Skip to main content


Project Type
UTRC Research Initiative
Project Dates
06/09/2015 - 06/30/2017
Principal Investigators
Project Status

Hunts Point Food Distribution Center, also referred to as Hunts Point Terminal Market (HPTM), is the center or hub for food distribution for the New York Metropolitan area. Hunts Point Peninsula, located in the South Bronx, is also home to over 40,000 residents. HPTM is a cooperative owned by stockholders. The cooperative has a long-term lease with the City of New York for its cooperation and tenants.

The HPTM distribution center is a vital part of the food supply chain in the New York metropolitan area. Firms’ agents arrive at the food distribution center to select and pick up food. Some food is ordered in advance; therefore, it is only picked up. The food is hauled away by truck, van or other commercial vehicles many of which are refrigerated. Two types of truck trips are made to HPTM:

  •      -The inbound truck trip is for delivering food products to the distribution center (56% west of the Hudson River and 44% east of the Hudson River).
  •      -The outbound truck trip is for hauling food products from the distribution center to grocery stores, restaurants, and other food venues (17% west of the Hudson River and 79% east of the Hudson River).

The demand for the distribution center’s services generates 15,000 truck trips per day, including some from large distances away. Traffic flow is constant, occurring 24 hours a day, especially during the very early morning hours. There are times during the daily operating cycle when congestion is formed on the roads leading to and from the distribution center and congestion is formed in the terminal itself. Congestion implies air pollution, noise pollution, additional road wear-and-tear, an increase of public spending on health and infrastructure maintenance and other negative externalities.

The large HPTM distribution center does not have simple and quick access. The geographical layout of the New York Metropolitan area of highways, bridges and tunnels along rivers and creeks complicates the surface transportation delivery. Delivery takes more miles to drive and more time to deliver. As a result, at times of peak demand, vehicles spend excessive time waiting and idling and on the road wasting fuel and emitting CO2 and other gases.