The parcel industry has undergone significant changes in recent years, primarily driven by the surge of e-commerce and new technologies.
The Physical Internet (PI) provides initiatives to optimize parcel flow and jointly address the industry’s economic, operational, social, and environmental sustainability issues. Encapsulating parcels in modular PI containers is a promising method to enhance efficiency by consolidating parcel flows which can increase vehicle capacity utilization, leading to significant cost and transit time reductions.
In a recent paper, researchers investigate the potential benefits of containerization in the parcel industry using simulation-based scenario designs and assessments. The results are evaluated across several performance facets, such as transport efficiency, handling operations, induced costs, and greenhouse gas emissions.
The simulation results focusing on the East Coast region of the USA demonstrated that containerization and tiered mesh networks lead to cost savings and efficient space utilization, with multiple container sizes and a mesh network approach being more effective. This approach also reduces driving time per leg, improving efficiency and driver well-being. In conclusion, the study offers conclusive remarks and suggests further research avenues in this domain.