Integrating Maritime Transportation Movements With The Urban Transportation System (UTS): A Corridor-Centered Approach

Focus Areas > Maritime Affairs > Maritime Transportation > Integrating Maritime Transportation 
Hanh Dam Le - University of Southern California 

Overall goal of this study is being to determine the viability of a corridor-centric managerial strategy capable of aligning the efforts of various transportation interests and the operation of UTS components in a fashion that can both accommodate greater volumes of freight and provide mitigation for detrimental impacts of road freight transport. Objective of this study is to examine the corridor-related priorities being pursued by these different transportation interests, paying special attention to the operational and information management system each is establishing. From an overall corridor perspective, this effort will explore how institutional practices and information systems can be structured and coordinated to improve the efficiency of freight flowing between the maritime and urban transportation systems. Key tasks of this study are to:

  • define and assess the reliability of the existing UTS to support the truck scheduling and extended hours of operations being implemented at the marine terminals and intermodal facilities located through out the urban system;
  • identify misalignments in institutional priorities and system management systems between various corridor-related entities, including the content and flow of freight information. From the perspective of freight flows, how do these misalignments impinge efficiency; 
  • devise strategies for integrating the use of maritime system information with the efficient management of regional surface transportation systems from a freight corridor perspective; and recommend public policy framework modifications and options required to realize efficiency gains from improving freight movement throughout the urban transportation system.


This research will proceed in a systematic approach—beginning with an extensive review of literature and gathering of available data sets, advancing through a series of interviews and surveys of relevant transportation agencies and private operators, and concluding thorough analysis and recommendations for constructive policies. The research will be conducted through several steps:

Step 1: Review existing literature, studies, data sets, and other information on freight improvement programs, management measures, and freight system performance information. Relevant information and data from available sources will be researched and used to the greatest extent possible. These sources will include, but are not limited to: USDOT; FHWA; Caltrans; SCAG; the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach; United States Census Bureau 2000 Economic Census; and University of California-Institute of Transportation Studies.

Step 2: Identify and engage through interview or surveys key transportation agencies and private operators to provide current, local, and industry specific insights on system challenges and management opportunities.

Step 3: Collect and analysis key available freight information and data sets from selected corridor-related entities (SCAG and sub-regional truck counts; Caltrans vehicle counts; intermodal movements’ data sets (EDI sets 417, 418 and 404); Port’s outbound/inbound cargo data sets, etc.). Specific analysis will be placed on ports and highway’s freight information flows and available data sets.

Step 4: Perform an analysis from a corridor perspective to identify misalignment in management policies and practices as well as gaps in available information sets.

Step 5: Prepare proposal on the possible structuring and administration of a corridor-centered entity able to achieve the information and policy sharing functions thought to be necessary for optimal UTS efficiency.

Step 6: Produce a report of findings to include policy recommendations on how a corridor-centric approach could increase efficiency of the UTS.

It is likely that a corridor-centered perspective will be the most advantageous in identifying misalignments in management policies and information gaps that exist, or that will emerge, between the different levels of transportation interests responsible for various components of the UTS. Furthermore, it is hypothesized that a corridor-centric entity could function as information clearing house, allowing for the flow of freight to transition smoothly across alternative modes of transportation.

Previously Funded Research


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