Quantifying environmental and financial benefits of using porters and cycle couriers for last-mile parcel delivery

McLeod, F.N. and Cherrett, T.J. and Bektas, T. and Allen, J. and Martinez-Sykora, A. and Lamas-Fernandez, C. and Bates, O. and Cheliotis, K. and Friday, A. and Piecyk, M. and Wise, S. (2020) Quantifying environmental and financial benefits of using porters and cycle couriers for last-mile parcel delivery. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 82: 102311. ISSN 1361-9209

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Parcel carriers face increasingly difficult operating conditions in busy metropolitan areas due to growing consumer demand for ever faster delivery services and having to cope with traffic congestion and city authority measures that may restrict or penalise access for certain types of vehicle. This paper evaluates the potential environmental and financial benefits of switching from traditional van-based deliveries to an alternative operating model, where porters or cycle couriers undertake deliveries supported by a substantially reduced van fleet. Results using a specially-developed algorithm to model operations of a real carrier in an area of central London, UK, suggested that the carrier could reduce CO 2 emissions by 45%, NOx emissions by 33%, driving distance by 78% and curbside parking time by 45%. Overall cost savings to the carrier were estimated to be in the range 34–39%. Scaling up the modelled emissions savings to London's Central Activities Zone, an area of approximately 30 km 2 and with current total annual parcel delivery distance of around 15 million km, could see annual emissions savings in the region of 2 million kg CO 2 and 1633 kg NOx if all carriers utilised porters or cycle couriers. The key operating challenges identified were related to sorting and consolidating items by weight and volume, parcel handover arrangements and how to deal with express items and failed deliveries.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 82, 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.trd.2020.102311
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? last-mile logisticsparcel deliverysustainable transportbinary alloyscarbon dioxidenitrogen oxidescurbside parkingfinancial benefitslast milemetropolitan areamodeling operationoperating conditiontraffic congestioncarbon dioxidecarbon emissioncost-benefit a ??
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Deposited On:
12 May 2020 10:35
Last Modified:
14 Apr 2024 00:46