Circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic have indicated a necessity to identify the essential requirements of truck drivers and facilities to ensure health, safety, and security in the movement of goods in normal times and during times of emergency. Research is needed to understand how truck parking facilities function as critical infrastructure and contribute to the resiliency of the freight transportation system with the practical application of ensuring continuance of operations planning for truck parking facilities.
The objective of this research is to develop a guide for effective practices and implementation strategies to integrate resilience and emergency response planning and operations related to truck rest and service areas for supply chain delivery.
The research plan should (1) include a kick-off teleconference with the research team and NCHRP convened within 1 month of the contract’s execution; (2) address how the proposer intends to satisfy the project objective; (3) be divided logically into detailed tasks necessary to fulfill the research objective and include appropriate milestones and interim deliverables; and (4) incorporate opportunities for the project panel to review, comment on, and approve milestone deliverables.
Accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following tasks.
PHASE I — Planning
Task 1. Conduct a literature review of relevant research related to truck rest and service areas for critical supply chain delivery. The review should also include relevant research that highlights the impact of historical and current pandemic events as it relates to the supply chain delivery. The review shall include published and unpublished research conducted through the NCHRP; Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); and other national, international, state, and pooled-fund sponsored research.
Task 2. Conduct a survey and/or interviews to highlight the industry’s diversity, key and current considerations, access to essential amenities and services, strategies for maintaining the availability of truck parking facilities and amenities, and effective practices for the public and private sectors, truck drivers, and other relevant stakeholders as it relates to truck rest and service areas for critical supply chain delivery.
Task 3. Gather information on available data, effective technologies, and materials used to support solutions to supply chain delivery, truck drivers, truck parking and staging problems, business and community engagement activities, and the basis for truck driver’s decision-making due to the availability/unavailability of truck rest and service areas.
Task 4. Identify and prioritize gaps and opportunities for truck rest and service areas during daily operations and emergency responses as they relate to truck drivers’ operational cost and requirements, security, safety, health, and accessibility to services and amenities. These gaps should be addressed in this research or in the recommended future research as budget permits.
Task 5. Propose a methodology to achieve the research objective, to be fully developed in Phase II. At a minimum, the methodology shall:
Evaluate challenges that public and private sectors encounter regarding truck parking facilities and amenities;
Identify emerging trends and innovative solutions in truck parking operations and essential services that could enhance truck driver health, security, and safety for daily operations and future emergency responses;
Assess the diversity of truck drivers including demographics (gender, marriage status, age, and experience), professional associations/memberships, driving practices, and other operational differences;
Assess the diversity of cargo/commodities transported by truck drivers that may require specialized truck configurations, classes, and permits;
Identify truck rest and service area guidelines for public facilities operations (federally or state-funded facilities) and business practices for private facilities operations as they relate to the trucking industry;
Develop metrics to evaluate the performance of truck rest stops, service areas, distribution centers, freight hubs, intermodal facilities (including ports), and industrial parks; and
Develop a minimum of five representative case studies to showcase effective truck rest and service areas for supply chain delivery based on different geographic regions of the United States, identifying elements to include in model guidelines and regulations, and effective practices implemented by state departments of transportation (DOTs) and relevant stakeholders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Task 6. Propose a preliminary outline for the guide based on the proposed methodology.
Task 7. Prepare Interim Report No. 1 that documents the work completed in Tasks 1 through 6. The updated plan must describe the work proposed for Phases II and III.
PHASE II — Methodology Development
Task 8. Execute the methodology according to the approved Interim Report No.1.
Task 9. Develop examples to demonstrate the developed methodology. The examples should include at a minimum the identified effective practices and implementation strategies for truck rest and services areas in Phase I.
Task 10. Provide a detailed description of each chapter and section of the proposed guide and complete a sample chapter of the proposed guide selected by NCHRP. This chapter should be publication-ready.
Task 11. Prepare Interim Report No. 2 that documents the results of Tasks 8 through 10 and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the project. The updated plan must describe the work proposed for Phase III.
PHASE III — Guide Development and Final Deliverables
Task 12. Develop the draft guide according to the approved Interim Report No. 2. The draft guide shall be submitted for NCHRP review 6 months before the contract end date.
Task 13. Prepare a final deliverable that documents the entire research effort. Final deliverables should include, at a minimum (1) a final research report documenting the entire research effort and findings, (2) the guide as a stand-alone document, (3) prioritized recommendations for future research, (4) presentation material, and (5) technical memorandum on implementation.
STATUS: Contract pending at this time.