Off-Peak Delivery: A Pilot Project for the Chicago Region

The purpose of this project is to conduct research and collaborate with freight business leadership, including freight railroads, to determine the feasibility of launching an off-peak delivery (OPD) incentive pilot program in metropolitan Chicago. A successful OPD program could offer: economic benefits due to the inter-connectivity of the industry; greater efficiency and reliability within the supply chain; and improved air and environmental quality through reduced travel times. The research was undertaken in cooperation with the Supply Chain Innovation Network of Chicago (SINC), an organization of freight business CEOs launched in late 2013 by World Business Chicago to build the region’s freight-related economy and make goods movement more efficient.

Get access to the October 15, 2105 webcast on the off-peak delivery research.  (Scroll down to Recording.)

Principal Investigator(s):

James C. LaBelle


James C. LaBelle
Sheena F. Frève
Ellen Gottschling




Complete research needed to launch an OPD pilot program in Chicago by year-end 2015.


The project will be formulated to optimize scalability and will take into account connections to other transportation projects within the region.

Expected Results or Products:

The report provides the following:

  1. Insight into why OPD programs are needed today, and an analysis of the barriers to off-peak deliver
  2. A description of how consolidated delivery centers can facilitate OPD.
  3. A review of incentives to encourage use of OPD in light of resulting additional costs.
  4. An analysis of existing regulations and public policy on OPD.
  5. Options for launching a pilot program and the next steps required.
  6. A literature review of previous OPD research.
  7. Case studies of existing OPD programs in 10 selected United States and European markets.
  8. Suggested location information and maps for a pilot OPD program in Chicago.
  9. Questions from a survey posed to carriers and receivers.


Download the report


James C. LaBelle
Urban Transportation Center
University of Illinois at Chicago
412 South Peoria Street, Suite 340
Chicago, IL 60607
Voice: (312) 355-0019
Fax: (312) 413-0006


National University Rail Center (NURail)
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Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)
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