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Quantifying environmental and financial benefits of using porters and cycle couriers for last-mile parcel delivery

McLeod, FN; Cherrett, TJ; Bektas, T; Allen, J; Martinez-Sykora, A; Lamas-Fernandez, C; Bates, O; ... Wise, S; + view all (2020) Quantifying environmental and financial benefits of using porters and cycle couriers for last-mile parcel delivery. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment , 82 , Article 102311. 10.1016/j.trd.2020.102311. Green open access

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Abstract

Parcel carriers face increasingly difficult operating conditions in busy metropolitan areas due to growing consumer demand for ever faster delivery services and having to cope with traffic congestion and city authority measures that may restrict or penalise access for certain types of vehicle. This paper evaluates the potential environmental and financial benefits of switching from traditional van-based deliveries to an alternative operating model, where porters or cycle couriers undertake deliveries supported by a substantially reduced van fleet. Results using a specially-developed algorithm to model operations of a real carrier in an area of central London, UK, suggested that the carrier could reduce CO2 emissions by 45%, NOx emissions by 33%, driving distance by 78% and curbside parking time by 45%. Overall cost savings to the carrier were estimated to be in the range 34–39%. Scaling up the modelled emissions savings to London’s Central Activities Zone, an area of approximately 30 km2 and with current total annual parcel delivery distance of around 15 million km, could see annual emissions savings in the region of 2 million kg CO2 and 1633 kg NOx if all carriers utilised porters or cycle couriers. The key operating challenges identified were related to sorting and consolidating items by weight and volume, parcel handover arrangements and how to deal with express items and failed deliveries.

Type: Article
Title: Quantifying environmental and financial benefits of using porters and cycle couriers for last-mile parcel delivery
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.trd.2020.102311
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trd.2020.102311
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Parcel delivery, Sustainable transport, Last-mile logistics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10101730
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