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ITS ePrimer Presentation

Module 6: Freight, Intermodal, and CVO

(Note: The following PowerPoint presentation is a supplement to the module.)

Slide 1: ITS ePrimer Module 6: Freight, Intermodal, and CVO

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) ePrimer

March 2016

Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office Research and Innovative Technology Administration, USDOT

Author Notes for Slide 1:

This is the first, title slide in all modules.

The following slides are in this order:

  • Instructor
  • Learning Objectives
  • Content-related slides
  • Summary (what we have learned)
  • References
  • Questions?

This module is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation's ITS Professional Capacity Building (PCB) Program. The ITS PCB Program is part of the USDOT ITS Joint Program Office.

Thank you for participating and we hope you find this module helpful.

Slide 2: Authors

Headshot photo of I. Michael Wolfe, MA, Principal at North River Consulting Group in North Marshfield, MA USA

I. Michael Wolfe, MA
North River Consulting Group
North Marshfield, MA, USA

Headshot photo of Kenneth F. Troup, MS, Senior Associate/Manager at North River Consulting Group in Bolton, MA USA

Kenneth F. Troup, MS
Senior Associate/Manager
North River Consulting Group
Bolton, MA, USA

Slide 3: Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the different yet complementary goals of private and public sector applications of ITS freight technologies.
  2. Describe private, public, and public/private examples of ITS freight applications.
  3. Describe the types of ITS benefits delivered to different freight stakeholders.
  4. Show how and why private and public sector ITS applications gravitated to different technologies and communications architectures: applications based on
    • vehicle-centered long range communications vs.
    • infrastructure-oriented vehicle-to-roadside communications.
  5. Identify resources that readers can use to increase their understanding of ITS freight applications.

Author Notes for Slide 3:

This module highlights public and private sector ITS applications used in commercial vehicles, freight transportation infrastructure, and freight management.

ITS applications for intermodal freight and commercial vehicle operations sit at the intersection of commercial interests, economic productivity, public safety, and security; they cover goods movement by all surface modes, including their interfaces with air and ocean modes.

Slide 4: Introduction

Overview of Freight Functions and Issues

  • Freight movement is fundamentally private business
    • Shippers, carriers, and consignees
    • Major focus on efficiency, productivity, customer service
  • Federal agencies focus on safety and security
    • USDOT includes FMCSA, FHWA, MarAd, and the Joint Program Office (JPO)
    • DHS includes CBP and TSA

What Private Industry Stakeholders Want from ITS

  • Improve planning for physical distribution of goods.
  • Support purchase, scheduling, and rescheduling of transportation services.
  • Facilitate comprehensive in-transit visibility for carriers and their customers.
  • Improve the information flow throughout the supply chain.
  • Support supply chain performance evaluation and continuous improvement.

Author Notes for Slide 4:

Key Message:

Freight industries and their customers use information technologies (IT) and telecommunications to improve the efficiency and productivity of their freight movements, increase global connectivity, and enhance freight system security against common threats and terrorism.

IT and telecommunications technologies help operate the freight transportation system more intelligently to improve the efficiency and reliability of cargo delivery. Most importantly, they do so in ways that improve safety, whether related to hazardous materials transport, heavy truck maintenance, or load-limit compliance.

USDOT agencies that interact with the freight sector include FHWA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Maritime Administration (MarAd), the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) play important roles in freight security and international trade.

The message in this slide is not absolute: private industry is also interested in safety and security; government is also interested in efficiency and productivity.

Slide 5: Background of Freight ITS

  • Private sector led the way
    • Early adopters of satellite-based location determinatio among irregular route truckload carriers - early 1990s
    • Dramatic improvements in operating results and service
    • Did not use language of "ITS"
  • Public sector use developed more gradually
    • Early Commercial Vehicle Operations (CVO) apps in early 1990s
    • Credentials administration, safety assurance, electronic screening, and toll collection
    • "ITS" language adopted in late 1990s

Author Notes for Slide 5:


  • Then-revolutionary change introduced by Schneider National using QUALCOMM OmniTRACS
  • Huge advantage for early adopters eventually
  • Proliferation of technology providers
  • Became a necessary common practice among successful fleet operators


  • Areas included public sector regulatory responsibilities to
    • assure freight vehicle safety;
    • preservation of public roadway investments against overloaded trucks; and
    • triage of commercial vehicles to assure most effective use of enforcement resources.
  • Also a focus on public sector efficiency, as with toll collection

Slide 6: ITS Technologies for Freight and CVO

Communications Architecture

  • Wide area mobile
    • Vehicle-centric, long range
    • Satellite, cellular, Wi-Fi evolution
    • Usually 2 way data and voice
    • High cost per vehicle
    • Private sector's focus
  • Short range fixed location
    • DSRC and infrastructure focus
    • RFID transponders with unique IDs
    • IDs keyed to remote databases
    • Lower cost per vehicle and higher costs on the land-side
    • Public sector's focus

This is a photo of a “stealth trailer antenna.” The stealth trailer antenna is a low profile black square that mounted on a metal frame. Source: Evaluation and Final Report of Untethered Trailer Tracking for FMCSA, 2005

This is a photo of an 18-wheeler entering an optical character recognition (OCR) system in the port of Vancouver. Orange columns provide positioning guidance to drivers, while overhead sensors are above. Source: Kenneth Troup as a USDOT employee

Author Notes for Slide 6:

Historical connection between user groups and communications architecture

  • Private sector, especially long-haul trucking, exploited wide area mobile
  • Railroads totally different - industry standard RFID tags and readers for car location
  • Public sector concentrated on radio frequency identification (RFID) for tolls and inspections

Long-range cost and capability trade-offs changed over time

  • Satellite offered near-universal coverage with high per-character message costs
  • Cellular's service coverage gaps shrank with time; much lower cost when usable
  • Development of dual- and tri-mode systems: mobile device tries cheapest communication first, then defaults to higher cost

Student discussion topic. Ask what they think are the pros and cons of long range and short range:

Long-range advantages: Long range, granularity of coverage, timeliness, and flexibility characterize the benefit profile of wide-area mobile solutions. Fleet dispatch systems can use time- and location-information to calculate schedule adherence, identify exceptions, and initiate corrective actions.

Short-range advantages: The benefit profile of short-range telecommunications offers highly reliable confirmation of simple transactions, especially identification of unique vehicles or drivers or loads at a particular time and place. Information can be tied to many data base applications, such as tolls, credentials, and enforcement.

Image Sources:
Top: Photograph is a "stealth trailer antenna" from Evaluation and Final Report of Untethered Trailer Tracking for FMCSA, 2005.
Bottom: Photograph is a personal photo of an optical character recognition (OCR) system in the port of Vancouver, taken by Module 6 co-author Kenneth Troup when he was a USDOT employee.

Slide 7: Core ITS Freight Technologies

  • Asset tracking
    • "Where is my equipment?"
    • Enables better fleet management and supply chain visibility
  • On-board status monitoring
    • Vehicle condition sensors
    • Cargo condition sensors
    • Driver behavior sensors
  • Gateway facilitation
    • Ties in with CVO and CVISN
  • Freight and network status info
    • Requires major database access and management capabilities

This image is the cover to The Freight Technology Story: Intelligent Freight Technologies and Their Benefits. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: This image is the cover to The Freight Technology Story: Intelligent Freight Technologies and Their Benefits, FHWA-HOP-05-030, June 2005. The cover has a dark background with abstract blue lines in the background. At the top of the cover is the title "The Freight Technology Story." Below the title, "Intelligent Freight Technologies and their Benefits" is in red. On the lower right quadrant of the page, is a collage of photographs separated by slightly curving, intersecting blue lines. The following images are included in the collage: 18-wheelers, computer monitors, workers in a control room, freight sensors, overhead truck sensors.)

Author Notes for Slide 7:

Asset Tracking

  • Location of freight transportation assets such as trucks, trailers, intermodal containers, chassis, and the cargo associated with such equipment.
  • Whether a vehicle or shipment is adhering to a prescribed route and schedule.
  • Asset tracking is the most important single cluster of technologies for private sector ITS freight applications.

On-Board Status Monitoring

  • Vehicle operating parameters range from road speed, to engine RPMs, to coolant temperatures, to tire pressures, and much more.
  • Cargo condition sensors for temperature and security sensors such as intrusion and seal tamper detection.
  • Driver behavior sensors promise safety improvements such as drowsiness detection.

Gateway Facilitation - see CVO and Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN) in section 3 of this presentation.

Freight and Network Status Information

  • Freight status information is the next slide.
  • Network status includes more than freight; it's beyond the scope of this module.

Image Source: The Freight Technology Story: Intelligent Freight Technologies and Their Benefits, FHWA-HOP-05-030, June 2005.

Slide 8: Freight Data Management

Information about what is moving is often as important as the freight itself

  • History of freight data quality: it is late, incomplete, and inaccurate
    • Move to "source data automation" triggered by freight transactions
    • Data standardization pays benefits
    • Major strides in Internet era
  • Public sector use of freight data
    • Tactical, such as CVO enforcement
    • Strategic, such as data for planning
  • Freight data sensitivity
    • Usually proprietary and fiercely protected
  • To visit the UPS tracking site, click here.
  • To visit the FedEx tracking site, click here.

Author Notes for Slide 8:

An old industry saying was "the cargo moves in spite of the paperwork, not because of it."

  • The railroad and trucking industries in the 1960s and 1970s pioneered efforts to automate freight information flow.
  • They worked with customers to automate business transactions including ordering of transportation, billing information, visibility of shipments, and automated payment of bills.
  • Industry leaders promoted freight data standards such as electronic data interchange (EDI) for domestic and international shipments.

Data integration

  • Increasing numbers of railroads, trucking companies, ocean carriers, and firms like UPS and FedEx made great strides at implementing and integrating freight data within their companies.
  • Leading large shippers also automated information flows within their companies.
  • For a variety of reasons, inter-company integration of freight management data has been more difficult to implement.

Data sensitivity

  • Industry concerns are barriers to data sharing with the public sector.
  • Often impede the wider adoption of otherwise-successful freight data enhancement projects.
  • Important institutional issues, addressed more deeply in ePrimer Module 12.

Slide 9: Freight Management Functions

Freight management functions relate to

  • Information exchange and ITS technologies used by private companies
  • Raw materials, components, and finished goods

Freight Management includes four functions

  1. Integrated Logistics Management
  • Focuses on all aspects of the supply chain
  • Automation of formerly manual processes and documents
  • Core competencies (in-house) vs. third party logistic (3PL) outsourcing
  1. Supply Chain Management
  • Growing global use of Transportation Management Systems
  • Trend toward optimization applications and predictive analytics

Author Notes for Slide 9:

Section provides background on private freight transportation and the use of freight information to improve delivery of cargo. Four major functions:

  • Integrated Logistics Management as conducted by shippers and consignees on all parts of their manufacturing and distribution business
  • Supply Chain Management and the interaction of all supply chain partners from origin to destination

Technologies are used to assist in these interactions, with a growing trend toward wide use of automated information and computerized analysis to increase efficiency.

Slide 10: Freight Management Functions

  1. Carrier and Fleet Management
  • Management of transportation assets
    • Tractors
    • Trailers
    • Containers
    • Chassis
  1. Port and Terminal Congestion Management
  • Growth in ocean container traffic increases pressure on U.S. seaports
  • Long queues of idling trucks produce emissions issues

Author Notes for Slide 10:

Remaining two functions:

  • Carrier and Fleet Management conducted by transportation carriers of all modes. Allows more efficient assignment of equipment and better service to customers.
  • Port and Terminal Congestion Management deals with traffic congestion that affects non-freight transportation as well as the pick up and delivery of freight. This is one of the primary areas where the private and public sectors have mutual interests and requirements to relieve congestion problems.

Slide 11: A. Integrated Logistics Management

Scope of Business Logistics Activities

  • Sales forecasting and purchasing
  • Inbound/outbound/intra-company trans
  • Raw material/work in progress inventory control
  • Finished goods inventory/warehousing
  • Order processing
  • Customer service
  • Logistics systems administration
  • Materials management
  • International land domestic shipping
  • Computerized distribution applications

This is a photo taken in the Vancouver airport freight facility. In this photo, there is a pallet of large cardboard boxes that are shrink wrapped into a bundle. Source: Kenneth Troup

Author Notes for Slide 11:

This slide shows additional detail on the kinds of business activities that are affected in logistics management.

Manufacturing, distribution, and retail firms use information technologies to better manage these processes. Increased efficiency in the activities lowers the costs and increases the profits for the companies involved.

Image Source: Personal photo of Vancouver airport freight facility by Module 6 coauthor Kenneth Troup.

Slide 12: B. Supply Chain Management

  • Globalization - Imports and Exports
  • Enhanced Transportation Management Systems
  • Increased rail-truck intermodal
  • Increased parcel shipments
  • Tracking and tracing of shipments
  • Electronic shipping documentation

This image the cover photo of the document Columbus Electronic Freight Management Evaluation: Achieving Business Benefits with EFM Technologies. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: This image the cover photo of the document Columbus Electronic Freight Management Evaluation: Achieving Business Benefits with EFM Technologies, USDOT-ITS JPO, March 2009. The title of the document is located in the upper third of the page. On the lower two-thirds of the page is a photo montage of freight systems. Included in this image are an 18-wheeler truck in the center with a bar code on the side, a freight train in the upper left corner, a cargo plane on the upper right, a cargo ship just above the truck, and binary numbers strategically placed throughout the image.)

Author Notes for Slide 12:

Supply Chain Management is a major area in which shippers, carriers, distributors, retailers, and customs agencies must work together to help delivery freight.

  • Particularly during the 2000s, there was a major increase in global trade and the use of automated freight information to help manage the supply chain.
  • High fuel costs have led to increased use of intermodal transportation.
  • E-commerce and increased online ordering has led to smaller shipments and increases in parcel shipping.
  • Customers want to know where their freight is.
  • Automating shipping documentation has been a focus of freight information effort.

Image Source: Columbus Electronic Freight Management Evaluation: Achieving Business Benefits with EFM Technologies, USDOT-ITS JPO, March 2009.

Slide 13: C. Carrier Fleet Management

  • On-board truck management
    • Tractor and trailer RFID tags
    • Transponder location devices
  • Driver scheduling and alerts
    • Smartphones and cab communications
    • Hours of service management
  • GPS mobile tracking technology
  • DOT-sponsored tests of asset tracking

This is a photo of trailer tracking device. It shows a rectangular metal box with a white band painted on the device, mounted to the truck. Source: Kenneth Troup

This is a photo of a driver at the helm of a shipping truck. The driver of the truck is pointing at a digital screen that’s installed into the control panel of the truck. Source: Kenneth Troup

Author Notes for Slide 13:

Freight information technology is used by carriers to manage their equipment. Helps them provide better service and control their costs

  • Knowing where a vehicle is helps with management of assets. There is widespread use of tagging on containers, both passive and active Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags as well as GPS devices to pinpoint location via satellite
  • Trucks and trains have on board systems that monitor the performance of the vehicle and provide information to the operators.
  • In trucking this is very important because of the various DOT rules concerning hours of operation.
  • DOT has sponsored various tests and demonstrations of freight technologies to better track freight vehicles and communicate with drivers.

Image Sources:
Top: personal photograph of trailer tracking device by Module 6 co-author Kenneth Troup.
Bottom: photograph taken from a project team presentation at an FHWA meeting; Kenneth Troup was a member of that project team.

Slide 14: D. Port and Terminal Congestion Management

  • Congestion costs the carriers, shippers, and consignees
  • Port truck congestion spills over onto the highways and surrounding urban areas
  • Port land-side turn time studies to understand the problem
  • Yard management systems for greater terminal visibility
  • Congestion alerts
  • PierPass program

In this photo there are a number of utility vehicles lining up to move cargo. A shipping container crane can be seen in the background. Source: Kenneth Troup

Author Notes for Slide 14:

Port congestion is a serious problem that affects the entire transportation network in a metropolitan area.

  • Delay costs freight participants money in part leading to increased inventories to account for uncertainty and leading to increased fuel consumption and air pollution.
  • Highways and streets leading to ports and terminals have frequent delays and traffic incidents.
  • Port congestion in the U.S. reached unprecedented proportions in 2014-15, most especially on the West Coast. To help address the problems, the Federal Maritime Commission conducted a series of forums at various ports around the country and compiled the results in a July 2015 report.
  • Some ports have conducted time and motion studies of truck and rail movements into and out of terminals. Results allow implementation of improved procedures and information flows.
  • Los Angeles and Long Beach implemented an off-peak incentive program (Pier Pass Program) to help ease congestion. Oakland is implementing a similar program.
  • Better freight information exchange and better information about traffic conditions can help freight as well as non-freight transportation.

Image Source: Personal photograph at Port of Oakland by Module 6 co-author Kenneth Troup

Slide 15: Costs of Congestion

  • Federal Reserve: - 0.2% GDP because of LA Port congestion in early 2015
  • Drewry: $150 million ocean carrier lost from LA vessel turn around delays in late 2014
  • Tioga Group: $348 million/year from U.S. drayage delays
    • Time in queues at the gates: $83 million/year
    • Congestion within a container yard: $42 million/year
    • Congestion on highways and streets: $150 million/year

Author Notes for Slide 15:

This slide pulls together several different views of the cost impact from congestion at the U.S. ports. 

This port congestion issue is a costly one to the US and this slide illustrates the magnitude.  The first two items note the impacts of the LA/Long Beach congestion that occurred during the last half of 2014 and the beginning of 2015.

The problems described in the FMC Congestion Report as well as other analyses are many-faceted and cannot all be solved by freight ITS, but the technologies can help reduce the congestion and save money.

Source of the cost information is the USDOT FRATIS Assessment Report (2016) prepared by CDM Smith with Module co-author Kenneth Troup as derived from TRB NCFRP report 11 Truck Drayage Guidebook and the FMC Congestion Report.

Slide 16: CVO, CVISN, and Gateway Facilitation

ITS CVO embodies the yin and yang of enforcement and facilitation

Commercial Vehicle Info. Systems and Networks (CVISN) is the central CVO program

  • Commercial Vehicle Administration Center
    • Represents multiple public and regional agencies that administer CVO activities
      • Communicate with Field Activities
      • Field Activities communicate with trucks
  • Fleet and Freight Management Centers
    • Parts of private firms
  • Commercial Vehicle Subsystems
    • On-board equipment to support both CVO and carrier's business interests
    • Vehicle-roadside CVO links

This diagram is titled: CVISN Architecture is a bit complex. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: This diagram is titled "CVISN Architecture is a bit complex." The diagram is divided into four main sections, with a series of connecting communications formats. In the upper left corner, the Travelers section has two sub-boxes within it: Remote Traveler Support (top, connected by a line to Fixed Point – Fixed Point Communications underneath and to the right) and Personal Information Access (bottom, connected by a line to Wide Area Wireless (Mobile) Communications underneath and Fixed Point – Fixed Point Communications underneath and to the right). At the top right, the larger Centers section has two rows of sub-boxes within it. Top row, left to right: Traffic Management (yellow), Emergency Management (yellow), Toll Administration, Archived Data Management (yellow), and Maintenance & Construction Management (yellow). Bottom row, left to right: Information Service Provider (yellow), Emissions Management, Transit Management, Fleet and Freight Management (bright yellow and outlined), and Commercial Vehicle Management (bright yellow and outlined). Every one of these sub-boxes under Centers is connected by a line to the Fixed Point – Fixed Point Communications box underneath the Centers section. To the lower left there is a Vehicles section with a set of diagonally ascending sub-boxes within it (start lower left to the upper right of the box): Maintenance & Construction Vehicle, Transit Vehicle, Commercial Vehicle (bright yellow and outlined), Emergency Vehicle, and Vehicle (yellow). Each of these sub-boxes is connected by a line to the Wide Area Wireless (Mobile) Communications box above it, to the vertically-running Vehicle-Vehicle Communications box to the left of the Vehicles section, and to the vertically-running Field – Vehicle Communications box to the right of the Vehicles section. To the lower right, there is a Field section with a set of diagonally descending sub-boxes within it (from upper left to lower right): Roadway, Security Monitoring, Toll Collection, Parking Management, and Commercial Vehicle Check (bright yellow and outlined). Each sub-box is connected by a line to the Fixed Point – Fixed Point Communications box above it, and to the vertically-running Field – Vehicle Communications box to the left (in between the Vehicles and Field sections). See Author Notes below for more information.)

Author Notes for Slide 16:

CVO programs and related activities, with increasing success, enable accomplishment of seemingly oppositional goals at the intersection of public sector regulations and motor carrier compliance.

This architecture diagram will be covered in detail on our next exam ... just joking, of course.

The diagram is here to give you a sense of the breadth, diversity, and complexity of CVISN, USDOT's central CVO program and an integral part of the overall ITS National Architecture.

The Commercial Vehicle Administration "Center" represents multiple agencies that administer CVO activities and exchange information; e.g., credentialing.

  • Centers communicate with Field Activities that perform inspections and with commercial vehicles via RFID transponders to facilitate the roadside check and inspection operations.
  • A carrier's purpose in applying intelligent freight technologies is to knit together asset tracking and on-board monitoring with other management systems; e.g., customer service, driver management, terminal management, and route planning.

CVISN's on-board Commercial Vehicle Subsystem serves CVO and carrier interests and includes electronic data for communication of IDs and:

  • On-board trip and cargo monitoring
  • On-board collection and sharing safety, security, and driver information

Image Source: The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL), Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN) System Design Description, NSTD-09-0238 v. 4.0, June 2009.

Slide 17: Core and Expanded CVISN Capabilities

  • Core CVISN requires
    • Safety Info. Exchange
    • Credentials Administration
    • Electronic Screening
  • Expanded CVISN
    • Open menu
    • Optional extensions

Some Expanded CVISN Projects

  1. Virtual Weigh Stations
    Roadside facilities monitored from other locations
  2. License Plate Readers
    Image-processing to identify vehicles
  3. Oversize/Overweight Permitting
    Correct routing to address mobility, safety, and security concerns
  4. Driver Information Sharing
    Focus on high-risk drivers

Author Notes for Slide 17:

The CVISN Program defines two levels of capabilities, Core and Expanded.

  • Core CVISN includes compatibility with CVISN principals and standards, basic capabilities for information exchange, credentials administration, and electronic screening, and expandability.
  • Expanded CVISN is an almost open-ended menu of additional applications and more extensive deployments:
    • Expanded CVISN offers suggested examples, not limits.

FMCSA's Web site includes the examples of Expanded CVISN projects that are shown in the call-out box.

Slide 18: Deployment Successes

  • PrePass
    • Largest ITS CVO consortium
    • 301 stations, 31 states
    • Safety, weight, credentials
    • Electronics enable bypass
  • PierPASS
    • Non-profit, marine terminals
    • Ports of LA and Long Beach CA
    • Congestion, air quality, security
    • Incentives for night operations

Map entitled PrePass Coverage Map which shows a consortium of state and regional agencies with active and voluntary industry participants. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: Map entitled "PrePass Coverage Map" which shows a consortium of state and regional agencies with active and voluntary industry participants. The image has six tabs above the map (left to right): PrePass States (purple), Weigh Stations (purple), Live Traffic (green), Usage Guide (green), Reset Map (green), Data by State (drop down box, gray). The map shows the continental United States via Google Maps. The states are all labeled. Many states have been shaded in purple, including: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Michigan, Indiana, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, California. There are a numerous collection of purple circle and green diamonds placed in the states that have been shaded purple. See the additional Author Notes below.)

Author Notes for Slide 18:


  • Consortium of state and regional agencies with active and voluntary industry participation. Concept dates from 1983, with monthly motor carrier service charges.
  • PrePass electronically verifies safety, credentials, and weight of commercial vehicles at participating state highway weigh stations, commercial vehicle inspection facilities, and ports of entry. Major focus on overweight vehicles.
    • RFID tags in trucks trigger data base queries at inspection station; good carriers get green light bypass


  • LA and LB are the nation's highest volume intermodal container ports (140,000 trucks/week). LA area infamous for traffic congestion and air quality issues.
  • PierPASS is a creative business solution for congestion mitigation, not a technology innovation.
    • With PierPASS, in addition to normal business hours, every container terminal in LA/LB operates five off-peak shifts per week, usually Mon--Thurs nights and Saturday.
    • Incentive is PierPASS Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) for terminal access during peak hours.
    • As of January 4, 2016, the TMF is $69.17 for a twenty-foot container and $138.34 per forty-foot container.
    • In 2015, Port of Oakland requested approval for similar program, OakPass.

Image Source: HELP Inc., Provider of PrePass

Slide 19: Weigh in Motion (WIM)

WIM is the "Holy Grail" of weight limit enforcement

  • Enables fully automatic and direct WIM enforcement
  • increases the efficiency and effectiveness of weight limit enforcement
  • Virtual weigh station - roadside enforcement facility with remote monitoring (WIM, camera system, and wireless communications)

Several YouTube videos may be interesting:

  • For an animation illustrating the WIM concept in action, click here.
  • For a driver's perspective on and experience of a WIM inspection, click here.
  • For a law enforcement perspective and WIM technology approaches, click here.

Author Notes for Slide 19:

Overweight vehicles inflict disproportionate wear-and-tear on public roads and overloaded trucks are safety hazards. Compared to static fixed truck scales, weigh-in-motion enables more efficient and effective inspections.

WIM technologies are not new. The primary application in the U.S. has been collecting data for highway engineering and planning. This was the use of most of the roughly 800 U.S. WIM installations in 2011.

Weighing trucks at highway speeds extends the benefits of electronic screening and bypass from credentials and safety records to actual weights. Highway-speed sensors can triage the flow of truck traffic, separating high-confidence compliant vehicles, high-confidence noncompliant vehicles, and borderline cases, which can be diverted to static scales for precise measurement and enforcement actions.

Virtual weigh stations or virtual weigh in motion (VWIM) is a WIM system coupled with cameras, perhaps license plate readers, and a web interface to monitor the passage of vehicles.

Slide 20: Homeland and Cargo Security

  1. Security process and freight data impacts of terrorist attacks
  2. Huge bloom of freight-related technology solutions after the terrorist attacks
  3. U.S. Government efforts as a shipper to better track assets and monitor their status
    • Department of Defense (DOD)
    • Department of Energy (DOE)

This photo was taken at Norfolk International Terminal. In this photo, cargo trucks are lining up to enter and exit a port. The checkpoint is a row fourteen booth style structure similar to toll booths. Source: Kenneth Troup

Author Notes for Slide 20:

The 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. transformed global cargo security.

  • Traditionally, cargo security concerned theft, pilferage, and smuggling. Smuggling included drugs and other forbidden material, people, "gray market" goods, and items subject to high customs duties.
  • After terrorists successfully subverted commercial airliners to serve as weapons of mass destruction, officials and analysts turned their attention to other possible vulnerabilities.
  • Freight shipments and especially imports in marine intermodal containers were high on many lists.

The first two bullets—and the first two elements of this section—address post-9/11 ITS-related security efforts.

The section also addresses freight ITS from a different perspective, that of the government agencies that generate significant and sensitive freight shipments.

Image Source: Personal photo of Norfolk International Terminal by Module 6 co-author Kenneth Troup.

Slide 21: Freight Data and Process Impacts of 9/11

  • Focus on "what is in the box?"
    • US CBP institutes "24 Hour Rule" and Container Security Initiative (CSI)
      • eManifest data required 24 hours before loading container on ship
      • Container screening pushed "offshore" to origin ports
  • Focus on intrusion prevention and detection
    • CBP institutes Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)
      • "Validated" supply chain security best practices
      • Upgrade cargo seals and sealing practices

"If you want to guarantee supply chain security, then don't ship anything!"

Author Notes for Slide 21:

After 9/11, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) introduced the 3 programs mentioned on this slide:

  1. 1. The 24 Hour Advance Manifest Rule directly affected supply chain data flows. It required electronic delivery to CBP of container cargo manifest and related information at least 24 hours before a container could be loaded aboard an U.S.-bound vessel.

    Student question: Why would CBP put so much emphasis on getting information 24 hours before containers are loaded aboard ships?

    The delay provided CBP with a window to analyze the information, looking for suspicious patterns, and deny boarding for containers that merited closer inspection; this approach meant an entire shipload of containers would not be delayed to offload a suspect container. The advance manifest rules were near-revolutionary because of the urgency about deadlines and potential seriousness of penalties.

  2. 2. C-TPAT promotes adoption of security best practices among shippers, carriers, consignees, and their supply chain partners; CBP reviews corporate security plans and periodically "validates" (inspects) compliance.
  3. 3. CSI "pushed out the borders" with pre-screening of U.S.-bound container cargoes at selected originating ports. CSI also initiated in the US and overseas the use of ITS-like technologies to automate container and cargo screening with X-rays, gamma rays, and other solutions. In addition, all air cargo entering the U.S. is scanned.

The callout box: Many somewhat naive observers and officials asked if a given proposal or proposals would guarantee against terrorist events. The answer is an unqualified "no!" As long as freight and international trade move, the best one can do is to improve the odds.

Source: Michael Wolfe, responding to a European Commission official, ITS ePrimer, 2013

Slide 22: Bloom of ITS-like Security Technologies

  • TSA launches Transportation Worker Identity Card (TWIC)
    • Classic ITS biometric identification card
    • Difficult birth limits enthusiasm among freight sectors
  • Publicly and privately funded security initiatives
    • Many start with visibility enhancements that improve supply chain management and security along with it

This is a photograph of a person swiping an ITS Biometric identification card through a black card reader mounted to a metal wall. Above the card readers there is a red and white sign that reads: Restricted Access.

Author Notes for Slide 22:

9/11 spawned a huge bloom of ITS-like freight-related technology solutions after the terrorist attacks. There were government- and privately-sponsored technology initiatives to enhance cargo and freight transportation security and to improve supply chain visibility and management.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), after a difficult development and implementation process, launched the biometric Transportation Worker Identity Card (TWIC) in late 2007.

  • TWIC focuses on workers who require unescorted access to marine facilities and vessels.
  • TSA and the Coast Guard enforce the TWIC requirement.
  • Cumulatively through mid-January 2013, 2.4 million applicants received cards and 2,500 people received Final Disqualification Letters.
  • The TWIC concept is a classic Freight ITS enhancement and it would fit in other freight transportation environments.
  • Given the program's difficult birth, no other freight segments seem to be rushing to further deployment.

Some technology initiatives focused on pure security enhancements that would have imposed costs on supply chains; others focused on "have your cake and eat it too" doubly productive solutions.

In general, the second group included security improvements that helped improve supply chain business practices and visibility enhancements that would generate better security as a "collateral benefit."

Source: Copied from an FHWA presentation

Slide 22: Bloom of ITS-like Security Technologies

  • Trade-lane oriented tests and demonstrations - over 40!
    • Operation Safe Commerce - TSA sponsored
    • "Smart Box" Container Security Devices - CBP sponsored
    • Purely commercial ventures
  • No lasting commercial successes
    • Great ideas, but ahead of their time
    • Viable only with government mandates

This is a photo of a “Smart Box” Container Security device.” The device is mounted on top of the cab of an orange checkpoint vehicle. The vehicle is small with a side extension via an overhead bar that is connected to vertical beam and wheels for mobility. The space created by the extension is large enough to fit a freight container underneath. Source: SAIC Web site, 2003.

The is a photo of a person in a car pointing out a window towards a large pile of freight containers. There is an open freight container at the bottom . Source: Charles McCarthy, 2002/2003

Author Notes for Slide 23:

Operation Safe Commerce (OSC) was the largest single initiative, managed by TSA, initiated in 2002, and running though several cycles of multiple contracts awards and grants. The OSC vision was "a program to fund business initiatives designed to enhance security for container cargo moving internationally [with....] a test bed for new security techniques that have the potential to increase the security of container shipments."

OSC and similar initiatives, including direct research funding from CBP, fostered demonstrations of "smart box" solutions including Container Security Devices (CSD's) and electronic cargo seals (eSeals). Most of these on-board devices never achieved levels of reliability, especially absence of false positives that would satisfy carrier personnel and their supporters.

Smart container and smart trailer technologies hold great potential to deliver benefits to shippers, carriers, regulators, and other stakeholders. The projects in the aftermath of 9/11 had the right ambitions but were ahead of their time.

Image Sources:
Top, copied in 2003 from SAIC Web site material about government cargo security projects.
Bottom, photo by Charles McCarthy in 2002/2003 and used in USDOT projects by him and Kenneth Troup, co-author of Module 6; both were USDOT employees at the time.

Slide 24: DOD Freight Transportation

  • The Government is a large-scale shipper of freight
    • DOD, for the armed forces
    • DOE, for nuclear materials
  • Major interests in safety and security of hazardous shipments
    • Arms, ammunition, and explosives
      • Defense Transportation Tracking System (DTTS)
    • Fissile materials
      • DOE Transportation Tracking and Communications System (TRANSCOM)
  • Intelligent Road/Rail Information Server (IRRIS)
    • DOD's ITS-like platform
This is a sample screenshot from the IRRIS tracking system. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: This is a sample screenshot from the IRRIS tracking system. The IRRIS logo appears in the upper left, with a series of circular logos in sequence to the left. Underneath is a text area that states "Live Incidents: Live traffic and weather data allows IRRIS users to identify and receive alerts about traffic speeds, incidents, and local weather." Underneath this is a map of the Mid-Atlantic through the Mid-West (the map shows New Jersey south to Georgia, west to half of New Mexico, then north to Colorado). The main interstates through these states are included on the map. There is a bright green line from a truck icon near Delaware moving through Virginia, Kentucky and ending in Atlanta. There is a barrier icon with the words "Road Closed" across the green line in the Kentucky area. There is an icon of a large purple storm cloud reaching from Ohio over parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas and Alabama. There are four red doubled lightning bolt icons over the purple cloud icon. At the bottom left is a text area that states "Click here for more details" and a Home button to the lower right. See additional Author Notes below.)


Author Notes for Slide 24:

Two government agencies developed and operate systems to track sensitive government shipments.

  1. The Defense Transportation Tracking System (DTTS), which monitors shipments of arms, ammunition, and explosives (AA&E).
  2. The Department of Energy's Transportation Tracking and Communications System (TRANSCOM), which monitored shipments of radioactive waste.

IRRIS, the Intelligent Road/Rail Information Server, is another DOD-developed system that includes asset tracking.

  • A Web-based geospatial intelligent transportation information serve
  • Designed to support analysis of Continental United States (CONUS) infrastructure readiness, IRRIS now provides worldwide infrastructure and near-real-time data.
  • Taps and integrates multiple static and real-time data sources (including an hourly feed from DTTS)
  • IRRIS incorporates geographic information systems (GIS) and displays data through an interactive mapping interface.
  • DTTS functionality incorporated into IRRIS, giving DTTS users the geospatial capabilities of IRRIS

Image Source:

Slide 25: Freight Facilitation

  • Industry and international standards for data exchange
  • Data sharing among private sector firms to improve freight efficiency
  • Includes Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and internet-based standards
  • USDOT funded projects to enhance facilitation
    • Electronic Freight Management
    • Cross-Town Improvement Project

This image shows a row of six freight trucks driving under a green awning and passing through an electronic checkpoint. The checkpoint has yellow cement blocks and posts to guide truckers though the checkpoint. Source: Kenneth Troup

Author Notes for Slide 25:

Because of all the parties involved in freight transportation, standardization of data flows in needed for freight documentation, location information, and asset control.

  • EDI started in the 1980s on the railroads. International standards followed. Internet-based standards are now the norm.
  • Data sharing among private firms and between private firms and government customs and regulatory agencies is important to freight efficiency.
  • There are concerns and has been some research on privacy and competitive issues related to data sharing, especially with government agencies.
  • DOT has sponsored demonstration projects to enhance data sharing and automate various freight functions on the basis that improved freight efficiency and lower freight costs are good for the economy. Projects are discussed in more detail later in the module.

Image Source: Personal photo of Vancouver BC container terminal entry gate by Module 6 co-author Kenneth Troup.

Slide 26: Electronic Data Interchange

  • Process of transferring standard business documents between trading partners
  • Backbones of eCommerce is EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), a standard method of exchanging files that was developed in the 1980s
  • Bridge between trading partners
    • Value Added Network evolved to File Transfer Protocol via Internet
  • Most common electronic transactions
    • Shipment status
    • Invoice
    • Advanced Ship Notice
    • Payment Advice

Author Notes for Slide 26:

As noted previously, EDI was developed by the freight industry to allow private companies with different information systems to exchange data about freight shipments.

  • To facilitate the exchange of information, value added networks were used. This helped protect the privacy of individual companies' systems.
  • With the Internet, file transfer protocol is replacing Value Added Networks (VANs) for company to company information exchange.
  • There are several information standards organizations, both North America based and global, that maintain standard formats, protocols, and exchange standards for freight data.

Slide 27: Electronic Freight Management (EFM)

  • DOT-sponsored private sector supply chain demonstration projects
  • Internet-based standard freight data exchange among partners
  • Import air cargo of apparel demonstrated in Columbus, OH
  • Import ocean container by rail demonstrated in Kansas City
  • 3PL and drayage trucking demonstrations in Chicago and other cities
  • Software bundle available to additional private sector companies

The image is of two large white cargo trucks carrying freight through a checkpoint. Source: Mark Jensen

The second photo on the bottom is an aerial photo of airfreight at Hong Kong airport. In this photo there are seven lines of airfreight cargo on rollers waiting to be loaded. Source: Mark Jensen

Author Notes for Slide 27:

Electronic Freight Management was a 2005-2012 series of projects sponsored by the ITS Joint Program Office and the Federal Highway Administration.

  • Involved demonstrations with private sector stakeholders to exchange freight supply chain information and improve freight efficiency.
  • Each demonstration included measurement and documentation of costs and benefits of improved information flow.
  • Software resulting from the EFM projects is open source and available at no cost from DOT.
  • Documents on the lessons learned and benefits analysis are listed in the References and are available from DOT.

Image Source: Personal photos of air freight at Hong Kong airport by Mark Jensen, then with SAIC, related to government-funded projects; permission granted.

Slide 28: Electronic Freight Management

This graphic is designed to represent the connections among corporate goals, supply chain capabilities and EFM technology. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: This graphic is designed to represent the connections among corporate goals, supply chain capabilities and EFM technology. The image used is a building similar to a Greek temple, with three decorative columns. Leading up to the temple are five steps. These steps represent the "Conversion to & Use of "Actionable Intelligence." On the five steps are two groups of data attributes. The first group of attributes are on top two steps is "Data Availability." Included under this heading are "Connectivity" and "Collaboration." The second group of attributes is on the bottom two steps. This group is labeled "Data Quality," and includes the following characteristics: Accuracy, Timeliness, and Completeness. At the top of the steps, the three building columns are labeled "Productivity," "Service Quality," and "Shipment Integrity." On top of the columns is the base of the roof, which is labeled "SC Contributions to Corporate Success." Above that, the triangular roof is labeled "Financial Performance, ROI, Market Share, Attract and Hold Most Profitable Customers." The point of this diagram and the structure of the building is that supply chain management improvements contribute to the bottom line of the corporation. For additional relevant information about this slide, please see the Author Notes below.)

Connections among Corporate Goals, Supply Chain Capabilities and EFM Technologies

Author Notes for Slide 28:

While this diagram was developed to explain EFM technologies, it could apply to other freight ITS as well.

  • Supply chain efficiency and effectiveness improved significantly over two decades, dropping logistics costs from 16 percent of U.S. GDP to as low as 8 percent. Supply chain managers and their seniors continue to push for continuous improvements, their appetites whetted by past achievements and multiplied by increasing external pressures such as fuel volatility, security compliance requirements, and financial upheaval.
  • Corporate success is measured in financial terms, such as Return on Investment (ROI) and operating margins. Other measures relate to competitive standing (market share) and the loyalty of good customers—the ability to attract and retain the most profitable accounts and relationships. The role of the supply chain and its managers is to support and contribute to those corporate goals.
  • The point of this diagram and the structure of the building is that supply chain management improvements contribute to the bottom line of the corporation. The Benefits section provides examples and evidence of that contribution.

Image Source: Electronic Freight Management: Providing Supply Chain Visibility for All, USDOT-FHWA, 2009

Slide 29: Current Freight ITS Research

  • Research projects in freight transportation sponsored by Joint ITS Program Office
  • Dynamic Mobility Applications (DMA)
  • Freight Advanced Traveler Information System (FRATIS)
  • Commercial Vehicle Safety Research

The images on this slide are illustrations of Current Freight ITS Research projects. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: The images on this slide are illustrations of Current Freight ITS Research projects. On the bottom left shows 18-wheeler cargo trucks on two parallel paths. On the left, trucks wait in line. A secure PrePass computer located inside the scale house accesses the vehicle information associated with the transponder, and validates it to ensure compliance with state requirements. At the same time, technologies such as weigh in motion (WIM) scales are often used to verify the truck's configuration and ensure axle and gross vehicle weights are within acceptable limits. To the right, trucks drive underneath an electronic reader. Next to this image, is a GPS map showing live traffic in the Orange County, California. Red, yellow, and green lines are used to communicate traffic statuses.)

Author Notes for Slide 29:

This section discusses ITS research on freight systems that is being sponsored and funded by USDOT.

The Dynamic Mobility Applications (DMA) program is an umbrella project that conducts research in a variety of areas of transportation with the objective of creating open source "bundles" of software applications that can be used by public and private transportation managers.

The key freight-oriented project in the DMA umbrella is FRATIS which is described in more detail in the section and in later slides.

The other area of DOT-sponsored involves safety systems for trucks and related to communications with roadside systems.

Image Sources:
Left image:
Right image: Google Maps, from an FHWA presentation

Slide 30: Dynamic Mobility Applications (DMA) Bundle

  • DMA Freight Problem Statement: Lack of Advanced traveler information has negative effect on
    • Efficient Movement of Freight Transportation
    • Logistics Management Systems
    • Environment of Neighboring Communities
    • Energy Consumption
    • Safety of the Traveling Public
  • DMA Proposed Freight Solution: Develop Freight Advanced Traveler Information (FRATIS) applications focusing on
    • Freight Real-time Traveler Information with Freight Specific Dynamic Route Guidance
    • Load/Empty Optimization

Author Notes for Slide 30:

FRATIS has been identified as a DMA Bundle of research applications under the USDOT DMA Initiative. Its primary objective is to provide technology solutions that will improve mobility within the transportation network.

  • The first bullet presents the DMA Freight Problem Statement related to the lack of advanced information and how it relates to various aspects of freight transportation. These problems became the basis for the Concept of Operations for FRATIS and for what was done in the pilot prototypes.
  • The second bullet notes the two major software applications or bundles in FRATIS that began development and pilot testing in 2012, advanced information for freight travelers and optimization software for managing drayage operations.

Slide 31: FRATIS Applications

  • Freight-Specific Dynamic Travel Planning and Performance
    • Enhances traveler information systems to address specific freight needs.
    • Integrates data on wait times at intermodal facilities (e.g., ports), incident alerts, road closures, work zones, routing restrictions (hazmat, oversize/overweight).
  • Load/Empty Optimization
    • Optimize truck/load movements between freight facilities, balancing early and late arrivals.
    • Individual trucks are assigned time windows for pick-up and drop-off.
    • Utilizes travel information and information on port terminal conditions to optimize operations.

Author Notes for Slide 31:

The proposed solution to the DMA freight problem statement draws on the user needs identified from the trucking community operating in and out of ports.

The proposed solution enables the development of:

  • Freight-related real-time information applications, including dynamic route guidance applications and coordinated load/empty management to reduce empty loads.
  • FRATIS focused on integration of data on wait times at intermodal facilities, incident alerts, road closures, work zones, and routing restrictions (hazmat, oversize/overweight).
  • FRATIS provided travel and port terminal condition information to optimize operations and improving overall efficiency. An example of improved operations includes balancing early and late arrivals of intermodal equipment operating in and out of port terminals.

Slide 32: FRATIS Demonstration Project

  • Three prototype sites:
    • Dallas/Fort Worth
    • Los Angeles
    • South Florida
  • Implementation and test of key FRATIS functions
  • Assessment of potential for expansion to other users and terminals areas

This is a diagram of the FRATIS Demonstration Project. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: This is a diagram of the FRATIS Demonstration Project. It has four main areas interconnected with a series of bi-directional arrows in red and green. The top center section has four oval text boxes on the edge of a larger oval shape. The four ovals are labeled (left to right): Intermodal Terminal System (blue); TX DOT Information (blue); Navigation, traffic, weather (blue); and ATRI Historical Truck Movement (orange). There is a bracketed list (Queue Time, Gate Time, Total Wait Time) with an arrow pointing to the Intermodal Terminal System oval. Within the larger oval shape, there is a smaller oval text box labeled Route Optimization Algorithm (green). There is a white text box labeled "Productivity Apex" pointing to the Route Optimization Algorithm oval. At the lower portion of the large oval is a medium sized oval labeled "FRATIS SERVER" with a cylinder icon (DB) underneath it. A hexagonal shape labeled "Web Service API" transverses the lower edge of the large oval into the center space of the diagram. To the right, also transversing the lower edge of the large oval into the center space of the diagram is a gray text box labeled "Mobile Website." There are two arrows (one red, one green, pointing in opposite directions) to another main area on the diagram in the lower left corner. This area has an oval with an illustration of a woman on a headset and at a computer with buildings behind her, labeled Dispatcher / Operator. There is a smaller oval text boxes labeled "Transportation Management System" on the upper edge of this main oval. To the right of the illustration is a set of growing blue arcs (like speaker volume) with a lightning bolt shaped icon (labeled Wireless Communication (voice and text)) leading from it to another blue arc icon located at the lower middle of the diagram. This lower middle area has an oval with an illustration of a driver at the wheel of a vehicle and a series of truck images with the words "Truck Driver" at its center. There is a yellow diamond-shaped truck sign to the left. There is a smaller oval text box labeled "Navigation, traffic, weather" at the upper right edge of the oval. There is a text box pointing to the "Navigation, traffic, weather" oval with the words "From information providers such as Tom Tom or ALK." Above this lower area graphic, there is a smart phone icon with the words "Mobile App" and another bi-directional red and green arrows pointing to the lower area and the "Web Service API" hexagon. To the right middle is an area with an oval containing an illustration of a person at a computer, with the words "Public and private sectors (FHWA Performance Measures Program, State DOT, regional MPO, etc.) and a yellow text box "Sanitized Performance data." There is another bi-directional red and green arrow pointing to this area and to the "Web Service API" hexagon in the center. See additional Author Notes below.)

Author Notes for Slide 32:

To develop and test the FRATIS applications, FHWA conducted three parallel prototype demonstrations in different port or terminal areas.

  • LA involved shipments to an ocean terminal at the Port of Los Angeles and was conducted in conjunction with the Gateway Cities Project during a time of unprecedented cargo volumes and port congestion.
  • Dallas/Fort Worth involved container shipments via railroad.
  • South Florida involves shipments at the Ports of Everglades and Miami and included analysis of a smartphone app to improve coordination of natural disaster  response.

The trucking companies collected movement data on a daily basis for approximately 50 trucks at each site with the intent of comparing operations in a baseline period and after FRATIS technology was installed and operating.  The assessment of the FRATIS tests and the data collected showed that the ITS technologies showed promise if fully used by multiple transportation companies.  However, the press of business at each prototype site and the complexity of their operations limited the use of the FRATIS technologies so that no before and after comparison could show any real change.

Source:   USDOT, Freight Advanced Traveler Information System Impact Assessment Final Report FHWA-JPO-16-225  January 25, 2016

Source of figure: Google Maps, from an FHWA presentation. Routes show color-coded traffic congestion. FRATIS combined existing traffic data with freight-specific information needed by truckers.

Slide 33: FRATIS Findings and Lessons Learned

  • FRATIS had important proofs of concepts
    • automated daily report of expected daily container arrivals
    • information about availability of containers at a terminal
    • transmission of estimated arrival time of a container
  • Advances in trucking company dispatch optimization technology
  • Integration of new capabilities into existing systems is essential to a successful test

Author Notes for Slide 33:

  • The first bullet shows three of the ITS technologies that were successfully tested in the FRATIS prototypes.
  • Automated information about the availability of containers at terminals is useful to drayage companies, particularly when multiple terminals provide the information.   In one case, the availability information was sent to a trucking company’s system so that the data was displayed with other information on a dispatcher’s computer screen.  In another case, an email report was automatically sent.
  • Advanced arrival information is useful to terminals that handle containers.  With large enough container volumes and careful implementation of the data, the data can help a terminal better manage its operations.  The trick is getting the information to trucking companies in a timely way.  FRATIS showed it could be done, but much more is needed to actually make it operational.
  • The primary area of emphasis in FRATIS was on software that optimized a day’s truck movements for a drayage company based on total cost to the company and a variety of operational factors.  There were definitely improvements in the technology and the resulting open source software is available free from USDOT.  However, the tests showed that companies need to change their dispatching policy, a so-called destructive ITS technology, to really use optimization.  For a number of reasons documented in the FRATIS Impact Assessment Report, the companies involved were unwilling or unable to change the way they did business.  An important reason turned out to involve efforts to equitably distribute shipments among drivers that were often in conflict with what the technology recommended.

A very important lesson learned from FRATIS  had to do with integrating ITS technologies.  As difficult as it is to achieve, integration with existing systems is necessary.

Slide 34: Commercial Vehicle Safety Research

  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) research into smart technologies for truck safety
    • Research Division mission: reduce the number and severity of commercial motor vehicle (CMV)-involved crashes through:
    • Systematic studies, best practices and technologies for driver, vehicle, roadside

There are two images at the bottom of this slide. On the left is the front view of a red 18-wheel freight truck driving down an open road. On the right is the rear view of the same 18-wheeler driving down the open road.

Author Notes for Slide 34:

FMCSA conducts research to improve truck safety. Research supports rule-making and helps promote and accelerate safety implementations by industry.

  • Conducts systematic studies in commercial vehicle safety
  • Investigates best practices and technologies for driver, carrier, vehicle, and roadside
  • Expands deployable technologies and innovations

The goal is to help reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Source: photos copied from FMCSA Web site

Image Sources: photographs copied from FMCSA Web site

Slide 35: Commercial Vehicle Safety Research

  • FMCSA Research Division Programs
    • Integrated Vehicle-based Safety Systems (IVBSS) initiative to
      accelerate the introduction of integrated vehicle-based safety systems
    • Onboard Monitoring to Improve Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety effort
      • Technology suite will provide driver performance feedback on a number of critical safety factors
    • Safety and Security Technology Deployment
      • Tests and encourages deployment of collision warning systems with adaptive cruise control, stability control systems, lane departure warning systems, and vehicle tracking systems

Author Notes for Slide 35:

The slide shows three programs in FMCSA's Research Division.

  • IVBSS is partnership with industry to fully integrate the individual solutions to address crashes.
  • Onboard Monitoring technology suite supports critical safety factors including hours of service, lane keeping, steering and pedal inputs, safety belt usage, following distance, turn signal use, and hard braking and hard steering events.
  • Safety Technology Deployment also involves partnership with industry. Includes a Web-based Technology Project Guide to assist carriers in learning more about available and emerging safety systems.

Slide 36: Benefits of ITS Freight Applications

  • DOT-sponsored benefits analyses
  • Private Sector benefits
  • Public Sector benefits
  • Industry-Government partnerships
  • Measured or Predicted Benefits
    • Decreased empty miles
    • Fuel savings
    • Process improvements
    • Reduced terminal queue time
    • Enhanced vehicle safety
    • Reduced emissions

This image illustrates the benefits of ITS Freight Applications. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: This image illustrates the benefits of ITS Freight Applications. In the picture a photo of cargo truck is placed on a screen shot of a real-time traffic map en route to a deliver. At the top of the map, a worker at the control center sends a message to a pair of telecommunication boxes labeled IMEX. Data from IMEX feeds back to the controller, and also gets disseminated to the truck. As the truck proceeds on its journey, it receives real-time traffic data mapping out the route along with traffic information. The IMEX sends delivery instructions to the truck, while the truck sends messages back to IMEX at each checkpoint. All of this information goes back to the controller. Source: illustration from an FHWA presentation on Cross-Town Improvement Project (C-TIP).)

Author Notes for Slide 36:

This section pulls together some of the data and themes on benefits. It also adds cautionary words about "crossing the chasm" that separates a new technology's potential benefits from the successful realization of those benefits.

The section:

  • Discusses the types of benefits including fuel savings and related emissions reductions. The types of improvements that were tested in FRATIS are aimed at process improvements that can help reduce – or at least work around – congestion. Reducing terminal time helps the drivers achieve the three turns per day they need.
  • Focuses on benefits produced by USDOT freight ITS programs, which included formal efforts to measure and report benefits.
  • Includes private sector benefits, which are generally less well documented and less available than the USDOT formal benefit reports. The proprietary concerns of individual firms are a major constraint on the availability of detailed information.

Slide 37: CEFM's Benefits

Supply Chain Function CEFM Benefits
Shipping Documentation
  • Reduced stakeholder data entry by 50-75%
Automated visibility data
  • Improved data accuracy at freight station by 25%
Automated messaging
  • Improved warehouse data availability by 10%
  • Better staff planning and forecasting of workload
Service Quality
Automated status data
  • Improved # shipments/week processed by Customs broker by 18%
  • Reduced time to research priority shipments by 27 minute/day
Data quality and availability:
Frequency of data updates
  • Eliminated most re-keying through near real-time data
Data accuracy
  • Improved data accuracy by 25%
Data timeliness
  • Improvement in data receipt by 6-72 hours

Author Notes for Slide 37:

This table summarizes the independently measured benefits of the Columbus EFM (CEFM) demonstration.

CEFM's benefits came largely in labor savings and data quality improvements:

  • Administrative cost savings related to having better and more complete data sooner; and EFM
  • Derivative benefit to the shipper or supply chain owner through the long-term use of visibility technologies
  • Productivity, covering 3 functions
    • Booking, Tendering, On-Demand Status Reports
    • XML messages with automated data for visibility
    • Automated messaging to reduce information exchange effort
  • Service quality
    • On-demand status report
    • Automated status data
  • Data quality (included on the full table presented in the report)
    • Frequency of data updates, data accuracy, and data timeliness

Source: Extracted from table "Comparison of CEFM Benefits and Documented Industry Benefits from Visibility Technologies," Columbus Electronic Freight Management Evaluation: Achieving Business Benefits with EFM Technologies, Science Applications International Corporation, 2009.

Slide 38: EFM Case Study Benefit/Cost Ratios

Case Study Benefit/Cost Ratio
Kansas City SmartPort -DEMDACO 2.49
WorldWide Integrated Supply Chain Solutions 7.33
Interdom Partners-Agmark 0.94
Interdom Partners-Pride 6.62
Express Systems Intermodal 0.96
Fellowes (Simulation) 18.39
Carter Transportation 1.36
ACME (Simulation) 127.15

Author Notes for Slide 38:

This slide shows results from eight EFM case studies managed for USDOT by SAIC or Battelle.

Focus on the Benefit/Cost Ratios, not the specific dollars or project size.

  • Six of eight projects demonstrated net benefits, where the present value of the measurable benefits exceeded the present value of the project's costs, and the ratio is greater than 1.0.
  • Since each project had unmeasured or immeasurable qualitative benefits, the real value to users was probably higher.

Student question: Assuming that the benefit-cost ratios are positive, what do you think are the primary impediments to further implementation?

Response: Integration with a back office system is usually essential to success and requires capital investment on the part of the companies involved. Planning for and obtaining capital can be difficult. The implementation process can be disruptive to current operations and cultures within a company.

Source: Adapted from Executive Summary, Electronic Freight Management Case Studies: A Summary of Results, USDOT Report, June 2012.

Slide 39: FRATIS

Performance Measures & Transformative Targets
Performance Measure Reduction Targets (%)
  Near Mid Long
Number of bobtail trips 10 15 20
Terminal queue time 20 35 50
Travel time 15 17.5 50
Number of freight-involved incidents 30 35 40
Fuel consumption 5 10 15
Level of criteria pollutants 5 10 15
Level of greenhouse gas equivalents 5 10 15
Key: Near-term: next 5 years, Mid-term: 5-10 years out, Long-term: > 10 years

Author Notes for Slide 39:

This slide shows the set of goals and performance measures developed by Cambridge Systematics based on a state-of-the-practice scan, Internet research, and the collective experience of the consultant team. These were the principal measures used in the FRATIS prototype impact assessment.

Improvements in travel time, reduced fuel consumption, and reduced emissions increase over time from incremental improvements in technology and experience within each FRATIS-using fleet. An adopting fleet will continue to improve over time, irrespective of FRATIS deployment by other fleets.

Bobtail reduction metrics are predicated on full coordination between participating truck fleets and terminal operators. Only Dallas-Fort Worth tested bobtail reduction because they were not an issue at the other sites. FRATIS did show that a dispatcher’s having better information did help to reduce unproductive moves.

Incremental reductions in terminal queue times assume improvements in queue detection systems and growing adoption of new methods of information delivery, such as smartphones. The FRATIS test provided a proof of concept that advanced information about queue lengths could help dispatchers adjust their truck departures to avoid long queues.

The assessment effort and test participants in the FRATIS tests agreed that the use of FRATIS data about traffic conditions and its enhanced dynamic routing capability allow fleets to make routing and re-routing decisions that decrease the likelihood of crashes. The value of such benefits, of course, increase for hazardous cargoes.

The FRATIS test implementations in Florida, Dallas, and LA/LB provided observations from users and data to test some of these hypotheses.

Source: Adapted from Assessment of Relevant Prior and Ongoing Research and Industry Practices, 2012.

Slide 40: CVISN Benefits

Cumulative Benefits from PrePass Inspection Bypasses


This figure illustrates how the stakeholder benefits delivered by CVISN programs. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: This figure, labeled "Cumulative National Data as of December, 2012," illustrates how the stakeholder benefits delivered by CVISN programs. The first line shows an icon of a car next to the metric "No. of Bypasses" with a figure of 522,471,210. The second line shows an icon of a clock to represent the metric "Driving Hours Saved" and the figure 43,882,008. The third line shows in icon of a dollar sign next to the metric "Dollars saved" and the figure $2,626,328,465. The fourth line has an icon of a gas pump next to the metric "Gallons of Fuel Saved" and the figure 210,633,637. The last line in the table has an icon of a tree next to the metric "Reduced Emissions." This shows a carbon monoxide emission reduction figure of 121,877,158 metric tons.)

Author Notes for Slide 40:

This slide shows the PrePass program benefits for the past 15 years. It is an excellent illustration of the stakeholder benefits delivered by CVISN programs.

  • Over % billion bypassed stops
  • Almost 44 million driving hours
  • 2.6 billion dollars and 210 million gallons of fuel

The PrePass Web site includes the most current cumulative results.

Image Source: HELP Inc., Provider of PrePass

Slide 41: Industry Benefit Observations

  1. Web-based solutions are more accessible to small and medium-sized companies
  2. Most EFM benefits to date accrued to large companies
  3. Benefits grow with familiarity and experience
    • The longer visibility technologies were in place, the greater the realized benefits
  4. Major users of EFM technologies report better partner integration and greater supply chain visibility. For example:
    • 20% reduction in transportation costs
    • 20% reduction in safety stocks
    • 8-15% reduction in processing effort

Author Notes for Slide 41:

This slide shows results reported by companies that study the supply chain industries and conduct periodic large-scale surveys. Most of the information on this slide come from Aberdeen Research and CapGemini. The specifics are in Module 6 of the ePrimer.

Questions for students:

  1. Do you think points #1 and #2 on the slide are contradictory?
  2. Can you explain how both points can be true?

Information for responses:

Industry research tells us that the web-based solutions are more accessible to small and medium-sized companies because of lower start-up costs. This is particularly true as more and more apps are available on Smartphone (think about the Uber phenomenon). However, fewer of these companies use the technologies and most EFM benefits to date have accrued to large companies.

An Aberdeen Research study noted that half of firms reporting quantified benefits were large firms.

Slide 42: Cautionary Words about Benefits

Great technology does not guarantee great benefits

  • Management vision, skill, and engagement is necessary
    • Vision, to see possibilities...
    • To mobilize the organization
    • And skill in depth to deploy and implement successfully
  • Effective implementation is necessary, not sufficient
    • Sustained benefits require effective maintenance
    • New technologies often require new methods and culture

For successful ITS freight innovations, pay attention to institutional and deployment issues.

Author Notes for Slide 42:

Failure to exploit good technology can happen in sponsored freight ITS programs. The cautionary words definitely apply to the FRATIS prototypes tested in 2014-15. Despite the efforts throughout the prototype test, users did not have time to use the information from the system or found that the results needed to be updated too often to be useful. Participating in the test was an "other duty as assigned" during particular busy periods. There were definitely institutional and deployment issues.

Another reason to be cautious about realizing tangible benefits from ITS freight applications is that many segments of the freight industries are characteristically slow to adopt successful IT system innovations. Even though users were impressed with the technologies, they didn’t use them enough and the company did not continue to use the technologies after completion of the test. FRATIS did need new methods that users found difficult to deal with.

Note that Module 12 concentrates on institutional issues.

A long-time and respected observer of the freight transportation scene believes three major problems "are pervasive in the transportation industry:"

  • "sluggish adoption of [new] IT systems,
  • selection of systems that are neither interoperable nor easy to use, and the
  • failure of [transportation] providers ... to reengineer core processes."

Source: Ted Prince, "Curing Information Technology," The Journal of Commerce, February 4, 2013, p. 18.

Slide 43: Future Directions of ITS Freight Research

  • Vehicle-to-vehicle truck research
  • Cloud-based system management
  • Predictive analytics
  • Natural gas engines and infrastructure
  • Onboard technologies
  • Advanced technology concepts

Check out these advanced technology innovators

This photograph shows many flats of packages placed on the tarmac of an airport. In the background are three large cargo planes as well as a car. Source: Mark Jensen, Cambridge Systematics

Author Notes for Slide 43:

This section looks at the kinds of research in freight ITS expected in the future. It also discusses private-sector freight research, as will as truck-related research sponsored within USDOT.

  • USDOT vehicle-to-vehicle research such topics as Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot/Lane change Warning, Intersection Movement Assists, and Electronic Emergency Brake Lights. An important aspect of the research is to mitigate driver distractions from too much information.
  • Freight management and predictive analytics - continued efforts to improve shipment visibility and to use cloud-based technology to exchange data and further automate shipping documentation. The field of predictive analytics will grow with more research into optimization of supply chain operations.
  • Natural gas - Research would include environmental impacts of wider transportation use of natural gas, including the impacts of infrastructure needs for filling stations and maintenance facilities—and the use of ITS tools to facilitate smooth and effective transition to mixed fleets and infrastructure.
  • Onboard technologies - Software vendors are creating new mobile applications to take advantage of smartphones, tablet computers, and other in-cab devices. Research is also continuing on in-cab improvements to prevent or mitigate distracted driving. The Wyoming Connected Vehicle pilot is a testbed for V2V and V2I advances.
  • FHWA has provided funding to advance a truck platooning concept that uses communications between a leading and following truck to control speed and braking as the two – or more – trucks travel in a convoy. The ITS allows the trucks to travel more closely together, saving fuel and using technology to avoid collisions and thus improve safety.
  • Some universities and entrepreneurs are pursuing advanced concepts. Two are pictured here, a Freight Shuttle that would develop electric vehicles on separate guideways that would carry conventional containers, and a SeaTruck self-propelled container.

Check out these advanced technology innovators

Image Source: Air freight photo: personal photo by Mark Jensen of Cambridge Systematics related to government-funded projects; permission granted.

Slide 44: Summary

  1. The module has provided background on and descriptions of private sector and public efforts in freight ITS.
  2. Both private and public sectors use ITS freight technologies to improve safe and efficient freight movement.
  3. EFM and FRATIS are examples of public/private ITS apps.
  4. The public/private apps benefit from technology advances and yield:
    • private sector dollar benefits
    • better policy decisions by public sector

This is a photograph of a seaport. In the foreground of the photograph are rows of shipping containers stacked on top of each other. On the left side of the photo is a white shipping container crane. Water can be seen in the background. Source: Kenneth Troup

Author Notes for Slide 44:

This slide summarizes the ways in which the module addressed the learning objectives.

The important points here are that the public and private sectors are both involved in freight ITS.

  • Ultimately, the private sector must be the one to implement and, presumably, profit from the use of freight ITS.
  • The public sector has facilitated development of some ITS technologies and has performed numerous demonstrations and cost-benefit studies potentially useful to the private sector.

Image Source: Personal photograph at Port of Oakland by Module 6 co-author Kenneth Troup.

Slide 45: References

  • "The Freight Technology Story: Intelligent Freight Technologies and Their Benefits," FHWA-HOP-05-030, June 2005.
  • Hartman, K., "Connected Vehicles: The Load Ahead," Thinking_Highways± Mar-Apr 2012.
  • Logistics Management Institute, Defense Transportation Tracking System and Intelligent Road/Rail Information Service Assessment, October 2004.
  • The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL), "Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN) System Design Description," NSTD-09-0238 v. 4.0, June 2009.
  • Richeson, Kim and Valerie Barnes, "Commercial Vehicle Operations and Freight Movement," Chapter 9, Intelligent Transportation Primer, Washington, DC: Institute of Transportation Engineers, 2000.
  • Cambridge Systematics and North River Consulting Group for TRB, "Freight Data Sharing Guidebook," NCFRP Report 35, 2012.

Author Notes for Slide 45:

There are other references in Module 6 and also in several of the documents shown here.

Slide 46: Questions

  1. What have been major contributions of DOT-sponsored research in freight ITS?
  2. Do you see symmetries between freight and personal vehicle ITS research? Provide examples to support your answer.

Also, see the suggested discussion questions on slides:

  • 6: Long- vs. short-range fleet communications
  • 16: Onboard technologies
  • 21: Customs and Border Protection's 24-hour rule
  • 38: Institutional barriers to freight ITS adoption
  • 41: Harvesting Web benefits and company size

Author Notes for Slide 46:

Answers: Question 1:

  • Demonstrations of the value of information exchange between public and private entities, as in CVISN development
  • Demonstrations of the value of information exchange among private sector stakeholders, as in EFM and C-TIP
  • Some students/attendees may reply in terms of whether or not the U.S. government ought to be engaged in such activities. We think that is a legitimate topic for discussion, but it is beyond the scope of this presentation.

Questions 2:

  • An excellent example is autonomous vehicle research
  • Another: driver drowsiness detection
  • Another approach: congestion mitigation, which benefits both freight and personal vehicles

There are other suggestions for questions and discussion on slides:

  • 6. Pros and cons of long- and short-range ITS fleet communications
  • 16. Value of ITS systems onboard trucks
  • 21. Reasoning behind the 24-hour Advanced Manifest rule
  • 38. Identification of institutional barriers to freight ITS adoption
  • 41. Relationship between company size and achieving Web-related benefits

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For more information, contact:

Michelle Noch
ITS Professional Capacity Building Program Manager
ITS Joint Program Office
U.S. Department of Transportation



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