City logistics challenges require logistics companies to adopt logistics solutions to minimize these negative impacts and increase the efficiency of logistics activities and use urban consolidation centers (UCCs). Electric vehicles (EVs) are a popular and widely adopted initiative.
The purpose of research by Duy Nguyen was to analyze and evaluate the benefits in terms of operational, environmental, and social aspects of using UCCs and EVs in urban areas. DPD London (UK) case study was analyzed with an urban micro-depot – a mini UCC – in the Westminster area and three types of EVs operating here, which replaced diesel vans trunking goods from a suburban depot to micro-depot, then deliver them to customers in the area.
Through a mixed-method research design, the research analyzed quantitative data collected from in-depth interviews with the micro-depot manager, drivers, and public sources and combined with content analysis of qualitative data from surveys with micro-depot drivers.
The findings indicate that the new logistics system could bring substantial benefits compared to the previous model, particularly with the reduction of total distance, time traveled, and CO2 emissions per parcel and the decrease of noise pollution and accidents from freight transport. Nevertheless, the results also showed a trade-off between these benefits with the increase of the number of drivers, number of vehicles, and salary cost per parcel.
Another important conclusion pointed out that the transferability of the DPD current logistics system has potential. However, there were still certain limitations, which could cause business risks. These points should be addressed in the future. The research also gives recommendations to deal with the negative characteristics and increase the ability to transfer the model to other cities, countries, or other businesses, including using a smaller version of the model with mobile micro-hubs and bike cargo, investing in charging infrastructure to encourage using EVs, etc.
Photo: DPD UK