A Truck Reservation System Using RFID Tags and Real-Time Information from a Cloud-Based System Was Expected to Reduce Truck Trip Time by 66 Percent and Save Trucking Companies $2.72 Million in Fuel Costs at the Port of Virginia.

The Port of Virginia Estimated Total Benefits from Improved Operational Efficiency Enabled by the Truck Reservation System Using RFID.

Date Posted

Truck Reservation System and Automated Work Flow Data Model

Summary Information

Truck idling while queueing to retrieve freight from a cargo ship results in large system inefficiencies. To alleviate this problem, the Port of Virginia studied the potential impacts of implementing a truck reservation system and a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system, that would allow truckers to conduct most administrative tasks online prior to arriving at the terminal, saving significant time. In addition to performing administrative tasks, trucking companies and shippers could also check container availability, observe vessel schedules, identify any holds that may exist on their containers or schedule truck arrival appointments. Combined with simulation and modeling, the proposed system was expected to be used to design scheduling windows for trucks to enter and then track them as they retrieve their designated freight. The study compared existing truck trip volumes in 2016 to forecasted volumes for 2023 to estimate how much the proposed system could improve their congestion. 


The study examined the existing truck processing times during the five stages of a typical trip, starting from the time spent at inbound portal and waiting in queue at the gate to time spent at the exit gate arm waiting to exit. Then, the time saved by the proposed system is quantified, assuming each event takes 1.5 minutes per truck. Additionally, the study examined the amount of fuel saved from reduced idling (e.g., queue time). Fuel cost savings were calculated by using the average fuel consumption rate during engine idling multiplied by the average idling time reduction per trip times, the estimated number of trips, and the cost per gallon of fuel. In addition, air quality impacts of the proposed system were estimated by incorporating the reduced idling time and emissions.


  • Overall average trip time was expected to decrease by 51 minutes per truck (66 percent reduction). Most of the trip time-saving was due to the reduced idling time.
  • For the 1.36 million forecasted number of trucks, the reduction in idling was expected to save $2.72 million per year in fuel costs. 
  • The reduction in idling would also lead to approximately 61 percent reduction in total air emissions.
  • Based upon the type and quantity of pollutant reduced, RFID system would save $1.225 million per year in air quality improvements.
Results Type
Deployment Locations