Outer Sydney Orbital, Western Sydney Freight Line: no corridors rezoned for M9 motorway | Daily Telegraph

Jake McCullum at the Daily Telegraph writes: Outer Sydney Orbital, Western Sydney Freight Line: no corridors rezoned for M9 motorway . The big news is that the freight line will be tunneled (and the trains electrified) along with the M9 motorway.

My quote:

Transport expert and University of Sydney Civil Engineering Professor David Levinson said electric locomotives for freight transport had been used in NSW previously, and was used “much more widespread in Europe”.

“There are no technical reasons freight trains can’t be electrified, and if they have renewable power — which over the next decade will be increasingly common — electrified freight would be much cleaner than diesel overall, and due to lack of emissions, better for operations in tunnels,” Prof. Levinson said.

Western Sydney orbital (M9). Source: Daily Telegraph
Western Sydney orbital (M9). Source: Daily Telegraph

Domestic freight by mode | The End of Traffic and the Future of Transport

Advances and changes in logistics distribution also are important. One can expect similar levels of murkiness from freight transport — a transition that will be influenced by enhanced graphical interfaces, 3-D printing, and changes in freight delivery. The less that is fetched, the more that is delivered. Stuff needs to get in the hands of consumers. While most people shun trucks and delivery vehicles, potato chips still need to get on the shelf of the food store or your home somehow, as the immaculate conception of deep fried crisps has yet to be discovered. The amount of freight moved by various modes plummeted during the recent recession. Now truck travel appears to be generally slowly on the rise (Figure 3.6), even at the per capita level, in the US. The US currently has three national networks (USPS, UPS, FedEx) delivering stuff to consumers in ways that are cost effective for many goods. Specialty services are on top of this—local stores and restaurants that deliver their own products (furniture, appliances, grocers, newspapers, milk, pizza), and one can certainly imagine others emerging. New delivery models are available and coming. For the "last mile" connecting the home with the final distribution point, new models include: lockers (akin to PO Boxes) where stuff can be deposited for you to collect, peer-to-peer delivery services (friends or strangers will pick up goods for you and deliver them to your home or workplace), firms depositing goods directly in the trunk of your car while you work, deliveries of small packages by drone, and neighborhood refrigerators for grocery dropoff. From Levinson and Krizek (2015) The End of Traffic and the Future of Transport. http://davidlevinson.org/the-end-of-traffic-and-the-future-of-transport/ Figure 3.6 Source: US Bureau of Transportation Statistics National Transportation Statistics Table 1-50: U.S. Ton-Miles of Freight (BTS Special Tabulation) (Millions) http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_01_50.html.
Advances and changes in logistics distribution also are important. One can expect similar levels of murkiness from freight transport — a transition that will be influenced by enhanced graphical interfaces, 3-D printing, and changes in freight delivery. The less that is fetched, the more that is delivered. Stuff needs to get in the hands of consumers. While most people shun trucks and delivery vehicles, potato chips still need to get on the shelf of the food store or your home somehow, as the immaculate conception of deep fried crisps has yet to be discovered. The amount of freight moved by various modes plummeted during the recent recession. Now truck travel appears to be generally slowly on the rise , even at the per capita level, in the US.
The US currently has three national networks (USPS, UPS, FedEx) delivering stuff to consumers in ways that are cost effective for many goods. Specialty services are on top of this—local stores and restaurants that deliver their own products (furniture, appliances, grocers, newspapers, milk, pizza), and one can certainly imagine others emerging.
New delivery models are available and coming. For the “last mile” connecting the home with the final distribution point, new models include:

  • lockers (akin to PO Boxes) where stuff can be deposited for you to collect,

 

 

  • peer-to-peer delivery services (friends or strangers will pick up goods for you and deliver them to your home or workplace),

 

 

  • firms depositing goods directly in the trunk of your car while you work,

 

 

  • deliveries of small packages by drone, and

 

 

  • neighborhood refrigerators for grocery dropoff.

 

 

From Levinson and Krizek (2015) The End of Traffic and the Future of Transport.

Figure 3.6 Source: US Bureau of Transportation Statistics National Transportation Statistics
Table 1-50: U.S. Ton-Miles of Freight (BTS Special Tabulation) (Millions) .

 

 

 

Commercial Vehicle Outlook Conference: August 26-27, Dallas Texas

I am pleased to be speaking at the Commercial Vehicle Outlook Conference, which has a theme of Trucking’s Future Now Conference in Dallas, August 26-27, 2015.

What does the future of the trucking industry look like? That’s what industry experts, analysts and futurists will discuss next month in August in Dallas at the annual Commercial Vehicle Outlook seminar for fleet executives, suppliers and other industry stakeholders.

The two-day event will be held Aug. 26-27 at the Dallas Convention Center in conjunction with the Great American Trucking Show.The conference, sub-themed this year as Trucking’s Future Now, will feature speeches and panel discussions on looming changes to trucking equipment and technology, such as autonomous trucking and platooning systems, along with talks on changing infrastructure, freight patterns and the driver and technician labor market.

Michio Kaku

Futurist Michio Kaku will give CV-Outlook’s keynote address on Wednesday, Aug. 26. Kaku is one of the most highly recognized futurists in the world, internationally recognized for trying to complete Einstein’s unified field theory and his predictions of trends affecting business, commerce and finance.

Other speakers include Derek Rotz, manager of advanced engineering at Daimler Trucks North America; Stephen Hampson, president and general manager of Meritor WABCO; David Levinson, author and professor at the University of Minnesota; Bill Kahn, principal engineer at Peterbilt Motors;  Paul Menig, CEO at Tech-I-M; Josh Switkes, CEO at Peloton Technology; and Mike Roeth, executive director of NACFE.

Click here to register for CV Outlook.

OUTLOOK AGENDA

Peak Truck

ATA For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index
ATA For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index

From Calculated Risk, we see this chart

This sure looks like peak truck (if not peak freight). We (in the US) have been plateaued for about half a decade, from before the recession. This tracks well with other evidence for peak travel.

The Traffic, She is Increasing

CarloadsApril2011

Calculated Risk: AAR: Rail Traffic increases in March: “The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reports carload traffic in March 2011 was up up 3.4% over March 2010 and 11.2% over March 2009, and intermodal traffic (using intermodal or shipping containers) was up 8.5% over March 2010 and up 21.6% over March 2009.

(Via Calculated Risk.)

Foodtubes

From Ars technica: Can we transport food like Internet data? Foodtubes says yes

Much of the world’s food supply is transported via an inefficient, polluting, and dangerous system of highways and trucks. The overwhelming share of the fuel used to move food powers cumbersome vehicles, only eight percent is really needed to transport the cargoes themselves to supermarkets, according to one estimate.
So what’s the alternative? Move the whole system underground and set up a “transport industry Internet,” says the United Kingdom based Foodtubes Project, a consortium of academics, project planners, and engineers. Siphon veggies, corn flakes, cans of baked beans about in high-speed capsules (one by two meters) traveling through dedicated pipelines lodged below our cities. And why not? That’s the way we transport water, oil, gas, and sewage, isn’t it?
“All all conditions, day or night, delivery can be guaranteed,” a Foodtubes PowerPoint presentation promises. “Whatever the weather, FOODTUBE will deliver the goods!”

I don’t know why this is limited to foods, as opposed to any material goods. Of course it is reminiscent of Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward (written in 1887):

“I suppose so,” said Edith, “but of course we have never known any other way. But, Mr. West, you must not fail to ask father to take you to the central warehouse some day, where they receive the orders from the different sample houses all over the city and parcel out and send the goods to their destinations. He took me there not long ago, and it was a wonderful sight. The system is certainly perfect; for example, over yonder in that sort of cage is the dispatching clerk. The orders, as they are taken by the different departments in the store, are sent by transmitters to him. His assistants sort them and enclose each class in a carrier-box by itself.
The dispatching clerk has a dozen pneumatic transmitters before him answering to the general classes of goods, each communicating with the corresponding department at the warehouse. He drops the box of orders into the tube it calls for, and in a few moments later it drops on the proper desk in the warehouse, together with all the orders of the same sort from the other sample stores. The orders are read over, recorded, and sent to be filled, like lightning. The filling I thought the most interesting part. Bales of cloth are placed on spindles and turned by machinery, and the cutter, who also has a machine, works right through one bale after another till exhausted, when another man takes his place; and it is the same with those who fill the orders in any other staple. The packages are then delivered by larger tubes to the city districts, and thence distributed to the houses. You may understand how quickly it is all done when I tell you that my order will probably be at home sooner than I could have carried it from here.” Edward Bellamy (1887) Looking Backward: 2000-1887 (chapter 10, p.106)

I wrote a bit about Automated Freight Systems in
Published as: Zou, Xi and David Levinson (2005) Financing and Deploying Automated Freight Systems in The Future of Automated Freight Transport: Concepts, Design and Implementation. (ed. Rob Konings, Peter Nijkamp, Hugo Peimus) Edward Elgar pp. 227-242.
For the record, I am not a locovore.

Skylifter airship could carry 150-ton buildings | KurzweilAI

Skylifter1 Skylifter2From KurzweilAI Skylifter airship could carry 150-ton buildings :

Australian company SkyLifter has designed a heavy-lifting, vertical ascent and descent aircraft that will operate as a practical flying crane.
The aircraft is designed to take off where helicopters leave off, with vertical pickup and delivery capability of over-size, fragile or bulky items up to 150 tons, and potentially more. The long flight duration of 24 hours ensures a good distance range and adds flexibility to logistics. The aircraft can loiter over a ground location for long periods using minimal energy.

Integrative Freight Demand Management in the New York City Metropolitan Area

My colleague José Holguin-Veras at RPI recently completed a study on scheduling freight deliveries in New York City. The conclusion was not surprising to those in the field, there are gains to be had from scheduling deliveries outside the peak; surprisingly though, this is not done already (analogous to the economist’s $10 bill lying in the street, but in this case a $1000/month check going uncollected). This is the result of coordination and principal/agent issues (it costs receivers more to receive off-peak), which information and appropriate pricing and incentives should be able to solve.
From one press release: NYC DOT Pilot Program Finds Economic Savings, Efficiencies For Truck Deliveries Made During Off-hours.

New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today announced that a pilot program undertaken with the trucking industry found that trucks making off-hour deliveries between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. instead of at peak hours experienced fewer delays, easier parking, reduced congestion and significant savings for the 33 participating delivery companies and business locations receiving shipments. The study, the first that engages both delivery companies and businesses, also found that businesses overwhelmingly supported the benefits, with travel speeds improved as much as 75% and a sharp reduction in parking tickets and fines which exceeded $1,000 a month for each truck. Several participants continue to make off-hour deliveries and DOT is now developing ways to build upon this pilot. Joining the Commissioner was U.S. Department of Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) Administrator Peter Appel at a 14th Street location of Foot Locker, one of the retail participants in the study, as well as representatives from Sysco, Whole Foods Market and New Deal Logistics.

More information on the Manhattan Off-Hour Deliveries Pilot can be found at http://transp.rpi.edu/~usdotp.

The project’s premise is

Receivers, by virtue of being the carriers’ customers, have a significant power in setting delivery times and, consequently, trucks’ time of travel.
Carriers cannot switch operations to the off-hours, without receivers willing to accept Off-Hour Deliveries (OHD).
In equality of conditions, carriers will prefer to deliver during the off-hours because of the higher productivity and lower costs (even when paying prime wages to the crews).
The carriers’ cost savings are not large enough to enable shipping cost discounts large enough to attract receivers to OHD.

All Those Numbers: Logistics, Territory and Walmart

Design Observer discusses All Those Numbers: Logistics, Territory and Walmart describing Wal-Mart’s spread across the US, and the underlying logistics driving it. The total footprint of Wal-Mart’s US stores is larger than Manhattan.