MetroFreight

2.1b Network Analysis of Multimodal Freight Transport System in NYC

Project Number

2.1b

Project Summary

Goal:  the research is aimed at examining the multimodal freight transportation network in New York City (NYC) to identify the critical links, nodes and bottlenecks that affect last-mile deliveries. Two types of analysis will be conducted to get a big picture of the network performance, including the network accessibility analysis and the network criticality analysis. The former is to assess the accessibility of the freight transportation network in the context of users such as freight demand generators and customer markets. The latter is to develop multiple network metrics based on network analysis and graph theory to facilitate the ranking and selections of critical network components. 

Tasks:

1. Literature Review (2 months)

A comprehensive state of the art review will be performed on three subjects, namely the network analysis and graph theory techniques, the critical issues of freight transportation and last-mile deliveries, and the freight transportation system in New York City. The review of the network analysis and graph theory techniques is to identify the useful network analysis methods and metrics that will facilitate the network accessibility assessment and the selection of critical network components. The review of the critical issues of freight transportation and last-mile deliveries is to understand the role of transportation networks in supporting freight transport and to gain deep insights on the impact of network performance on transportation and logistics costs, reliability of services and environmental externalities caused by freight. The last review of the freight transportation system in New York City is to collect information of the multiple freight flows (such as through, intercity, intracity flows), the multiple freight modal networks and transshipment points connecting them, authorities of different network components, and the major freight demand generators (such as freight terminals and the customer markets).

2. Data Collection (2 months)

Various data will be collected to conduct the research. They can be categorized to three groups, including (1) the multimodal freight transportation network data, (2) freight demand and traffic flow data and (3) census and demographic information. The potential data sources we will explore include the New York State GIS data clearing house, the U.S. census bureau data, the Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) of the Department of City Planning (DCP), and the County Business Pattern (CBP) data. We will also contact the Department of City Planning and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) to hopefully get freight demand and traffic flow data. In addition, since we have the access to the ResearchUSA business establishment data, we will use it for the network accessibility analysis.

3. Network Accessibility Analysis (3 months)

Freight transportation network accessibility measures the availability of the network to the general users given the attributes of the network such as travel times and distances to the users. Regarding the user side, we will examine the ResearchUSA data to sort out the freight related establishments and their employment information. Based on the establishments’ locations, we will also calculate the distances from them to the nearest network components. The individual establishments’ employment and the corresponding network distances will be used as the input to calculate the network accessibility indices. The essential goal of this task is to get a sense of the level of accessibility level the freight transportation network in NYC.

4. Network Criticality Analysis (3 months)

Network and graph theory analysis will be performed in this task to identify the critical components of the freight transportation network. Given the topology of the network, a series of metrics will be explored to quantify the connection, distribution and segmentation properties. These metrics include but are not limited to network density, centrality of a node, structural holes, clustering coefficient of nodes, redundancy of links and so on. These metrics will be calculated to help rank and select critical links and nodes in the system.

5.  Final Report (2 months)

A final project report will be submitted by the end of the 12-month project period. In addition, at least one research paper is expected from this research. An initial version will be submitted to the 2016 TRB Annual Meeting due on August 1, 2015. Given the comments, a journal article will be developed, tentatively to be submitted to Networks and Spatial Economics.  

Timeline:

Estimated Start and Completion Dates: September 15, 2014 – September 14, 2015

6.  Progress

A two month literature review began in September 2014 on three subjects: 1) the network analysis and graph theory techniques, 2) the critical issues of freight transportation and last-mile deliveries, and 3) the freight transportation system in New York City. Data collection will take place for two months during November - December, 2014 and is categorized into three groups, including: 1) the multimodal freight transportation network data, 2) freight demand and traffic flow data, and 3) census and demographic information.  

Project Status

Complete

Year

2014

Topic Area

Sustainable Urban Freight

P.I. Name & Address

Assistant Professor, Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
231 Ketter Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
United States
Qw6@buffalo.edu