Characteristics and typology of last-mile logistics from an innovation perspective in an urban context
Faculty of Applied Economics
Lisbon , 2010
12th World Conference on Transport Research, Lisbon, 11-15/7/2010
University of Antwerp
Logistics are undergoing constant and increasingly rapid changes: when assessing the sector, ecological as well as sustainable issues are more and more taken into account. Firstly, the awareness of the need for sustainable innovative concepts for urban distribution, for example to deal with urban distribution externalities, is growing. Secondly, attention is paid more and more to one of the most important yet problematic parts of the supply chain: the last mile. In most cases, the last-mile part is the least efficient part of the supply chain due to the high degree of empty running. The last mile is ICT-sensitive and, as a result, a lot of capital investments need to be made also to bridge the last mile satisfactorily. Furthermore, basically the high degree of not-at-home deliveries implies extra (high) costs. In this article, innovative concepts for urban distribution and the last mile, that have significant positive impacts on logistics performance looking to economics as well as to the environment, will be identified. Those concepts can be technical as well as process-related. In the first part of the paper, the problematic nature of urban distribution and the last mile, will be described more in detail. Furthermore the different typologies to classify the different last mile delivery methods are shown. The focus in this article will be on the business-toconsumer (B2C) market. When assessing the B2C market, several innovative best practices can be mentioned, for example the introduction of collection points.