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Comparison of Vehicle Miles Traveled and Pollution from Three Goods Movement Strategies

Sustainable Logistics

ISBN: 978-1-78441-062-9, eISBN: 978-1-78441-061-2

Publication date: 4 December 2014



To provide insight into the role and design of delivery services to address CO2, NO x , and PM10 emissions from passenger travel.


A simulated North American data sample is served with three transportation structures: last-mile personal vehicles, local-depot-based truck delivery, and regional-warehouse-based truck delivery. CO2, NO x , and PM10 emissions are modeled using values from the US EPA’s MOVES model and are added to an ArcGIS optimization scheme.


Local-depot-based truck delivery requires the lowest amount of vehicle miles traveled (VMT), and last-mile passenger travel generates the lowest levels of CO2, NO x , and PM10. While last-mile passenger travel requires the highest amount of VMT, the efficiency gains of the delivery services are not large enough to offset the higher pollution rate of the delivery vehicle as compared to personal vehicles.

Practical implications

This research illustrates the clear role delivery structure and logistics have in impacting the CO2, NO x , and PM10 emissions of goods transportation in North America.

Social implications

This research illustrates tension between goals to reduce congestion (via VMT reduction) and CO2, NO x , and PM10 emissions.


This chapter provides additional insight into the role of warehouse location in achieving sustainability targets and provides a novel comparison between delivery and personal travel for criteria pollutants.



Wygonik, E. and Goodchild, A. (2014), "Comparison of Vehicle Miles Traveled and Pollution from Three Goods Movement Strategies", Sustainable Logistics (Transport and Sustainability, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 63-82.



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