Real-time Decentralized Framework for Technology-Enabled Intermodal Freight Transport

Description: In 2018, the U.S. transportation system moved approximately 51.0 million tons of freight daily valued at more than $51.6 billion, and this tonnage is forecast to increase by about 1.2% per year until 2045. Although the U.S. spends a bit less than the international average on logistics as a percentage of GDP, there still exist significant inefficiencies. For example, approximately 25% of truck miles traveled were with completely or nearly empty trailers and the remaining 75% of miles were 56.8% full trailers (Matthams, 2019). This level of inefficiency coupled with only increasing volume would represent a significant challenge; however, the situation is worse because the nature of freight is changing due to the growth of eCommerce. Historically, products were frequently moved on pallets and delivered to stores. Today, this is being replaced by an increasingly large number of small packages being delivered to individual customers. The current inefficiency plus a growing volume of freight is having a significant, direct negative impact on energy use and associated environmental externalities. Needlessly consuming fuel (e.g., to reposition assets or moving partially loaded trucks) is both costly and detrimental to the environment. As volume increases, both the costs and the carbon footprint will increase as well. Moreover, the significant amount of variability caused by changing customer requirements and system disruptions means freight transportation operates in a stochastic environment which adds to the challenge. There is a critical need for freight carriers to operate more efficiently and more effectively despite these many obstacles. Intellectual Merit: This research project will fulfill a critical need in freight logistics by developing a hybrid centralized-decentralized framework in which multiple less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers operating in a stochastic and dynamic environment will simultaneously collaborate and complete. Broader Impacts: The overarching goal of this project is to develop a real-time centralized-decentralized freight logistics framework to assess how carrier collaboration and trucks making decentralized decisions could reduce cost and logistics carbon footprint. The specific objectives of this project are: Formulate a mathematical modeling approach to address the decisions to be made by the edge devices. This approach must address dynamic routing and jobs to outsource/acquire. Create a framework for the central clearinghouse/auctioneer component that processes information quickly and effectively to run an expedited auction. Investigating the opportunity to incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) to achieve this is part of this Construct an approach to reduce large amounts of data that will be available to the edge devices into parameters that are required by the model discussed in #1. This objective will also seek to make use of Develop algorithms to solve proposed decentralized model(s) with a special emphasis on computational efficiency to allow the algorithms to run on the edge. Develop a micro-traffic simulation model to simulate realistic movements of trucks in a road network with typical recurrent and non-recurring congestion and Develop a real-time interface to enable communications between all edge devices shown in Figure Use the developed real-time system to conduct numerical experiments to gain insight into the system and operating factors that affect logistics cost and carbon footprint.

    Language

    • English

    Project

    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $154911
    • Contract Numbers:

      69A3551747117

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590

      Center for Connected Multimodal Mobility

      Clemson University
      Clemson, SC  United States  29634

      University of South Carolina, Columbia

      502 Byrnes Building
      Columbia, SC  United States  29208

      Clemson University

      110 Lowry Hall
      Box 340911
      Clemson, SC  United States  29634-0911

      Benedict College

      1600 Harden Street
      Columbia, South Carolina  United States  29204
    • Managing Organizations:

      University of South Carolina, Columbia

      502 Byrnes Building
      Columbia, SC  United States  29208
    • Project Managers:

      Huynh, Nathan

    • Performing Organizations:

      University of South Carolina, Columbia

      502 Byrnes Building
      Columbia, SC  United States  29208

      Clemson University

      110 Lowry Hall
      Box 340911
      Clemson, SC  United States  29634-0911

      Benedict College

      1600 Harden Street
      Columbia, South Carolina  United States  29204
    • Principal Investigators:

      Huynh, Nathan

      Ferrell, William

      Begashaw, Negash

      Comert, Gurcan

    • Start Date: 20210915
    • Expected Completion Date: 20220916
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01838173
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Center for Connected Multimodal Mobility
    • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747117
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Mar 4 2022 4:12PM