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Energy Policy Research

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Urban Truck Ports


My research on energy policy builds on my long-standing interests in climate change, which began with my time as a research associate at the Natural Resources Defense Council. I am supported in my current work on truck efficiency by the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. There I work to understand ways to improve the fuel efficiency of trucks, particularly through improving overall operations efficiency and the adoption of new technology.

Urban Truck Ports

My primary energy policy project is a proposal for what I call Urban Truck Ports, an idea I developed in 2011. At Truck Ports super aerodynamic long-haul trucks would swap trailers with electric urban trucks.


Urban truck ports would:

• Help drivers avoid congestion by enabling loads arriving in urban areas during congested periods to be held for off-peak delivery,

• Improve fuel efficiency and safety by facilitating the transfer of trailers between tractors designed specifically for travel in urban or rural areas,

• Spur innovation by enabling the use of new fuels and technologies by acting as a central hub for fuel and maintenance,

• Improve vehicle utilization by allowing multiple driver shifts to use the same tractor,

• Improve driver retention by allowing long-haul drivers to avoid congestion and creating more regular route and short haul driving jobs that get drivers home more often,

• Reduce roadway expansion needs by removing trucks from urban highways during peak periods, and

• Cut overall emissions by reducing congestion on urban roadways and increasing truck fleet efficiency.


You can learn more about the concept at

Check out these graphic representations of the Truck Ports Concept applied to food transportation created by Nancy Chacula and Julia Schilling (UW Department of Landscape Architecture)


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