Sustainable Last-mile Solutions:Urban Freight Consolidation and Eco-routing Strategies
“Last-mile” concerns the delivery process from the warehouse to the final consumers in metropolitan areas. Most urban areas have witnessed higher frequency of deliveries and larger quantities of freight shipments coming from, bound to or transiting through the regions. Increase in urban freight traffic significantly contributes to congestion and environmental problems (e.g., emissions and noise). There is a strong need for studying and implementing viable urban freight strategies to minimize truck traffic in congested areas. This research work examines the effectiveness of urban freight solutions jointly in terms of air pollutant emissions, energy use, and logistics costs at different decision levels. Specifically, two types of urban freight strategies are considered in this research, i.e. urban freight consolidation and vehicle routing. The former represents a tactical level investigation and the latter an operational level one. An analytical framework is developed to quantifies the effects of conflicting factors and trade-offs among various objectives intended for in urban consolidation schemes, which is especially suited for analyses with limited data in freight and logistics studies.