Last-mile logistics research: a systematic review of literature

Coincident with the rapid growth of omnichannel retailing, growing urbanization, changing consumer behavior, and increasing focus on sustainability, academic interest in the area of last mile logistics has significantly increased. The influx of research spans multiple disciplines and various methodologies, underlining the complexity and fragmentation of last-mile logistics research, which leads to a lack of unity in the understanding of the concept. 

Researchers from Lund University Sweden provide a systematic review and classification of the literature to provide a more coherent view of last-mile logistics research. Their review covers 155 peer-reviewed journal publications focusing on last-mile logistics. Findings demonstrate that the literature embraces a diversity of aspects and facets that are classified into five themes:

  1. emerging trends and technologies
  2. operational optimization
  3. supply chain structures
  4. performance measurement
  5. policy.

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Further, the researchers propose a framework of last-mile logistics literature that comprises five components and their interrelationships, namely, last-mile logistics, last-mile distribution, last-mile fulfillment, last-mile transport, and last-mile delivery. The results provide a foundation for further development of this research area by proposing avenues for future research.

Source: Olsson, J.; Hellström, D.; Pålsson, H. Framework of Last Mile Logistics Research: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Sustainability 2019, 11, 7131.

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