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Impact of an Inland Port on the Inland Empire’s Freight Transportation Network

Authors: Ardavan Asef-Vaziri

Publication: National Academies, Transportation Research Board

Date: January 2019

The development and operation of inland ports in southern California will (i) increase transportation efficiency by switching from truck to train, (ii) create a smoother flow on the highways, (iii) create a cleaner environment, (iv) increase the capacity of the ports, (v) reduce demands on port land, and (vi) promote inland economic development and logistics integration. The secondary functions of inland ports include: (a) an empty container depot, (b) air cargo consolidation, (c) trans-loading, (d) free trade zoning, (e) agile port container sorting, (f) value-added services, and (g) trade processing. The Inland Empire has been recognized as an attractive location for an inland port serving the combined ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The main reasons for attractiveness lie in Inland Empire’s proximity to the Colton intermodal facility, the potentials for finding appropriate sites, and a reasonable initial investment. The purpose of this paper is to identify the optimal location of the Inland Empire’s inland port. Given the daily origin-destination data from the ports to the distribution and processing centers in the Inland Empire, a single facility model identifies the optimal location of the inland port. Due to environmental, legal, land availability, and economical concerns, as well as proximity to existing railways, it may not be feasible to locate the inland port on the theoretical optimal site. In the framework of the single facility location problem, we then provide a set of contour lines showing the total truck miles traveled for the sites other than the theoretical optimal site.