National Center for Sustainable Transportation

Freight Efficiency Strategies: Operational Modernization at Distribution Nodes

Project Number


Project Summary

Relevant California state agencies and departments are working together to develop the California Sustainable Freight Strategy (CSFS) for a sustainable freight transport system that relies on zero and near-zero emission equipment powered by renewable energy sources. This equipment also meets multiple goals, including: enhancing the economic competitiveness and efficiency of California’s logistics system, creating jobs, and increasing the safety and livability of freight corridors. As part of this effort, researchers from the National Center for Sustainable Transportation worked with representatives from state agencies, industry, non-governmental agencies, and academia to develop a series of five white papers that examined broad-based approaches to increase the efficiency of the freight system.

This white paper identifies a range of technological and process-driven opportunities that hold the potential for modernizing distribution nodes to promote freight efficiency while also improving safety and air quality standards. To promote improved truck access at distribution nodes, the research investigates the use of truck platooning, virtual container yards, design-based guidelines, and weigh-in-motion strategies to improve freight efficiency. The research also explores strategies focused on establishing energy independence at marine terminals through the use of energy microgrids.

Project Status




Topic Area

Sustainable Urban Freight

P.I. Name & Address

Director, METRANS CSULB Programs
California State University Long Beach
6300 State University Drive
Suite 255
Long Beach, CA 90815
United States


Associate Director, CSULB CITT
California State University, Long Beach
6300 E State University Drive
Suite 255
Long Beach, CA 90815
United States

NCST Grant Cycle: NCST Caltrans 2015-2016

Funding: $30,552.05

Sponsors: California Department of Transportation

Link to project on NCST website: