Study of Greenhouse Gas Savings Associated with Congestion Reduction Using Multi-Modal Optimization of Timber Shipments in the North Central United States

Sponsor: US Department of Transportation

PI: Pasi Lautala

This study examined industry led models for the optimization of timber shipments in the North Central United States (norther third of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan). The research team analyzed optimization models of the delivery of logs to the wood products industry in the region. The research team investigated a multi-modal (rail/truck), surface transportation solution set and performed a sensitivity analysis based on changing energy costs. The team evaluated the potential effects on air emissions before and after the virtual routing optimization. The team also explored options for establishing a rail served super yard in the region to reduce consolidate logs with the object of reducing empty truck miles and increasing rail ton-miles.

A copy of this report can be found on the University of Wisconsin – Superior website.

Pasi Lautala
Pasi Lautala

Improving Log Transportation with Data Based Monitoring and Analysis in Northern Wisconsin and Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Sponsor:  University of Wisconsin Superior

PI:  Pasi Lautala

Minimizing transportation costs is essential in the forest products industry, but understanding of system inefficiencies requires sufficient data. While most individual forest products companies collect data on origins and destinations of truck trips, little is known about the actual movements in between. One alternative to collect data on truck movements is with Global Positioning Systems (GPS) data receivers. The objective of this research is to use inexpensive GPS tracking devices to analyze truck movements and using data to identify potential improvements to the performance of log transportation system in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The research included three major steps within its one year time frame: (1) selecting GPS technology and performing a pilot test, (2) first round of data collection and analysis for any improvement opportunity to be implemented in next round, (3) second round of data collection, analysis and conclusions. Three industrial companies participated with the research team to set up GPS devices inside their designated trucks

Pasi Lautala
Pasi Lautala