The growth in e‐commerce has led to increased pressure within the courier, express, and parcel (CEP) sector to tackle the ‘last‐mile’ issue and come up with solutions that not only satisfy the customers, but also other stakeholders such as city councils and other regulatory bodies. Scholars have highlighted micro‐hubs and the associated horizontal collaboration as a possible solution, which might help alleviate problems associated with last-mile logistics in cities.
However, trust and data exchange issues are considerable barriers to the introduction of horizontal collaboration, in particular between CEP carriers. To address the lack of trust and the issue of data exchange between carriers, the use of blockchain technology may present a solution, but existing research so far is limited concerning frameworks that specifically discuss blockchain technology in the context of micro‐hubs and last‐mile deliveries.
A paper by Hribernik et. al. presents a blockchain decision framework for a horizontal collaboration between CEP carriers based on key characteristics of existing blockchain decision models and relevant related research in the area of logistics and last‐mile distribution. This is the first study that specifically addresses the use of blockchain technology for horizontal collaboration in the context of micro‐hubs and last‐mile deliveries.
By developing a blockchain decision framework for a horizontal collaboration between CEP carriers in a micro‐hub environment, the contribution of this study is threefold: First, they expand existing research on horizontal collaboration in city logistics in particular in the context of CEPs and the relation to trust and inter‐organizational data exchange. Second, by linking current blockchain literature to the area of city logistics, they provide a theoretical foundation for further research into micro‐hubs and last‐mile deliveries. Third, by reviewing and using real‐world blockchain applications, their blockchain decision framework is practice-oriented, thereby aiming to spark discussions and projects among logistics and blockchain managers.
Source: Hribernik, M., Zero, K., Kummer, S., & Herold, D. M. (2020). City logistics: Towards a blockchain decision framework for collaborative parcel deliveries in micro-hubs. Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 8, 100274.