Aggregate urban truck tour synthesis from public data

Haggai Davis, Hector Landes, Farnoosh Namdarpour, Hai Yang, Joseph Y. J. Chow, Kaan Ozbay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increasing complexity of urban freight policies demand agent-based simulation models that can address time-of-day dynamics. However, existing state of the art tools like SimMobility and MASS-GT require access to detailed establishment/shipper data. For agencies that lack such data, urban freight agent simulation requires a truck tour synthesis that can adequately fit to aggregate public data. We propose such a truck tour synthesis methodology that takes generated freight trips and distributes them onto a set of generated tours with an original balancing algorithm for entropy maximizing tour distribution that is scalable to citywide applications. The method is tested in a case study of New York City encompassing 47 industry groups, over 500 zones including gateways into the city, two truck classes, and a road network calibrated to road restrictions from New York City Department of Transportation and Uber Movement speed data across four different time periods of the day. A total of 470,000 tours were generated (10,000 tours per industry group) and flows distributed using the proposed algorithm. Compared to cross-borough screenlines, an average error in counts of 10.2% was achieved. The resulting synthetic truck population provides a baseline dataset for truck vehicle-miles-traveled, greenhouse gas emissions, and volumes across key corridors, that can be further disaggregated into truck type, industry served, and time of day. A counterfactual scenario examining a policy to require 20% smaller truck capacities highlights the applicability to quantify trade-offs with a 49% reduction in Equivalent Single Axel Loads while increasing emissions by 25%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104107
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
StatePublished - Jul 2024


  • Agent-based model
  • Freight trip generation
  • New York City
  • Truck tour synthesis
  • Urban freight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Transportation
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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