Unintended impacts of increased truck loads on pavement supply-chain emissions

Nakul Sathaye, Arpad Horvath, Samer Madanat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, the reduction of freight truck trips has been a common policy goal. To this end, policies aimed at influencing load consolidation have been suggested and implemented, resulting in higher gross vehicle weights. The purpose of such policies has generally been to mitigate congestion and environmental impacts. However, trucks cause most of the damage incurred by pavements. The supply chain associated with pavement maintenance and construction releases significant air emissions, raising the question of whether increased vehicle weights may cause unintended environmental consequences. This paper presents scenarios with estimated emissions resulting from load consolidation and changes in load factors. These scenarios reveal several points having to do with the tradeoff between tailpipe versus pavement supply-chain emissions. In some cases, unintended emissions from the pavement supply chain are found to be significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • City logistics
  • Environment
  • Freight policies
  • Life-cycle assessment
  • Load consolidation
  • Truck weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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