Road congestion, air pollution and sustainability are increasingly important in major cities. UK researchers looked to understand how last-mile deliveries in the parcel sector are impacting our roads. Using formative field work and quantitative analysis of consignment manifests and location data, they identified how the effectiveness of life-style couriers is contributing to both environmental and non-environmental externalities.
Their paper presents an analysis of delivery performances and practices in last-mile logistics in central London, quantifying the impacts differing levels of experience have on overall round efficiency. We identify eleven key opportunities for technological support for last-mile parcel deliveries that could contribute to both driver effectiveness and sustainability; e.g. vehicle scheduling decisions, on-route vehicle navigation decisions, picking the best stopping point, decisions about what to do when no-one is available to receive delivery and optimizing walking routes.
They finish by examining how Human Computer Interaction (HCI) can lead to improved environmental and social justice by re-considering and realizing future collaborative visions in last-mile logistics.
Bates, O., Friday, A., Allen, J., Cherrett, T., McLeod, F., Bektas, T., … & Davies, N. (2018, April). Transforming last-mile logistics: Opportunities for more sustainable deliveries. In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (p. 526). ACM.