via cell phone.

The goal of smart parking is to help drivers locate parking spots as quickly and efficiently as possible so they don’t have to drive around searching for parking.  Due to a critical shortage of truck parking and rest areas, trucks often end up illegally parking and idling on exit ramps, road shoulders and neighborhood streets while they wait to load or unload their cargo nearby. Smart parking can reduce this idling activity, and in turn reduce toxic diesel emissions, which contribute to poor air quality and adverse health effects. Smart parking also helps to alleviate driver fatigue and, in turn, reduce accidents. 

Virtual Weigh Stations (VWS)

Virtual weigh stations can use Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technologies to check, screen, and even allow pre-qualified truck haulers to bypass traditional weigh and inspection stations. Allowing pre-screened vehicles to bypass the traditional weigh station has many advantages, including:

  • Reducing long wait times for other drivers that have to weigh in at the station and thereby saving the drivers money
  • Reducing long weigh station lines, which sometimes back up onto the highway creating safety hazards
  • Reducing idling time, which saves fuel and reduces air pollution
  • Reducing the burden on inspection personnel.