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Shipping outside the box. Environmental impact and stakeholder analysis of a crowd logistics platform in Belgium

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Abstract

Crowd logistics is an alternative to traditional home deliveries by parcel companies and is believed to be more sustainable. The idea of crowd logistics is that parcels and passengers are co-transported along a passenger trip that was intended to be made for another purpose. Due to the novelty of this concept and the fact that existing crowd logistics platforms are continuously changing, knowledge on the actual impact of crowd logistics is limited. To gain insight in crowd logistics’ environmental impact and the involved stakeholders, we apply two methods. First, an impact analysis based on data of an operational crowd logistics platform in Belgium. We compare the external costs imposed on society when delivering a parcel with crowd logistics and with more traditional ways of transport. Second, an analysis of stakeholder support for crowd logistics, by applying a multi-actor multi-criteria analysis or MAMCA. The findings indicate that current platform use results in higher external transport costs and thus a higher environmental impact, when compared to traditional parcel delivery. Although the concept receives support from the main stakeholders, societal objectives are not met. A critical role in improving crowd logistics’ impact is reserved for the platform provider, who can adjust the platform operation and incentivisation to steer efficient vehicle use. Future research efforts can be allocated to other types of crowd logistics platforms and non-urban application of the concept.

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... Instant delivery services can be performed by retailers themselves or by service providers that serve a wide variety of businesses (Yeo, Goh and Rezaei, 2017). Moreover, instant delivery by peer-to-peer applications is a consequence of the sharing economy (Buldeo Rai, Verlinde and Macharis, 2018;Tavasszy, 2020;Seghezzi et al., 2021) and a subcategory of crowd shipping (Dablanc et al., 2017). Crowd shipping, in turn, is part of the shared economy trend with the addition of technological resources, where the people offer their available time and vehicle to perform delivery (Buldeo Rai, Verlinde and Macharis, 2018). ...
... Moreover, instant delivery by peer-to-peer applications is a consequence of the sharing economy (Buldeo Rai, Verlinde and Macharis, 2018;Tavasszy, 2020;Seghezzi et al., 2021) and a subcategory of crowd shipping (Dablanc et al., 2017). Crowd shipping, in turn, is part of the shared economy trend with the addition of technological resources, where the people offer their available time and vehicle to perform delivery (Buldeo Rai, Verlinde and Macharis, 2018). Thus, crowd shipping is a network of people with the time and resources available for urban deliveries (Buldeo Rai, Verlinde and Macharis, 2018). ...
... Crowd shipping, in turn, is part of the shared economy trend with the addition of technological resources, where the people offer their available time and vehicle to perform delivery (Buldeo Rai, Verlinde and Macharis, 2018). Thus, crowd shipping is a network of people with the time and resources available for urban deliveries (Buldeo Rai, Verlinde and Macharis, 2018). Furthermore, the sharing economy contributes to workforce exchanges by using online apps or platforms (Belanche et al., 2021). ...
Article
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Este artigo tem por objetivo identificar a relação da taxa de entrega e da remuneração dos entregadores de aplicativos em cidades brasileiras. Os dados referentes à taxa de entrega e à distância percorrida foram obtidos nos principais aplicativos de entrega para oito cidades brasileiras, dentre elas cinco capitais e 3 cidades do interior. Foi utilizado regressão linear para identificar uma relação entre a taxa de entrega e a distância. Os resultados mostraram diferença na taxa fixa e na taxa variável de entrega entre as cidades consideradas na análise. Para obtenção de uma remuneração básica, isto é, o salário-mínimo, o entregador precisa trabalhar mais de 44 horas semanais, realizando pelo menos uma entrega por hora a uma distância de 3km. Contudo, esta jornada de trabalho pode ser extenuante se as entregas forem realizadas por modos não motorizados.
... As it is a new business model, behavioral research on crowdsourced delivery is scarce on both the consumers and carriers (Le et al., 2019). From in consumer perspective; price (Punel and Stathopoulos, 2017;Buldeo Rai et al., 2018;Punel et al., 2018), environmental awareness (Buldeo Rai et al., 2018;Punel et al., 2018), societal awareness (Buldeo Rai et al., 2018;Punel et al., 2018), reliability, privacy, accountability (Devari et al., 2017), driver reputation, speed (Punel and Stathopoulos, 2017), qualitative delivery (Buldeo Rai et al., 2018), without damage, delivery on time, product type (Le and Ukkusuri, 2018) and location (Punel et al., 2018) have influences on acceptance of crowdsourced delivery. From in driver perspective, compensation (Paloheimo et al., 2016;Huang, et al., 2020;Buldeo Rai et al., 2018;Le and Ukkusuri, 20019a), good working environment (Paloheimo et al., 2016;Buldeo rai et al, 2018), environmental awareness (Paloheimo et al., 2016;Buldeo Rai et al, 2018), enjoyment of the previous job, trust entry barriers to work (Huang et al., 2020), innovativeness, societal awareness, (Paloheimo et al., 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 a t i o n a l J o ...
... As it is a new business model, behavioral research on crowdsourced delivery is scarce on both the consumers and carriers (Le et al., 2019). From in consumer perspective; price (Punel and Stathopoulos, 2017;Buldeo Rai et al., 2018;Punel et al., 2018), environmental awareness (Buldeo Rai et al., 2018;Punel et al., 2018), societal awareness (Buldeo Rai et al., 2018;Punel et al., 2018), reliability, privacy, accountability (Devari et al., 2017), driver reputation, speed (Punel and Stathopoulos, 2017), qualitative delivery (Buldeo Rai et al., 2018), without damage, delivery on time, product type (Le and Ukkusuri, 2018) and location (Punel et al., 2018) have influences on acceptance of crowdsourced delivery. From in driver perspective, compensation (Paloheimo et al., 2016;Huang, et al., 2020;Buldeo Rai et al., 2018;Le and Ukkusuri, 20019a), good working environment (Paloheimo et al., 2016;Buldeo rai et al, 2018), environmental awareness (Paloheimo et al., 2016;Buldeo Rai et al, 2018), enjoyment of the previous job, trust entry barriers to work (Huang et al., 2020), innovativeness, societal awareness, (Paloheimo et al., 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 a t i o n a l J o ...
... As it is a new business model, behavioral research on crowdsourced delivery is scarce on both the consumers and carriers (Le et al., 2019). From in consumer perspective; price (Punel and Stathopoulos, 2017;Buldeo Rai et al., 2018;Punel et al., 2018), environmental awareness (Buldeo Rai et al., 2018;Punel et al., 2018), societal awareness (Buldeo Rai et al., 2018;Punel et al., 2018), reliability, privacy, accountability (Devari et al., 2017), driver reputation, speed (Punel and Stathopoulos, 2017), qualitative delivery (Buldeo Rai et al., 2018), without damage, delivery on time, product type (Le and Ukkusuri, 2018) and location (Punel et al., 2018) have influences on acceptance of crowdsourced delivery. From in driver perspective, compensation (Paloheimo et al., 2016;Huang, et al., 2020;Buldeo Rai et al., 2018;Le and Ukkusuri, 20019a), good working environment (Paloheimo et al., 2016;Buldeo rai et al, 2018), environmental awareness (Paloheimo et al., 2016;Buldeo Rai et al, 2018), enjoyment of the previous job, trust entry barriers to work (Huang et al., 2020), innovativeness, societal awareness, (Paloheimo et al., 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 a t i o n a l J o ...
... Crowd logistics has been significant in current research studies especially in the field of logistics transportation yet limited work has been done by researchers especially on the crowd logistics' effect on the environment. According to (Rai et al., 2018), Just a few studies and research are devoted to the subject of crowd logistics. From a practical standpoint, some initial insights and understandings have already been obtained, but theoretical research on Crowd Logistics is still in infant stages, and some research questions remain unanswered (Mehmann et al., 2015). ...
... The crowd is at the forefront of all stakeholders in crowd logistics (Rai et al., 2017). The most significant element of the platform provider is the crowd (Rai et al., 2018). According to Carbone et al. (2017), ordinary individuals can take on some logistics tasks, play an unprecedented and active role in logistics, and thus be considered as active resources.The people that make up the crowd are a priori uncertain, and it is not possible to completely anticipate contingency plans for the unforeseen action of this communicating mass as a whole or some people (Mladenow et al., 2015). ...
... The influence of crowd logistics is highly dependent on the transport behavior of the crowd (Jeremic & Andrejic, 2019). Rai et al. (2018) also mentions crowd transport behavior as a factor that determines the positive or negative environmental impact of crowd logistics. The concept encourages citizens to make use of the free capacity on a trip that was intended to be made either way (Rai et al., 2017). ...
Article
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Purpose: With the recent emergence of crowd logistics as a form of delivery that involves ordinary citizens rather than skilled couriers, understanding its environmental impact has become an area of concern in most researches. The concept behind crowd logistics is to make use of empty spaces of private individuals who are on an intended trip. The use of empty spaces decreases the number of empty kilometers on the road, lowering emissions and it’s thought to ensure environmental sustainability. This article presents the analysis of crowd logistics from an environmental sustainability perspective with much focus on the crowd’s behavior. Methods: Survey data from 222 respondents representing various stakeholders was analyzed using IBM SPSS version 25.0 software and IBM AMOS version 24.0 for Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) analysis to delve deeper into crowd logistics’ environmental effects. Findings: The findings indicate crowd logistics positively impacts the environment but efficient participation of the crowd is critical in achieving that. Implication: Our findings complement existing literature by providing insight on the role of the crowd in the practice of crowd logistics to achieve environmental sustainability. Policymakers can use this to make policies that ensure efficient transport behavior from the crowd in order to achieve environmental sustainability.
... Stakeholders of the urban transport system are most commonly associated with the transportation of freight. This is reflected by a number of literature sources treating them as devoted to freight flows (Buldeo Rai, Verlinde, & Macharis, 2018;Stathopoulos, Valeri, & Marcucci, 2012;Zenezini, van Duin, Tavasszy, & De Marco, 2018). In this context, according to the classical E. Taniguchi approach (Taniguchi & Tamagawa, 2005), stakeholders are divided into: freight carriers, shippers, residents, administrators and urban expressway operators (Taniguchi & Tamagawa, 2005). ...
... Public ones are represented by authorities -the local, regional and national government. They are also public companies (e.g.operators of public transport) (Buldeo Rai et al., 2018;Stathopoulos et al., 2012;Zenezini et al., 2018).The group of private ones is much more differentiated and contains entrepreneurs: forwarders, carriers and individuals: residents and other traffic participants called sometimes city users (De Oliveira & De Oliveira, 2016;Witkowski & Kiba-Janiak, 2014). ...
... SUMPs should be better implemented, urban logistics centresbuilt, sharing economy solutions-developed. Despite similar problems, stakeholders are focused on achieving different aims what produces different needs (Paddeu, 2018;Parkhurst, Ricci, Fadda, Paddeu, & Fancello, 2018), also in the area of city logistics solutions (Buldeo Rai et al., 2018). There are differences in declared priorities in fields of economic, social and environmental sustainability of urban logistics (Szmelter-Jarosz & Rześny-Cieplińska, 2019). ...
Article
Tricity is a specific area in Poland because of the geographical location, landscape, access to the sea, access to a few container terminals and being an agglomeration. That is why both for inhabitants and local businesses city logistics issues are particularly important. The need for more sustainable transportation and integrative planning processes in cities, has been widely developed since 2013 when Urban Mobility Package set up a concept for SUMP (Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans) Within this idea, EU provides financial support for urban mobility projects. So various city logistics’ solutions are implemented but with a different level of success. City logistics measures have in fact their weaknesses and strengths. It is rather challenging to find an optimal solution because it is difficult to take into account the complexity and diversity of urban logistics while keeping all sides engaged. City logistics seems to be a quite difficult issue, mostly because it contains several levels of complexity. Not only it refers to the diversity of the goods transported and heterogeneity of the transportation means, but also involves multiple stakeholders. The most important are authorities, transportation operator, retailers and residents. These stakeholders most often represent different aims and priorities. While local authorities are interested in reducing pollution, congestion or noise, transportation operators and retailers are mainly focused on keeping costs under control while maintaining service levels. In the study, in-depth interviews technique with various stakeholders of city logistics was used. The interview was based on a questionnaire consisting of open and closed questions. One scale question assessed the importance of a given dimension of sustainable urban logistics for the particular stakeholder. This approach made it possible to identify the priorities of individual stakeholder groups. The respondents were a few individual stakeholders for each group identified within the literature review. To address the aim of the study, to analyse gathered data, both qualitative and quantitative methods were implemented. Among the qualitative methods, the Delphi method, text analysis and text mining techniques were used to identify the main characteristics of stakeholders opinions. Then, to draw the detailed results for each group, the Kruskal-Wallis test was held, equivalent to ANOVA, but not requiring normal distribution of variables, impossible to achieve at small sizes of stakeholder groups samples. The Kruskal-Wallis test allowed identifying similarities and differences between the priorities of the studied groups in light of the research problem being examined.
... CL partners can reach customer destinations by slightly modifying their traditional route or by simply walking or cycling, in this way avoiding traffic congestion. As stated by a wide range of studies [10][11][12][13][14], the parcels containing the goods are delivered by logistics couriers to specific transfer points and then transferred to the final customer destinations by crowd partners. Among the benefits conferred by adopting this strategy is the ease of recruiting potential CL partners, as the working area is local and the resources needed are traditionally owned by ordinary people. ...
... The main result of the paper was the identification of four relevant steps that companies should follow to implement sustainable CL. Rai et al. [13] performed an analysis to gain insights into CL's environmental impact and the involved stakeholders through two main methods, i.e., an impact analysis using data from a CL platform in Belgium, and an analysis of stakeholder support for CL using a multiactor multicriteria approach. The results mainly highlighted that the current platform led to a higher external transport cost and environmental impact compared to a traditional parcel delivery system. ...
Article
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Nowadays, last-mile logistics represents the least efficient stage of supply chains, covering up to 28% of the total delivery cost and causing significant environmental emissions. In the last few years, a wide range of collaborative economy business models has emerged across the globe, rapidly changing the way services were traditionally provided and consumed. Crowd logistics (CL) is a new strategy for supporting fast shipping services, entrusting the management of the last-mile delivery to the crowd, i.e., normal people, who agree to deliver goods to customers located along the route they have to travel, using their own transport means, in exchange for a small reward. Most existing studies have focused on evaluating the opportunities and challenges provided by CL through theoretical analysis and literature reviews, while others have proposed models for designing such emerging distribution networks. However, papers analyzing real successful applications of CL worldwide are lacking, despite being in high demand. This study attempted to fill this gap by providing, at first, an overview of real CL applications around the globe to set the stage for future successful implementations. Then, the implementation potential of CL in northern Italy was assessed through a structured questionnaire delivered to a panel of 214 people from the Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna (Italy) to map the feasibility of a crowd-based system in this area. The results revealed that about 91% of the interviewees were interested in using this emerging delivery system, while the remaining respondents showed some concern about the protection of their privacy and the safeguarding of the goods during transport. A relevant percentage of the interviewees were available to join the system as occasional drivers (ODs), with a compensation policy preference for a fixed fee per delivery rather than a variable reward based on the extra distance traveled to deliver the goods.
... Crowdshipping, as an emerging UFT solution, is getting increasing attention from scholars and industry [12,13]. According to Buldeo Rai et al. [14], the success of the solution depends on information capacity and crowd engagement. On the one hand, information capacity has been substantially improved due to the pervasive use of mobile technology that enables peer-to-peer platforms, allowing the instantaneous matching of demand and ad-hoc crowdshippers [15]. ...
... The generated externalities were associated with strategic as well as operational aspects with respect to the network's level of congestion. Buldeo Rai et al. [14] performed an environmental impact assessment analysis for delivering a parcel through an operating crowdshipping platform in Belgium, by comparing it with the traditional delivery way. Results indicated that the crowdsourced delivery led to higher external transport costs, thus higher environmental impacts. ...
Article
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Crowdsourced deliveries or crowdshipping is identified in recent literature as an emerging urban freight transport solution, aiming at reducing delivery costs, congestion, and environmental impacts. By leveraging the pervasive use of mobile technology, crowdshipping is an emerging solution of the sharing economy in the transport domain, as parcels are delivered by commuters rather than corporations. The objective of this research is to evaluate the impacts of crowdshipping through alternative scenarios that consider various levels of demand and adoption by public transport users who act as crowdshippers, based on a case study example in the city of Volos, Greece. This is achieved through the establishment of a tailored evaluation framework and a city-scale urban freight traffic microsimulation model. Results show that crowdshipping has the potential to mitigate last-mile delivery impacts and effectively contribute to improving the system’s performance.
... Multi-criteria decision making for sustainable LML Conceptual framework to evaluate LML from economic, social, and environmental aspects [72] Bi-criteria auction process of last mile delivery orders that maximizes both economic and environmental sustainability [73] A distributed network based on crowd logistics as the most sustainable LML strategy [74] Environmental impact assessment and sustainable strategies for e-commerce LML Lower carbon footprints in last mile deliveries through ecommerce than conventional brick-and-mortar stores [43] Effective reduction in greenhouse gas emissions through local collection and delivery points for failed home deliveries [75] Stochastic last mile model to calculate probabilistic estimates of traveling distances and break-even point at which last mile delivery causes less carbon emissions than customer pickup [76] Reduction in light goods vehicle traffic and associated environmental impacts through LML [77] A framework to reduce CO 2 emissions in e-commerce LML [78] Principles for sustainable LML [79] Integration of environmental sustainability into new LML approaches Reduction in carbon emissions and delivery distances through a social network enabled package pickup [61] Importance of local authorities to promote cargo cycles [24] Reduction in CO 2 emissions per person through shared mobility [60] Emissions and cost savings by using a social network in LML for retail store order pickups [42] Slightly more emissions in minimizing operating costs for the last mile delivery system than minimizing emissions for the system [54] Negative impact of crowdsourcing in LML on the environment of the road [59] Crowd logistics that can be environmentally-friendly only if it is optimized for existing delivery trips [80] Both environmental and economic benefits obtained by crowdshipping through public transportation in urban areas [81] The importance of environmental sustainability in LML led to multi-criteria decisions to simultaneously consider both economic and environmental factors that have trade-offs in LML. Ref. [72] provided a conceptual framework to evaluate last mile options from economic, social, and environmental aspects that involve design criteria and performance attributes for industrial, institutional, and consumer group stakeholders. ...
... Ref. [42] claimed that LML for retail store order pickups using a social network of customers can reduce emissions from ground logistics as well as delivery costs while maintaining delivery speed and reliability. Ref. [80] suggested crowd logistics platforms, and compared the performance their proposed platform with traditional logistics counterparts in terms of the unit delivery cost and the environmental impact of crowd logistics. Their multi-actor multi-criteria analysis to evaluate the delivery scenarios showed that crowd logistics can be environmentally-friendly only if they are optimized for existing delivery trips. ...
Article
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One of the most challenging problems in last mile logistics (LML) has been the strategic delivery due to various market risks and opportunities. This paper provides a systematic review of LML-related studies to find current issues and future opportunities for the LML service industry. To that end, 169 works were selected as target studies for in-depth analysis of recent LML advances. First, text mining analysis was performed to effectively understand the underlying LML themes in the target studies. Then, the novel definition and typology of LML delivery services were suggested. Finally, this paper proposed the next generation of LML research through advanced delivery technique-based LML services, environmentally sustainable LML systems, improvement of LML operations in real industries, effective management of uncertainties in LML, and LML delivery services for decentralized manufacturing services. We believe that this systematic literature review can serve as a useful tool for LML decision makers and stakeholders.
... Today CL business models encompass a variety of services including storage innovations, long-distanced freight shipping/forwarding, however none has gathered more investor or academic attention than its role in LMD [12]. CL incorporates various stakeholders: the suppliers who supplies the good, "the crowd" that physically completes the delivery, the customer who collects the final shipment, and the digital platform that coordinates the operation [13]. ...
... From a sustainability perspective, CL has the potential to significantly reduce emissions from LMD. Novel research often concludes that through exploiting existing trips and increasing vehicle loads, CL cuts the amount of network trips, thus reducing congestion and air polluting emissions [17]. Further environmental gains can be realised through a reduction of failed deliveries as crowd-sourced deliveries are more likely to be delivered when the recipient is present [13]. Yet, the literature lacks a nuanced analysis of the additional potential negative externalities brought about by CL. ...
Conference Paper
This paper investigates, through a simulation approach, how novel alternative last-mile solutions (LMS) can harmonise network efficiency with environmental sustainability in a Washington D.C. urban setting. The ability of public buses to scale delivery services with demand was fundamental to reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and harmful air pollutants. Extending the network by increasing the number of delivery points, this paper employed a K-means clustering algorithm to determine optimal locations of Urban Consolidation Centres (UCCs). Utilising UCCs enabled further environmental and efficiency gains to be realised through consolidation and the ability to deliver "very last mile" through E-cargo bikes.
... Today CL business models encompass a variety of services including storage innovations, long-distanced freight shipping/forwarding, however none has gathered more investor or academic attention than its role in LMD [12]. CL incorporates various stakeholders: the suppliers who supplies the good, "the crowd" that physically completes the delivery, the customer who collects the final shipment, and the digital platform that coordinates the operation [13]. ...
... From a sustainability perspective, CL has the potential to significantly reduce emissions from LMD. Novel research often concludes that through exploiting existing trips and increasing vehicle loads, CL cuts the amount of network trips, thus reducing congestion and air polluting emissions [17]. Further environmental gains can be realised through a reduction of failed deliveries as crowd-sourced deliveries are more likely to be delivered when the recipient is present [13]. Yet, the literature lacks a nuanced analysis of the additional potential negative externalities brought about by CL. ...
Conference Paper
Due to the rapidly accelerated innovation cycle in transport and the emergence of new mobility concepts and technologies, public authorities, policy makers, and transport planners are currently in need of the tools for sustainable spatial and transport planning in the new mobility era. In this paper, a new modular, software-agnostic and activity-based spatial and transport planning platform is designed, i.e, the HARMONY Model Suite, that facilitates a novel integration of new and existing spatial and transport modelling tools. The paper focuses on describing the architecture of the platform and its passenger mobility simulation framework, which integrates -in an interoperable manner- activity-based models, mobility service management, and traffic simulation tools for evaluating new mobility system dynamics. The service management controllers for new mobility concepts are discussed in more detail with regards to their functionality and applicability.
... (1) Understanding UFT [29][30][31][32][33][34][35] (2) Stakeholders and their relations [10,33,[36][37][38][39][40] (3) Operational solutions addressed to environmental impacts [2,9,[41][42][43][44][45][46][47] (4) Technological solutions [16,[48][49][50][51][52][53][54][55][56][57] (5) Last-mile solutions [29,[58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66][67][68][69] (6) UFT modelling [2,7,8,15,27,[70][71][72] (7) Business model [19,20,73,74] (8) Development of urban freight public policies [3,4,[75][76][77][78][79] Understanding UFT is the first city logistics procedure. The recognition of the UFT process allows for identifying gaps and related measures; for this, data is essential. ...
... The last-mile solution addressing the HORECA (hotellerie-restaurant-café) sector is essential for optimizing the logistics operation [62]. Literature concerning last-mile deliveries is vast and considers on-demand deliveries [38,58,59,96], electric vehicles [63][64][65][66][67]97,98], and cargo bicycles [64][65][66]68,99]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Urban freight transport (UFT) is simultaneously responsible for maintaining the urban lifestyle and the negative externalities impacting urban areas, necessitating strategies that promote sustainable urban freight transport (SUFT). In addition, the stakeholders and geographic factors involved in UFT impose specific concerns in the planning and operation stages of SUFT. Therefore, this paper proposes a model addressing sustainable last-mile delivery considering the relationship between the activity system, transportation system, and stakeholders involved in UFT. Based on the literature review, we identified UFT planning procedures to achieve SUFT. In a cyclical process, these procedures were considered on the proposed model, integrating freight transport planning with urban planning to develop SUFT and, consequently, sustainable cities.
... Previous studies have raised the question if crowdshipping companies can provide a more sustainable delivery than traditional couriers (Buldeo Rai et al., 2018a. The findings of this paper indicate that while crowdshipping could be regarded as a more environmentally-friendly solution of package deliveries, especially the companies from the most popular cluster 4 specializing in local last-mile delivery seem to disregard this point. ...
... Consequently, the local last-mile crowdsourced practices require extra resources such as more vehicle trips and extra fuel consumed, which could result in more pollution in comparison to traditional last-mile couriers. This finding is aligned with the findings of Buldeo Rai et al. (2018a), who investigated a specific local last-mile crowdsourced delivery company and found its deliveries to be less environmentally friendly than traditional couriers. Thus, we could extend their conclusions to the whole local last-mile cluster. ...
Purpose The paper aims to develop (1) a comprehensive framework for classifying crowdshipping business models and (2) a taxonomy of currently implemented crowdshipping business models. Design/methodology/approach The business models of 105 companies offering crowdsourced delivery services are analysed. Cluster analysis and principal component analysis are applied to develop a business model taxonomy. Findings A detailed crowdsourced delivery business model framework with 74 features is developed. Based on it, six distinct clusters of crowdshipping business models are identified. One cluster stands out as the most appealing to customers based on social media metrics, indicating which type of crowdshipping business models is the most successful. Research limitations/implications Detailed investigations of each of the six clusters and of recent crowdshipping business model developments are needed in further research in order to enhance the derived taxonomy. Practical implications This paper serves as a best-practices guide for both start-ups and global logistics operators for establishing or further developing their crowdsourced delivery business models. Originality/value This paper provides a holistic understanding of the business models applied in the crowdshipping industry and is a valuable contribution to the yet small amount of studies in the crowd logistics field.
... The retailers, crowd workers, and the crowdsourcing platforms are the main stakeholders of crowd logistics [18], and their development constraints directly affect whether crowdsourcing activities can be implemented smoothly [19]. Previous studies (e.g., Shen et al., 2014 [20]; Ye and Kankanhalli, 2017 [21]; Huang et al., 2020 [22]) have focused on the crowd workers' willingness to participate. ...
... Platform availability and the public are essential features influencing the success of the platform [29]. Platform vendors can adjust the platform plan to guide the efficient use of vehicular space or propose incentives that encourage more package deliveries or cut down on dedicated trips [18]. Conforming to retailers' delivery requirements, some platforms utilize algorithms to correspond with the recipient in order to improve the delivery rate and delivery efficiency [30,31]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The sharing economy has brought new opportunities to the logistics industry, which has created an emerging trend known as crowd logistics. Implementing this mode offers a basis for more sustainable urban logistics, but there is limited research on what leads enterprises to adopt crowd logistics. Based on the technology-organization-environment (TOE) theoretical model, this paper developed a model to study the influencing factors of enterprises’ willingness to implement crowd logistics. The data were collected through questionnaire surveys, SPSS and AMOS were used for data analysis. The empirical results showed that the relative advantage, absorptive capacity, market environment, and external motivations have significant positive impact on the company’s willingness to implement crowd logistics, while complexity and resources have no significant impact. Crowd logistics offers an important route to more sustainable urban logistics. Logistics enterprises should take measured steps when implementing crowd logistics, improve their absorptive capacity, and take necessary precautions towards minimizing the risks of crowd logistics.
... Dayarian and Savelsbergh (2020) generalizes this stream of research by integrating future information into the planning. A group of related studies, Rai et al. (2018), Paloheimo et al. (2016), Simoni et al. (2019), and Mancini and Gansterer (2022) investigate the impact of crowdshipping on sustainability and environmental considerations under similar centrally modeled business model presumptions. ...
Preprint
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This paper studies the integration of the crowd workforce into a generic last-mile delivery setting in which a set of known delivery requests should be fulfilled at a minimum cost. In this setting, the crowd drivers are able to choose to perform a parcel delivery among the available and displayed requests. We specifically investigate the question: what tasks should be displayed to an individual driver, so as to minimize the overall delivery expenses? In contrast to past approaches, where drivers are either (a) given the choice of a single task chosen so as to optimize the platform's profit, or (b) allowed full autonomy in choosing from the entire set of available tasks. We propose a dynamic, customized display model, where the platform intelligently limits each driver's choice to only a subset of the available tasks. We formulate this problem as a finite-horizon Sequential Decision Problem, which captures (a) the individual driver's utility-driven task choice preferences, (b) the platform's total task fulfilment cost, consisting of both the payouts to the crowd-drivers as well as additional payouts to deliver the residual tasks. We devise a stochastic look-ahead strategy that tackles the curse dimensionality issues arising in action and state spaces and a non-linear (problem specifically concave) boundary condition. We demonstrate how this customized display model effectively balances the twin objectives of platform efficiency and driver autonomy. In particular, using computational experiments of representative situations, we exhibit that the dynamic and customize display strategy significantly reduces the platform's total task fulfilment cost.
... Due to the growth in both the urban population and e-commerce [1], an increasing amount of road space is devoted to last mile delivery vehicles [2]. These delivery vans slow down traffic in cities, which causes congestion [2], reduces the space available in cities [3,4] and increases emissions [5,6]. Hence, there is a need for alternative last mile delivery options [7] to increase the sustainability of last mile deliveries. ...
Article
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Land efficient last mile delivery concepts are key to reducing the traffic in cities and to minimising its environmental impact. This paper proposes a decision support method that evaluates the autonomous delivery concept and applies it to one year’s worth of real parcel delivery data in London. Deliveries to modular and fixed lockers with autonomous delivery vans and road-based autonomous lockers (RAL) and sidewalk autonomous delivery robots (SADRs) have been simulated. Various types of autonomous delivery van fleets, depot locations, customer modes of transport, parcel demand levels, parcel locker network densities and adjustment frequencies of modular lockers are considered. A routing and scheduling algorithm is used to optimise delivery tours and vehicle choice. The optimisation algorithm finds both the optimal number of collection and delivery points (CDPs) and the delivery concept (e.g., modular lockers, sidewalk autonomous delivery robot) depending on the customer mode chosen. The results show that modular lockers which are adjusted weekly are the best option for the current or higher parcel demand levels and road-autonomous parcel lockers (RAL-R) are the best option at the lowest parcel demand level.
... Buldeo Rai et al. (2018) realizan investigación enfocada al transporte conjunto de paquetes y pasajeros, mediante la aplicación de un análisis multicriterio de múltiples actores. Taefi et al. (2016) analizan políticas de apoyo para el transporte de mercancías urbano de vehículos eléctricos, utilizando la metodología de análisis multicriterio. ...
Article
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The paper presents a protocol for conducting a systematic literature review (SLR) on the application of multicriteria decision analysis methods (MCDM) as a tool for evaluating urban freight logistics. The paper presents a protocol for conducting a systematic literature review (SLR) on the application of multicriteria decision analysis methods (MCDM) as a tool for evaluating urban freight logistics.This research topic arises from the growing interest of public and private actors in achieving objectives of reducing environmental and social impacts and/or improving operational efficiency in city logistics.The search is focused on publications comprised in the period between 2012 and 2020. Finally, with the selected works, a descriptive analysis is carried out, which allows obtaining a preliminary result of the RSL that will be developed in future research.SDGs' supported by research: SDG08 Decent Work and Economic Growth and SDG11 Sustainable Cities and Communities.
... Cela permettrait d'optimiser le taux de chargement des camionnettes de livraison et de réduire le total de kilomètres parcourus, avec des gains environnementaux à la clé. Toutefois, d'éventuels effets rebonds pourraient amoindrir ces gains, par exemple à cause de déplacements effectués expressément pour une collecte [Buldeo Rai et al., 2018]. ...
Article
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The management of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) underperforms in the Brussels-Capital Region. This lower performance is partly related to the collection of such WEEE through unregistered channels. Using a relational approach, this study aims to understand the roles of WEEE management stakeholders. It reveals the existence of a market-based network, conflicting with the official network centralised around Recupel. It also highlights how the choices of consumers and retailers channel WEEE in either subnetwork. Based on these results, we suggest solutions to limit unregistered channels, either by further integrating the market-based subnetwork in the official one or by influencing the behaviour of consumers’ and retailers.
... This would optimise the load factor of delivery vans and reduce the total kilometres driven, leading to environmental benefits. However, potential rebound effects might reduce such benefits, for example due to on-purpose collection trips [Buldeo Rai et al., 2018]. ...
Article
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The management of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) underperforms in the Brussels-Capital Region. This lower performance is partly related to the collection of such WEEE through unregistered channels. Using a relational approach, this study aims to understand the roles of WEEE management stakeholders. It reveals the existence of a market-based network, conflicting with the official network centralised around Recupel. It also highlights how the choices of consumers and retailers channel WEEE in either subnetwork. Based on these results, we suggest solutions to limit unregistered channels, either by further integrating the market-based subnetwork in the official one or by influencing the behaviour of consumers’ and retailers.
... The focus of our work is related to the demand-side, where different aspects could affect the willing to use a crowdshipping service: the usability of the platform (Frehe et al., 2017), possibility to personalised deliveries, environmental issues (Rai et al., 2018), age (Rayle et al., 2016), reliability, privacy, and accountability (Devari et al., 2017), good categories (Le and Ukkusuri, 2018a), non-professional carriers (Punel and Stathopoulos, 2017). Finally, Rai et al. (2021), in their survey on Belgian population about the consumers' perception of crowd logistics, found that more than the 70% of respondents are quite or not interested in such a service. ...
Article
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Crowdshipping is an emerging delivery paradigm in urban areas, where ordinary people can become real carriers in exchange for an incentive. Nevertheless, the adoption process of crowdshipping initiatives faces multiple barriers. This study aims at analysing the determinants of crowdshipping adoption in university cities, as behavioural investigations in such communities are less explored. A model of structural equations with Innovation Diffusion Theory’s five fundamental determinants that influence the consumer adoption (relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, observability), and a further fundamental component (resistance to change), is presented. The study is based on a survey that involves the interviewees who live in a university city in Southern Italy. The data collected were processed using statistical techniques and discussed, evidencing the potentiality of application and the positive attitude related to a crowdshipping service of the users located in such a territory.
... At least six stakeholders are directly related to crowdsourcing logistics: senders who need the service of shipments, customers who receive the goods, platform providers who coordinate supply and demand, logistics service providers (LSPs) who provide traditional transport services, the crowd, and authority (or society). Rai et al. [19] studied stakeholders in crowdsourcing logistics system quantificationally, indicating that usage of current platform results in higher external transport costs and thus a higher environmental impact, when compared to traditional goods delivery mode. ...
Article
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A business delivery model with professional vehicles as well as occasional passing-by vehicles is investigated in this paper. The drivers deliver parcels from the distribution center to customers and the passing-by driver can get a certain amount of compensation in return. To give a satisfactory solution from the perspective of platform owner, customers, professional drivers, occasional drivers, and authority, a multi-layer comprehensive model is proposed. To effectively solve the proposed model, we introduce an improved variable neighborhood search (VNS) with a memory-based restart mechanism. The new algorithm is evaluated on instances derived from Solomon’s benchmark and real-life beer delivery instances. Taguchi experiment is used to tune parameters in the proposed VNS, followed by component analysis and real-life experiments. Experimental results indicate that the proposed strategies are effective and the new delivery model in this paper has some advantages over traditional and single-delivery ones from the comprehensive perspectives of stakeholders in the crowdsourcing logistics system.
... In [47], the authors propose, through a review of the literature and a survey with a group of experts, the principles of corporate and public management. In [48], the authors analyze the environmental performance of a Belgian logistics platform, employing a multi-criteria strategy to assess how it affects stakeholders. ...
Article
Logistics platforms (LP) are business models developed to improve the performance of all logistics activities of a supply chain (SC). About logistics platforms, the scientific literature details the management, implementation, importance, typologies, comparisons with international platforms, as well as cited case studies therein. The literature also highlights many trends of the adoption of technology as well as challenges resulting from the rapid evolution of said technology. We present a discussion of an LP, as well as an LP’s importance to its SC. We discuss eight types of LPs, their applications, and their associated implementation phases. This important volume of articles that we summarize seeks to solve complex problems with mathematical formulations. The literature potentiates the processes carried out in LPs by means of case-study analyses through comparing some LPs of South America against the more technological-based and automation-based LPs of Europe, of Southeast Asia, and of North America. The studies of LPs in global SCs, and enclosed cycle SCs, have shown that there are many challenges stemming from global climate change, which places uncertainty in the process of estimating stochastic parameters in the new global market. This would mandate strengthening the methodologies of Hub- and Cross-docking and understanding trends, such as the need to fortify the management of LPs by utilizing information technologies and communication technologies and updating local markets to make global markets more resilient in the face of pending environmental shifts.
... Organizational, technology-enabled, and data techniqueenabled innovations [37] can help improve efficiency of the last mile deliveries [38,39]. They include: urban consolidation centers [40][41][42], crowdsourcing [43][44][45][46], pickup points, parcel lockers [47], automated technologies, robots [48][49][50] "mobile warehouse" [51], reception boxes [52], drones [53], autonomous vehicle deliveries [54], such as autonomous cars [55], and bike deliveries [56]. Technologies aimed at increasing the efficiency of deliveries and reducing the negative impact on the environment are implemented and tested [57][58][59], such as alternative fuels (e.g., biodiesel), and the use of electric vehicles (EVs) for home deliveries [60,61]. ...
Article
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The e-commerce industry has been developing extremely dynamically for many years. This development was intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the research conducted by the authors of this paper, in Poland, during the pandemic, the number of delivered parcels increased 20-100%, depending on the courier company. The research of the authors of this article focused on the energy efficiency of the last mile, which is very important for the efficiency of the entire delivery process to customers. As the authors calculated, the last mile can consume over 70% of energy of the whole distribution channel. The article presents the results of research concerning the energy efficiency of deliveries performed by couriers and express companies in Poland. Two models of distribution used Poland have been compared-direct deliveries to final customers, and deliveries to parcel lockers. The research methods are interviews with the managers and couriers, analysis of the literature, and the simulation method. According to the results of the simulations performed by the authors, distribution with the use of parcels lockers can help reduce the consumption of fuel even by 74-87% per parcel or 36% per m 3. Apart from this, the authors calculated the impact of scale of operations on the energy efficiency of the transport processes on the last mile, which is an indirect effect of the growth of the e-commerce market, caused by the pandemic. Based on the results of the original research of the authors, it can be assessed that the growth of the number of the delivered parcels during the pandemic resulted in the consumption of fuel per one parcel being reduced in some cases by over 36%. The novelty of the authors' research is that the conducted simulations regarded not only the efficiency of the processes, but also the energy consumption in delivering parcels at the last mile and during the pandemic.
... In this regard, the concept of crowd logistics (CL), a subset of crowdsourcing [7,18,19,22], is attempting to solve a wide range of problems, many of which are modern day problems that go along with the increase in last-mile delivery. Today, roughly 20% of urban traffic is directly related to freight transport, which is why the negative impact of delivering parcels is much larger than that of moving passengers [4,5]. Negative impacts of urban freight transport include environmental, social, economic and operational categories. ...
Article
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Online sales of goods and services are constantly increasing, which imposes a significant challenge on logistics networks worldwide. Enabled by recent technological developments and crowdsourcing concepts, novel ways of delivering goods have emerged lately. To provide insights into the motivations of crowdsourcees and their willingness to work as occasional drivers, as well as into the requirements a crowdshipping company shall fulfil, we performed a survey with 100 respondents. Methodologically we applied a contingent valuation, which identifies elements the crowdsourcing business model shall provide to make it a sustainable one.
... A traditional way of doing stakeholder analysis in a project is by looking at the alignment of goals of different actors in the supply chain (e.g., [16]). However, we found out prior to this research that within a stakeholder group, goals may vary at different management levels. ...
Article
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Stakeholders play vital roles in the implementation of sustainable last mile logistics solutions. Therefore, the first step in setting up successful sustainable last mile logistics is to conduct stakeholder analysis. This paper analyzes the goals of the stakeholders in the Heijendaal living lab, a city logistics project that uses two hubs for bundling goods to be delivered to the Heijendaal campus in The Netherlands. We use the Theory of Planned Behavior and Policy Deployment to present a qualitative case study, which examines the goals of stakeholders in relation to their roles in the supply chain and in the organization, and if these goals lead to their expected participation behavior. Results show that stakeholders have economic, social, and environmental goals and that some of these goals are prominent within certain groups of stakeholders along the supply chain and within the organization. In addition, the set goals do not always lead to participation behavior of stakeholders due to identified disruptions and habits. This study identifies the importance of information sharing and collaboration within the supply chain, the leading role of middle-level managers in translating strategic to operational goals, and the stimulation of behavioral factors to increase participation of stakeholders in the living lab.
... Crowdsourced logistics is used in two main areas of logistics services: last-mile delivery (Buldeo Rai et al., 2018) and urban freight . The difference between these two application areas lies in the identity of the carriers. ...
Article
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With the increasingly wide use of sensor-embedded smartphones, we envision that there will be many crowdsourced logistic companies to acquire logistics service from a large population of carriers. They form a two-side competition market, where crowdsources compete for the limited logistics service and carriers compete for the compensation from crowdsourced logistic company. Each crowdsourced logistic company has to select an “optimal” delivery compensation that can attract enough service providers. Each carrier has to decide which crowdsourced logistic company to join in, while a congested company may resulted in a low reward. In this paper, we present a game theoretic study of such a two-side competition market. To be more practical, we consider the bounded rationality of service providers. We formulate the dynamics behavior of service providers as an evolutionary game, and take two key factors (company’s analytics ability and service providers’ evaluation) under smart environment in our model, and then present a simulation model for the implementation of evolution process. Through this work, we can understand the dynamic evolution of the medium-sized crowd logistics market under smart environment and crowdsourced logistic company can adjust their strategy to optimal their profit.
... Local retailers can benefit from crowd logistics since they can receive quick, same-day deliveries at lower costs and with a low risk of delivery failure [53,67]. Moreover, under certain circumstances crowd logistics could reduce the environmental impact of LM deliveries, for instance by achieving a critical mass of users [68]. Other crowd logistics services also offer additional storage solutions using space from the crowd [69]. ...
Article
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The sustainability of last-mile (LM) freight delivery is crucial to add value to the stakeholders in the distribution chain. However, its achievement is often hindered by a poor consideration of their needs by both literature and practice. The goal of this paper is to address the point of view of local retailers by exploring their needs about innovative LM delivery services and identifying sustainable value propositions (VP). A survey was submitted to retailers operating in the limited traffic zone of Torino (Italy). The survey data were analyzed by a factor analysis using a principal component analysis (PCA) to extract the factors. A correlation analysis was also conducted between the needs and selected contextual variables. The results show that retailers accept higher costs for more reliable deliveries and stock reduction. Retailers also correlate punctuality and flexibility because flexible and on-time deliveries allow for better inventory management, higher control, and, in turn, improved customer service level. This work is one of the first research attempts to quantify local retailers’ LM delivery needs and provides guidelines about how to design value-added logistics services. Moreover, from a practical point of view, the analysis shows the main VP that managers and practitioners should consider in the development of LM initiatives.
... They simulated the scenario showing a total annual savings of 239 kg of particulates and 1,098 t of CO 2 emissions. Meanwhile, (Rai, Verlinde, and Macharis 2018) analyzed the externalities from a crowdshipping platform dataset operating entirely with cars in Belgium. They showed that crowdshipping is not sustainable compared to traditional delivery-. ...
Article
This paper contributes to the emerging body of research on crowdshipping, which is a collaborative strategy that distributes delivery tasks to a mass of actors that act as ordinary couriers, aiming at reducing delivery costs and supporting sustainability. The study focuses on last mile delivery activities, where numerous app-based delivery platforms have recently emerged. The paper provides an overview of the operational characteristics of these platforms based on an in-depth study of a sample of major crowdshipping services (state-of-practice) and a comprehensive review of the state-of-research. After comparing platform services and characteristics, we identified four core (typological) factors that differentiate services: platform (service) type, delivery type, delivery mode, and pricing strategy; and six categories for service challenges and opportunities. Moreover, the review of the state-of-research synthesized their findings with respect to the identified practical challenges to discover opportunities for future work. Overall, the study found that there is a mismatch between practical challenges and scientific solutions. The literature has not addressed all challenges identified in practice, such as couriers’ work conditions and pricing, which are still unresolved issues. The majority of articles were exploratory in nature with their findings based on hypothetical random instances. More research is needed with empirical case studies to evaluate the service net effects on each actor (e.g., senders, receivers, couriers, and platforms) in particular, and on the society in general, in terms of traffic externalities, quality of life, cost and revenue. The paper ends with a discussion of promising areas for future research.
... However, according to the first approach to urban logistics issues, stakeholders of the urban transport system are most commonly associated with the transportation of freight. This is reflected by several literature sources treating them as devoted to freight flows [20][21][22]. In this context, according to the classical E. Taniguchi approach [23], stakeholders can be divided into the following groups: In relation to the broader definition of the urban logistics notion, stakeholders are perceived as entities interested in decisions related to urban transport issues [21,22,24,25]. ...
Article
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Environmental sustainability, defined as the responsibility to protect the global ecosystem in a holistic way, has become an integral factor of city strategies. Designing and implementing environment-friendly solutions to make the standard of living in cities better is indispensable for present and future generations. This article’s main objective is to identify the most environmentally friendly urban logistics measures from the perspective of urban transport system stakeholders. A multi-method approach was implemented to achieve the article’s main findings. Firstly, the literature review provided the basics for designing the research framework. Then, a three-layer methodological approach was used: The first layer included designing and carrying out the case study approach; the second layer comprised a Delphi study involving interviews with urban logistics stakeholders; and the third layer included analyzing the voices of Delphi interviewees to assess which urban logistics measures are the most important for them. The study provides an initial insight into the opinions of stakeholders for a general audience, but at the same time, also presents specific, detailed views of Tricity urban space users and decision-makers. Significant differences in opinions were observed and confirmed in the interviewed group. This study can contribute to the scientific discussion about the stakeholders’ analysis of urban logistics goals.
... Marcucci et al. [8] conduct a survey that estimates people's willingness of participating in and paying for a crowdshipping service to analyze market potentials of crowdshipping. Rai et al. [28] reveal the relation between a crowdshipping platform and the crowdshippers. They recognize that having a "happy crowd" is important for a crowdshipping platform. ...
Article
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Crowdshipping systems are receiving increasing attention in both industry and academia. Different aspects of crowdshipping (summarized as platform, supply, and demand) are investigated in research. To date, the mutual influence of crowdshipping platform design and its supply side (with participating crowdshippers) has not yet been thoroughly investigated. This paper addresses this mutual influence by investigating the relations between shipping performance and intrusiveness to daily trips of commuters who voluntarily act as cycle couriers. In an experiment in The Hague, cyclists were asked to transport small parcels during a simulated daily commuting routine. The grid of commuting trips acted as a relay network to move parcels to their individual destinations. All the movements of the parcels were recorded by GPS trackers. The analysis indicates that a higher degree of complexity of rules in crowdshipping systems can lead to better system performance. Meanwhile, it also imposes higher intrusiveness, as participants need to deviate more from their routines of daily, uninterrupted trips. The case also suggests that a well-designed crowdshipping system can increase system performance without having to ask too much from crowdshippers. This study provides reference to better design such systems, and opens up directions for further research that can be used to provide thorough guidelines for the implementation of crowdshipping platforms.
... If deliveries are performed by foot, bike, public, or public transit, emissions can be reduced. However, if deliveries are made by car, the amount of single trips may even increase the negative impacts on environment and society (see, e.g., Buldeo Rai et al. 2018). Since CS are not fixedly employed, reliability and scalability are the main challenges for a logistics provider applying the crowd. ...
Article
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In the wake of e-commerce and its successful diffusion in most commercial activities, last-mile distribution causes more and more trouble in urban areas all around the globe. Growing parcel volumes to be delivered toward customer homes increase the number of delivery vans entering the city centers and thus add to congestion, pollution, and negative health impact. Therefore, it is anything but surprising that in recent years many novel delivery concepts on the last mile have been innovated. Among the most prominent are unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) and autonomous delivery robots taking over parcel delivery. This paper surveys established and novel last-mile concepts and puts special emphasis on the decision problems to be solved when setting up and operating each concept. To do so, we systematically record the alternative delivery concepts in a compact notation scheme, discuss the most important decision problems, and survey existing research on operations research methods solving these problems. Furthermore, we elaborate promising future research avenues.
... The 16 generated externalities were associated with strategic as well as operational aspects with respect to 17 network's level of congestion. Buldeo Rai et al. (14) performed an environmental impact assessment 18 ...
Conference Paper
Crowdsourced deliveries or crowdshipping is identified in recent literature as an emerging urban freight transport solution, aiming at reducing delivery costs, congestion and environmental impacts. By leveraging the pervasive use of the mobile technology, crowdshipping is the next stop of sharing economy in the transport domain, as parcels are delivered by private car drivers or – in our case – public transport users, rather than corporations. The objective of this research is to evaluate the impacts of crowdshipping through a number of alternative scenarios that consider various level of demand and adoption by public transport users who act as crowdshippers, based on a real case study example in the city of Volos, Greece. This is achieved through the establishment of a tailored evaluation framework and a city scale urban freight traffic microsimulation model. Results show that crowdshipping has the potential to mitigate last mile delivery impacts and effectively contribute in improving system’s performance.
... Beyond vehicles and infrastructure, the adoption of these strategies can enable the development of new technologies and practices such as virtualisation of products, digital manufacturing, waste collection, and sorting systems. Interestingly, innovative environmentally-friendly logistics solutions resting on the backbone of the CE framework are already materializing and being trialled in various capacities, including: urban consolidation centre (UCC) (Johansson and Björklund, 2017), crowshipping (Buldeo Rai et al., 2017a;Rai et al., 2018) and off-hour delivery (Gatta et al., 2019). UCC stresses the use of logistics facilities in city suburbs to ease good deliveries to customers (Browne et al., 2005), while crowshipping is a collaborative measure that employs the use of free mobility resources to perform deliveries (Buldeo Rai et al., 2017b). ...
Article
The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on the 11th of March 2020, but the world is still reeling from its aftermath. Originating from China, cases quickly spread across the globe, prompting the implementation of stringent measures by world governments in efforts to isolate cases and limit the transmission rate of the virus. These measures have however shattered the core sustaining pillars of the modern world economies as global trade and cooperation succumbed to nationalist focus and competition for scarce supplies. Against this backdrop, this paper presents a critical review of the catalogue of negative and positive impacts of the pandemic and proffers perspectives on how it can be leveraged to steer towards a better, more resilient low-carbon economy. The paper diagnosed the danger of relying on pandemic-driven benefits to achieving sustainable development goals and emphasizes a need for a decisive, fundamental structural change to the dynamics of how we live. It argues for a rethink of the present global economic growth model, shaped by a linear economy system and sustained by profiteering and energy-gulping manufacturing processes, in favour of a more sustainable model recalibrated on circular economy (CE) framework. Building on evidence in support of CE as a vehicle for balancing the complex equation of accomplishing profit with minimal environmental harms, the paper outlines concrete sector-specific recommendations on CE-related solutions as a catalyst for the global economic growth and development in a resilient post-COVID-19 world.
Article
Purpose – Although crowd logistics (CL) is a promising digital solution, its future development remains uncertain. Our paper suggests multiple possible futures of CL in terms of business relationships and value co-creation between manufacturers and digital platforms. Design/methodology/approach – Our paper offers a systemic and multi stakeholder approach related to the field of strategic foresight, based on the scenario method. The scenarios construction involved 22 participants (practitioners, academic researchers, and foresight experts). Findings – Four scenarios emerged from the strategic foresight study. For each scenario, the configuration, diffusion, and coordination of CL—as well as the balance of power between manufacturers, digital platforms, and customers—are specified. Research limitations/implications – The foresight analysis reveals not one certain future, but multiple potential business configurations and research avenues related to the development of CL. Practical implications – The adopted multi stakeholders perspective, including macro factors, regarding CL allows business-to-business managers to rethink its potential. Managers can use the scenarios to consider multiple types of coordination with digital platforms and its implication for value co-creation. Social implications – This paper provides insights into social changes that may constitute drivers and consequences of the development of CL and identifies two forms of coupling that may drive the development of CL: regulation–social transformation and technology–environment. Originality – This research contributes to IMP research on business-to-business relationships in digital contexts, by showing that CL presents an opportunity for the co-creation of distribution value in a business-to-business environment.
Article
Crowdshipping is increasingly known as a sustainable solution to address the challenges of last mile delivery (LMD) in urban areas. While employing the crowd to perform LMD appears to be an operationally and financially appealing model, it comes with several challenges in practice, including low willingness to participate in delivery work due to low financial incentive and additional travel effort. Inspired by the Physical Internet concept, in this paper we propose a novel crowdsourced LMD problem and solution approach, which allows a delivery task to be performed by one or multiple crowdshippers using parcel lockers as exchange points. The utilisation of parcel lockers in a crowdshipping network allows for shorter trip detour and better geographical coverage. To achieve this objective, we develop a novel model for locating parcel lockers and allocating delivery tasks. A two-phase algorithm is then developed to rank and choose parcel lockers from the potential locations, which first classifies jobs into single and joint delivery sets and then scores each prospective locker by its utilisation in cooperative delivery. A second algorithm is then designed with three selection strategies of random, roulette, and inverse roulette to assign jobs to crowdshippers for single or joint delivery. To evaluate the performance of the algorithms, experiments were conducted in small and large instances based on a real-world case study. While the exact solution was only capable to deal with small-sized problems, the proposed algorithms were able to produce (sub-)optimal results with significantly low computational expenses. Numerical analyses conducted on large instances showed that enabling joint delivery can improve the success delivery rate by up to 5%, which can be achieved by having a small number of parcel lockers hired at ‘critical’ locations.
Thesis
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Economic growth is a major policy objective in most countries. Yet, it is associated with increasing environmental damages, related to an increase in resource use and waste production, making it unsustainable. One strategy to limit those damages consists in transforming the current economic system, where products are thrown away at the end of their useful life, into a circular economy in which products, parts and materials are kept in the production system by closing (recycling), slowing (reusing) and narrowing (reducing) resource loops. Such a replacement of the current “linear” economy with a circular one involves the transition of many socio-technical systems. One overlooked pathway to conducting such a transition relies on the adoption of circular oriented innovations by incumbent firms. It involves a change in the way incumbent firms create and deliver value, what can prove to be challenging. Hence, the objective of the present thesis is to explore how incumbent firms can create and deliver circular value. To this end, this thesis first investigates factors impacting the development or adoption of circular oriented innovations by incumbent firms using a literature review and interviews. This leads to the development of a novel classification framework, based on the motivation, opportunity, and ability concepts. This investigation particularly highlights the importance of (1) stakeholders’ behaviours at the network level and (2) resources and capabilities at the organisational level. Therefore, this thesis then focuses on ways to temper the impact of both aspects on the creation and delivery of circular value. At the network level, the impact of stakeholders on circular supply chains is analysed using a case study. The findings of this case study suggest decreasing the firm’s dependence on specific partners and support further stakeholder engagement in supply chain (re)design. At the organisational level, methodological frameworks supporting incumbent firms in developing and adopting circular business models are identified and compared using a systematic review approach. While this analysis supports the utility of methodological frameworks in compensating for a lack of dynamic capabilities, it also underlines the lack of consistency among them and the lack of validation among suggested tools. It calls for further specifying the business model innovation strategy considered by a methodological framework and for more integration of existing processes and tools. Overall, the present thesis supports the importance of jointly considering business models and supply chains in organizational transition processes towards circularity. It underlines the strong dependence of circular business models on the development of robust circular supply chains. This calls for further integration of both concepts, for example through the use of a broader ecosystemic perspective.
Article
A visão sistêmica demonstra que tudo pode estar inter-relacionado, assim, diferentes objetos ou conceitos podem estar conectados em um mesmo sistema. Dessa forma, buscou-se conectar duas abordagens de consumo colaborativo: compartilhamento de itens e crowdshipping com a conservação de florestas tropicais sazonalmente secas. Para isso, foram feitas leituras que tratassem sobre essas temáticas. Através desse procedimento, pode-se perceber que, por meio da implementação de políticas públicas, moradores residentes nessas florestas poderiam explorar os recursos de forma sustentável, vendê-los e disseminar informações por meio de seus produtos para locais mais afastados através de pessoas que precisassem se deslocar para regiões mais distantes diariamente. Além disso, o compartilhamento de itens poderia se tornar mais acessível também para estes moradores. Com isso, teríamos a redução de gases do efeito estufa e a diminuição do uso de matéria-prima, colaborando com a atenuação de impactos ambientais e, consequentemente, com a conservação da floresta.
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The management of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) underperforms in the Brussels-Capital Region. This lower performance is partly related to the collection of such WEEE through unregistered channels. Using a relational approach, this study aims to understand the roles of WEEE management stakeholders. It reveals the existence of a market-based network, conflicting with the official network centralised around Recupel. It also highlights how the choices of consumers and retailers direct WEEE in either subnetwork. Based on these results, we suggest solutions to limit unregistered channels, either by further integrating the market-based subnetwork in the official one or by directing the behaviour of consumers’ and retailers.
Article
In this study, we analyse user preferences for a public transport based crowdshipping concept, where users carry parcels along on their ride. The concept offers potential economic, environmental and social benefits over other last-mile solutions. We set up a stated choice experiment in which respondents indicate whether they would be willing to bring a parcel along on their ride, while varying the number of parcels, their size, weight, the compensation and required extra time. Based on data from 524 public transport passengers in the Greater Copenhagen Area, we estimate a mixed logit model and find all main effects to be significant. Our results indicate that young(er) individuals, students and (to a lesser extent) employed and self-employed individuals are more likely to participate in the crowdshipping concept, while old(er) individuals (60 + ) are less willing to participate. Our findings further show that the marginal disutility of time spent retrieving and dropping off parcels is higher for old(er) respondents and individuals with high(er) income, while it is lower for individuals with a short-term education. Finally, we find the value of time to be slightly higher than the official Danish value for waiting time but lower than the value of travel time delay. Findings can inform the design of a crowdshipping system as well as related engagement efforts.
Conference Paper
Rapid advances on the technological sector have enabled the emergence of modern business models on e-marketplaces. In addition, on-demand e-marketplaces have become increasingly popular over the recent years, but there is little guidance on how to develop the respective business models in order to ensure the sustainability of such companies. The present paper is based upon the development and operation of an innovative on-demand warehousing e-marketplace in Greece as an one stop shop for on-demand warehousing services. The purpose of this paper is to identify the necessary components for developing a successful innovative business model for a viable and effective on-demand warehousing platform. The identification of value proposition of the proposed e-marketplace, the necessary business infrastructure and the customer interface are described, analyzed and adapted to the Greek Market. Furthermore, this paper describes also the cost structure and the revenue streams of the proposed on-demand warehousing e-marketplace.
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Purpose This study aims to review the literature on sharing economy logistics and crowd logistics to answer the three following questions: How is the literature on sharing economy logistics structured? What are the main trends in sharing economy logistics and crowd logistics? What are the future research options? Design/methodology/approach Bibliometric analysis is used to evaluate 85 articles published over the past 12 years; it identifies the top academic journals, authors and research topics contributing to the field. Findings The sharing economy logistics and crowd logistics literature is structured around several disciplines and highlights that some are more scientifically advanced than others in their subject definitions, designs, modelling and innovative solutions. The main trends are organized around three clusters: Cluster 1 refers to the optimal allocation of costs, prices, distribution and supplier relationships; Cluster 2 corresponds to business related crowdsourcing and international industry practices; and Cluster 3 includes the impact of transport on last-mile delivery, crowd shipping and the environment. Research limitations/implications The study is based on data from peer-reviewed scientific journals and conferences. A broader overview could include other data sources such as books, book chapters, working papers, etc. Originality/value Future research directions are discussed in the context of the evolution from crowd logistics to crowd intelligence, and the complexities of crowd logistics such as understanding how the social crowd can be integrated into the logistics process. Our results are part of the crowd science and engineering concept and provide some answers about crowd cyber-system questions regarding crowd intelligence in logistic sector.
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Green logistics has become a consensus and an important method to achieve sustainable development in industrial activities. However, the traditional direct distribution mode has high carbon emissions, an uncertain delivery time, and a low delivery efficiency. Uncoordinated resource allocations and unreasonable network layouts of terminal distributions have shackled green development within the express delivery industry. Considering the trend of green logistics, this study innovatively proposes a comprehensive and environmentally friendly mode for city distribution based on end crowdsourcing service stations (ECSSs). This study also adopts node centrality indices of complex network theory to evaluate the node importance of existing terminal distribution outlets. The comprehensive weights of the indices are obtained via the three-scale AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process) and TOPSIS (Technology for Order Preference by Similarity to an Ideal Solution) methods to identify the candidate nodes for ECSSs. Finally, a location model is built to determine the optimal location to establish the ECSSs. A real-world case study was conducted to provide the location scheme of ECSSs in Beijing, China. Environmental benefits as well as economic and social benefits can be substantially achieved through the implementation of the new mode. The results show that carbon emissions can be reduced by 23.79-28.49% for the end of the distribution, 16.27-16.35% for the front-end, and approximately 17% for the entire distribution. Additionally, the loading rate of vans for the front-end of the distribution can be improved by 15.77%.
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This exploratory paper contributes to a new body of research that investigates the potential of digital market places to disrupt transport and mobility services. We are specifically looking at the urban freight sector, where numerous app-based services have emerged in recent years. The paper specifically looks at ‘instant deliveries,’ i.e. services providing on-demand delivery within two hours – by either private individuals, independent contractors, or employees – by connecting consignors, couriers and consignees via a digital platform. The paper provides an overview of the main issues concerning instant deliveries, supported by data (including a survey of 96 courier delivery providers) and examples. After presenting a typology of companies (digital platforms) involved in ‘instant deliveries,’ we question in what way they transform the urban freight current patterns. We highlight four issues, discussing their potential to impact urban freight services and related policies in European cities: 1) Freight trips and data; 2) Business models; 3) Labor legislation and work conditions; and 4) Local public policies. We conclude by saying that predicting the medium-term consequences of these changes is difficult, but it is essential that city planning and policies take account of these developments and consider how planning and possibly regulation needs to be adapted to these new ways of doing things.
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Patterned on crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, a new crowd practice has emerged in recent years: crowd logistics. In this paper, we propose a first conceptualization of this growing phenomenon. Crowd logistics is a novel way of providing logistics services that taps into the dormant logistics resources and capabilities of individuals, using mobile applications and web-based platforms. Although crowd logistics has been widely discussed in the business world, it has not yet been the subject of any academic publication. Following an exploratory case study approach, we review the websites of 57 crowd logistics initiatives around the world and highlight the main distinctive characteristics of crowd logistics, as compared to traditional business logistics. We introduce a segmented analysis in which crowd logistics solutions are classified according to four types of service offered. Finally, we introduce six theoretical propositions on the future development of crowd logistics. At a theoretical level, our findings contribute to enriching the service-dominant logic perspective in the logistics field by conceptualizing the crowd as a co-creator of logistics value. At a managerial level, our findings contribute to identifying which types of crowd logistics services are more likely to threaten or disrupt traditional business.
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Growth in e-commerce has led to increasing use of light goods vehicles for parcel deliveries in urban areas. This paper provides an insight into the reasons behind this growth and the resulting effort required to meet the exacting delivery services offered by e-retailers which often lead to poor vehicle utilisation in the last-mile operation, as well as the duplication of delivery services in urban centres as competitors vie for business. A case study investigating current parcel delivery operations in central London identified the scale of the challenge facing the last-mile parcel delivery driver, highlighting the importance of walking which can account for 62% of the total vehicle round time and 40% of the total round distance in the operations studied. The characteristics of these operations are in direct conflict with the urban infrastructure which is being increasingly redesigned in favour of walking, cycling and public transport, reducing the kerbside accessibility for last-mile operations. The paper highlights other pressures on last-mile operators associated with managing seasonal peaks in demand; reduced lead times between customers placing orders and deliveries being made; meeting delivery time windows; first-time delivery failure rates and the need to manage high levels of product returns. It concludes by describing a range of initiatives that retailers and parcel carriers, sometimes in conjunction with city authorities, can implement to reduce the costs associated with last-mile delivery, without negatively impacting on customer service levels.
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'The last mile' is a phrase commonly used in a logistics and freight transport context to highlight the special characteristics and challenges in moving goods within urban areas in what is usually the last leg of a long freight transport chain. The last mile challenge often also involves changing mode of transport for that leg, categorizing the transport chain as intermodal. Although similar issues arise for passenger transport, integrated transport is more commonly used to highlight the need to change modes of transport for the last, or fi rst, section of a long-distance public transport journey. Although passenger and goods transport share the same infrastructure, predominantly in urban areas, they are largely seen as diff erent systems and remain separated. Thus wasting scarce resources and contributing to congestion and the 'last mile' problem. In this context, the aim of this paper is to synthesize the main issues related to the fi rst and last mile in freight and passenger transport and, based on that, to explore synergies between them in order to share the use of resources-based on time, space and vehicle. To this end, various examples of sharing resources for transport of passengers and freight are provided. The paper concludes that integrating passenger and freight transport in urban areas is a promising approach to easing the last mile problem. However, to advance operational integration of passenger and freight transport services, integration at the institutional and business levels of freight and passenger transport provision is required.
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How will logistics in cities be carried out in the midterm future? To answer this question an overview of different existing and emerging transport logistics operations is provided, the pros and cons of these different operations are set out. Based on these findings a partial qualitative systemic model is presented which shows how these operations are influenced by global and logistics trends on the one hand and by delivery service requirements on the other hand. Based on this model a vision of urban logistics in Europe in the year 2030 as well as the concept of “Post 4.0” is presented.
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PURPOSE Various types and implementations of crowdsourcing have emerged on the market; many of them are related to logistics. While we can identify plenty of crowd logistics applications using information technology capabilities and information sharing in practice, theories behind this phenomenon have received only limited attention. This paper accounts for filling this research gap by analyzing the crowd’s contributions in logistics of goods and information. Thereby, this paper aims to provide the necessary basis for a novel interdisciplinary research field DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH This paper is part of an ongoing research endeavor in the field of location-based crowdsourcing (LBCS). It represents conceptual work that builds on a literature review enriched with an in-depth analysis of real-world examples in the field of crowd logistics. Using a scoring method, we provide an example how a company may evaluate the alternatives of crowd logistics. The main approach is an analysis of variants of how the social crowd may be integrated in logistics processes. The work is conceptual in its core. Thereby, we use real-world examples of crowdsourcing applications to underpin the evaluated variants of crowd logistics. FINDINGS The paper presents relevant theoretical background on crowd logistics. We differentiate between variants of crowd logistics with their flow of materials, goods, and information. Thereby we zoom in the type, significance, and process flow of the crowd’s contributions. We discuss potential advantages and challenges of logistics with the performing crowd and deeply discuss opportunities and challenges from a business and from an individual’s perspective. Finally, we highlight a route map for future research directions in this novel interdisciplinary research field. RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS As this work is conceptual in its core, generalizations may be drawn only with great care. Still, we are in a position to propose a route map for further research in this area in this paper. Also the integration of an analysis of a scale of real-world applications allows us to highlight our research’s practical relevance and implications. ORIGINALITY/VALUE The main contribution of this paper is an in-depth analysis and consolidation of innovative crowd logistics applications in order to provide an overview on recent implementations. We propose a categorization scheme and contribute with a route map for further research in the field of crowd logistics.
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The trend towards shorter delivery lead-times reduces operational efficiency and increases transportation costs for internet retailers. Mobile technology, however, creates new opportunities to organize the last-mile. In this paper, we study the concept of crowdsourced delivery that aims to use excess capacity on journeys that already take place to make deliveries. We consider a peer-to-peer platform that automatically creates matches between parcel delivery tasks and ad-hoc drivers. The matching of tasks and drivers gives rise to a new variant of the dynamic pickup and delivery problem. We propose a rolling horizon framework and develop an exact solution approach to solve the various subproblems. In order to investigate the potential benefit of crowdsourced delivery, we conduct a wide range of computational experiments. The experiments provide insights into the viability of crowdsourced delivery under various assumptions about the environment and the behavior of the ad-hoc drivers. The results suggest that the use of ad-hoc drivers has the potential to make the last-mile more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly.
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The purchase and usage of a car comes at a cost for the owner, i.e. the Total Cost of Ownership, but also causes costs to society, i.e. external costs. Summing up the privately borne costs with the publicly borne costs results in the Total Cost for Society. To assess how ownership costs and external costs are currently balanced in the Total Cost for Society for different vehicle technologies, we present a persona-based analysis of the costs categories associated with the ownership and usage of electric and conventional cars within three passenger car segments. Six persona represent diverse driver profiles with different mobility patterns in Flanders (Belgium). We find that the balance between ownership costs and external costs is highly variable given the assumed persona, while for each persona the ranking between the vehicle technologies themselves does not vary much.
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There are two major issues in spatial crowdsourcing: travel route optimization and control policies. To address the two issues above, we introduce the concept of Pocket switch network (PSN) into the CD-system. First, we formulate a generalized optimization problem into three aspects of connectivity, profit and risk, motivated by the concepts in PSN. Afterward, these three aspects are mathematically described and optimized by a routing algorithm based on dynamic mobility and social graph. This algorithm consists of two parts: social graph extraction and social mobility based routing. Social graph learns the social knowledge of each patrician while social mobility based routing decides the leaving nodes of the passages according to their social graph. Finally, we evaluated the effectiveness and robustness of the proposed method on the realistic traces. The results demonstrated its superior performance in connectivity, profit, and risk.
Article
This paper demonstrates the potential benefits of crowdsourcing last mile delivery by exploiting a social network of the customers. The presented models and analysis are informed by the results of a survey to gauge people’s attitudes toward engaging in social network-reliant package delivery to and by friends or acquaintances. It is found that using friends in a social network to assist in last mile delivery greatly reduces delivery costs and total emissions while ensuring speedy and reliable delivery. The proposed new delivery method also mitigates the privacy concerns and not-at-home syndrome that widely exist in last mile delivery.
Article
In light of the rapid development in the e-commerce sector and the increasingly popular demand for same day delivery, this study evaluates the performance of an on-demand same day delivery (SDD) paradigm in terms of its transportation time cost, fuel cost, and emission cost. The performance is further evaluated by comparing among three delivery paradigms: hub-and-spoke, SDD with a commercial fleet, and SDD by crowdsourcing. Among the three service paradigms compared, hub-and-spoke proves to be cost-effective for the traditional distribution service provided by commercial carriers but ill-suited for providing same day delivery service. Commercial carriers are facing tremendous pressure in the era when same-day delivery service is increasingly expected. Crowdsourcing is a promising solution to providing low cost same day delivery service. Lastly, regardless of the delivery paradigm, the total cost goes down as the economy of scale increases; and SDD by crowdsourcing would become even more competitive when the demand ratio is very high; however, its fuel consumption and emissions tend to go up due to the additional vehicle detours to accommodate real time demand.
Article
Crowdshipping is a frontier in logistics systems designed to allow citizens to connect via online platforms and organize goods delivery along planned travel routes. The goal of this paper is to highlight the factors that influence the acceptability and preferences for crowdshipping. Through a survey using stated choice scenarios discrete choice models controlling for context and experience effects are specified. The results suggest that distinct preference patterns exist for distance classes of the shipment. In the local delivery setting, senders value transparency of driver performance monitoring along with speed, while longer shipments prioritize delivery conditions and driver training and experience. The model developed in this paper provides first key insights into the factors affecting preferences for goods delivery with occasional drivers.
Article
In urban logistics, the last-mile delivery from the warehouse to the consumer’s home has become more and more challenging with the continuous growth of E-commerce. It requires elaborate planning and scheduling to minimize the global traveling cost, but often results in unattended delivery as most consumers are away from home. In this paper, we propose an effective large-scale mobile crowd-tasking model in which a large pool of citizen workers are used to perform the last-mile delivery. To efficiently solve the model, we formulate it as a network min-cost flow problem and propose various pruning techniques that can dramatically reduce the network size. Comprehensive experiments were conducted with Singapore and Beijing datasets. The results show that our solution can support real-time delivery optimization in the large-scale mobile crowd-sourcing problem.
Article
We consider a setting in which a company not only has a fleet of capacitated vehicles and drivers available to make deliveries, but may also use the services of occasional drivers who are willing to make a single delivery using their own vehicle in return for a small compensation if the delivery location is not too far from their own destination. The company seeks to make all the deliveries at minimum total cost, i.e., the cost associated with its own vehicles and drivers plus the compensation paid to the occasional drivers. The option to use occasional drivers to make deliveries gives rise to a new and interesting variant of the classical capacitated vehicle routing problem. We design and implement a multi-start heuristic which produces solutions with small errors when compared with optimal solutions obtained by solving an integer programming formulation with a commercial solver. A comprehensive computational study provides valuable insight into the potential of using occasional drivers to reduce delivery costs, focusing primarily on the number and flexibility of occasional drivers and the compensation scheme employed.
Thesis
Although inevitable, urban traffic causes air pollution, noise pollution and congestion. Up to 20% of urban traffic is related to freight transport and service trips and, proportionally, it contributes more to the negative side-effects of urban traffic than passenger related traffic. Throughout the past few decades, a range of solutions to reduce the negative impact of urban freight transport have been researched, tested and implemented. Two possible solutions are: freight flow consolidation and off-hour deliveries. They have two things in common. First, despite the fact that it is generally accepted that there are considerable benefits to both solutions they seem to remain permanently promising and have not been widely adopted yet. Second, they require support of both public and commercial stakeholders to be successful in the long term. The purpose of this thesis is to identify feasible, consensual and successful applications of urban freight flow consolidation and off-hour deliveries. To reach that goal a twofold approach is adopted: (i) reassessing the generally accepted logic behind freight flow consolidation and off-hour deliveries as well as their impact and (ii) evaluating both concepts and/or their applications from the perspective of all stakeholders. One possible freight flow consolidation solution is to implement an Urban Consolidation Centre (UCC). A review of the available UCC impact assessment made me conclude that 87% of UCCs have a positive impact on the number of urban freight vehicle kilometres. However, this positive impact might have to partially be put down to the lack of high-quality urban freight data and the consequent too positive estimations. Despite the dominant attention for UCCs in the literature on urban freight flow consolidation, there are alternative approaches. This thesis identifies and categorizes them and cites existing, often small-scale examples. One possible alternative approach is to use a Mobile Depot for express deliveries and pick-ups. Evaluating this concept revealed that it decreases the amount of emitted pollutants and the number of diesel vehicle kilometres but doubles the operational costs for the express service provider. The thesis also demonstrates that there is no overall stakeholder support for a general shift of urban freight flows to off-hours in Belgium. There are, however, freight flows that are more suited than others to be shifted to off-hours. My research identifies these freight flows and characterizes them. Based on this research, one particularly suited freight flow would be supermarket deliveries. Evaluating a trial that took place in Brussels revealed that there are considerable time and fuel savings when deliveries to two supermarkets in Brussels are shifted to off-hours and that this solution would be able to receive overall stakeholder support when sufficient measures are taken to keep the noise nuisance for local residents to a minimum. Finally, the thesis contributes to the research field of urban freight transport by introducing the concept of stakeholder involvement in the evaluation of urban freight transport solutions by using Multi Actor Multi Criteria Analysis which is an evaluation tool that explicitly includes the goals and objectives of all stakeholders.
Article
The paper presents a case study of applying crowdsourcing to library deliveries. The trial was conducted in the city of Jyväskylä in Finland as part of the Resource Wise Communities program funded by The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. The city has a population of 120 000 inhabitants and is facing the shut-down of half of the public libraries in order to adapt its economy to lowered revenues and compulsory cost savings. The assumption was that the level of service for customers not able to settle for e-books would be lowered and/or customers would have to travel longer distances. However, a research pilot was carried out where –instead of lowering the level of service in the area– books and other library media were delivered to customers’ homes by utilizing a novel crowdsourced delivery service called PiggyBaggy.
Article
Since the 1960s, the number of commuters in the Brussels Capital Region has doubled: nowadays more than 400,000 workers commute in and out of Brussels on a daily basis. In order to preserve the liveability of the region in terms of mobility, environment and traffic safety, policy measures should be taken to reduce the number and/or distances of commuter trips. Telework is often suggested as an instrument to reduce the environmental and socio-economic impacts of mobility on society. Currently, the implementation of teleworking is however still rather limited and fragmental in most companies in Belgium. Goal of this paper is to assess whether further encouragement of telework is advisable from a sustainable mobility viewpoint. Based on Belgian survey data, an appraisal of the environmental and mobility related impacts of telework for companies located in the Brussels Capital Region is performed, using an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of telework. In order to quantify the effects, external costs of trips to the central headquarter office are compared to those of trips to decentralized satellite offices and those caused by additional distances travelled when teleworking at home. Modal shifts occurring between trips travelled to the central office and trips travelled to the satellite office are taken into account and play an important role in the overall impact on external transport costs. Also receptor density and congestion levels along the routes travelled are taken into account.
Conference Paper
Crowdsourcing is the use of large groups of individuals to perform tasks traditionally performed by employees or designated agents. For business process outsourcing (BPO) service providers, the crowd may represent a new way to reduce costs and increase efficiencies associated with labor-intensive services. The ability to connect with the crowd to get work done may also open up new possibilities for workers in rural or economically depressed areas, and those within emerging markets. It is unclear, however, what challenges a crowdsourced services business model creates for organizations. An exploratory case study examining the potential of the crowd as a source of on-demand labor for delivering labor-intensive BPO services reveals the key role of information technology in overcoming economic, technical, and social challenges. Five key challenges were ident