Literature review: economic perspectives in sustainable last-mile logistics

In recent years, many cities worldwide have faced the impact of last-mile logistics and the resulting rise in urban traffic and pollution: these dynamics curbed the environmental effects. Urban traffic considerably impacts noise emissions, road safety, and air pollution. Hence, public and private parties shall undertake innovative solutions for reducing the negative effects of last-mile logistics and improving their operational effectiveness. A new study aims to provide a systematic literature review on environmentally sustainable last-mile logistics.

The main contributions of a new review paper are: exploring and analyzing the existing literature on last-mile logistics, with a focus on various types of sustainable measures implemented by companies, governments (mainly local), and supra-national institutions, clustering existing studies into five categories (i.e., agents’ preference and choices, shared logistics, stakeholders, studies on vehicles, and policy and decisions), clarifying the implications of the public economics analysis, and identifying the gaps and limitations of the existing literature and proposing potential issues for future research insights.

The literature review reveals that most recent studies have been based on engineering and urban planning approaches. The costs and benefits of last-mile logistics are researched with a public economics focus, gathering details from different papers, from business studies to technology-oriented ones. This study aims to detect the topics and policies discussed in the literature and suggests how to incorporate them in creating new measures and policies or revamping current ones. Although the initial corpus was 583, only 108 papers were ultimately chosen for the review since public economics studies were not thoroughly explored: following the results of this work, the topic has significant scope for further study.

Source: Bertolini, M.; De Matteis, G.; Nava, A. Economic Perspectives in Sustainable Last-Mile Logistics: A Systematic Literature Review. Preprints 2023, 2023121483.

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