Xuanke Wu

Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Yuche Chen


The substantial demand for fossil fuel consumption is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, drawing considerable public attention to health and environmental problems. As a result, vehicle electrification is currently recognized as the most effective approach to reduce CO2 emissions from transportation. However, compared to traditional fossil fuel-powered vehicles, electric vehicles have notable disadvantages, including higher upfront purchasing price, longer recharging time, and most significantly, lower driving ranges. All these challenges can potentially result in increased overall operational costs for logistics companies. This thesis proposes a comprehensive optimization modeling framework for electric freight transportation system planning and operations with a particular focus on its applicability to outbound logistics. Outbound logistics addresses the demand side of the supply-demand equation, involving the storage and transportation of goods from initial hubs or warehouses to the end customer or user. An empirical study is first conducted to scrutinize the extra time spent on charging-related activities by employing electric drayage trucks at the San Pedro Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and Port of Long Beach (POLB) in the State of California. By showing the proportion of time spent on charging, the author argues that the operation efficiency can be significantly improved by offering alternative battery charging options. The second part of the thesis explores the Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) for electric truck platoons equipped with trailers, assuming that trailer batteries can be replaced at specific locations. Specifically, the system planning optimization framework focuses on minimizing system costs by optimizing designated trailer battery exchange locations at the upper level. Simultaneously, at the lower level, the electric truck platoon routing problem is solved, with a trailer battery feeder from the regional depot pre-delivering battery replacements to each exchange location. Finally, this thesis addresses the last-mile delivery problem, taking train blockages into consideration. The proposed framework can significantly improve logistics system efficiency, lower total costs, and enhance the competitiveness of electric trucks compared to traditional fuel-powered vehicles.


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