Despite recent advances in freight and commercial vehicle modeling, the current state of the practice methods are not adequate to address the increasingly complex issues related to freight demand. This project includes research that has combined tour-based truck models and logistics supply chain models for urban commercial vehicle movements, and that has demonstrated a functional model framework that addresses the limitations of current freight demand forecasting models.
RSG partnered with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and the University of Illinois at Chicago on this research. The project introduced a model framework and focused on the estimation of each of the model components, described the approach to linking the models together in the model application, and presented initial results from applying the model in the Chicago region. The models were estimated for demonstration purposes from several sources, since there were no datasets that could support all aspects of the new framework. To make the demonstration more practical, two commodities were chosen to model from the data available (food products and manufactured products). The models developed for the project were applied using software developed in R, an open source platform. RSG recommended a data collection program to support the estimation, calibration, and forecasting of the framework for future use.