This paper presents an energy and environmental network analysis model to explore tradeoffs associated with freight transport. The geospatial model uses an intermodal network built by the authors to connect various modes (rail, road, water) via intermodal terminals. Routes along the network are characterized not only by temporal and distance attributes, but also by cost, energy, and emissions attributes (including emissions of carbon dioxide, particulate matter, sulfur oxides, volatile organic compounds, and oxides of nitrogen). Decision-makers can use the model to explore tradeoffs among alternative route selection across different modal combinations, and to identify optimal routes for objectives that feature energy and environmental parameters (e.g., minimize carbon dioxide emissions). The model is demonstrated with three case studies of freight transport along the U.S. eastern seaboard.

Publication Date



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Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Sustainability (GIS)


RIT – Main Campus