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When the COVID-19 pandemic first swept across North America and led to emergency shutdowns during the Spring of 2020, the way people acquired food and household necessities was dramatically impacted. As stay-at-home orders minimized personal travel, transit services were reduced and many stores and restaurants either closed or modified their operations. Some of the gaps were able to be filled by online retailers and delivery services. However, access to goods and services varied substantially depending on people’s age, income level, and physical ability. A new multi-university study funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the U.S. DOT- funded university transportation headquartered at Portland State University, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) captured how households responded as local, state, and federal governments imposed and lifted restrictions, brick-and-mortar establishments closed and reopened, and e-commerce and delivery services adjusted to the changing conditions.
McKinsey partners and industry experts discuss the future expansion of parcel delivery using drone technology.
COVID Mobility Works is an independent platform dedicated to collecting, synthesizing and sharing mobility initiatives that are keeping the world moving during the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of this platform is to help policymakers, innovators, researchers and advocates rise to the challenge of creating more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable transportation systems for all.
Modal race between different freight transport modes, which must include at least one cargo bike or trike. An origin, destination, time of the day and cargo weight are set. Each participant loads the cargo and starts travelling at the same time. Each one must carry a chronometer and there will be independent supervisors timing the participants as well. When arriving at the set destination, travel time is recorded for each participant and compared. Modelling costs, pollutant and GHG emissions, as well as predicted travel time, is useful to show additional benefits of using micromobility for freight transport. Using mobile apps to show positions in real time and streaming can also help the activity be more engaging and attractive.
"The advent of automated driving technology is poised to transform the trucking industry in the years and decades to come, but it is clear that autonomous trucks will not be ready to handle all driving tasks and conditions anytime soon. Instead, the developers of this technology are working to build a future where drivers and automation work hand in hand to transport freight more safely and efficiently."
The trucking industry is expected to be an early adopter of self-driving technology which could have a major impact on the truck-driving profession.
This report merges analyses of distribution models, consumer behavior, data, and insight from trucking industry experts to advise on shifting retail logistics and supply chains. It will provide trucking industry stakeholders with a better understanding of how to adapt to the opportunities and challenges of e-commerce.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approved the first drone flight beyond the operator's line of sight as part of a joint program with the University of Arizona Fairbanks.
While consumers have been making more sustainable choices in the physical retail environment, these habits have not translated as well into the digital shopping environment.
UPS has received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate a “drone airline” which will first be used to build a drone delivery network for hospital campuses around the US.
Emerging delivery drone technology raises questions and concerns about privacy, liability, and noise levels. There are few legal precedents or existing laws based specifically on drones.
Common carrier locker systems are a way to provide secure, high density delivery locations in public spaces while improving delivery drivers’ efficiency. The University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab conducted a pilot project of this locker system in the Seattle Municipal Tower.
IMARC Group analyzes the growing trend of online food ordering and delivery. Their report provides a macro overview of the market to micro details of the industry performance, recent trends, and key market drivers and challenges.
Postmates gained approval to begin testing delivery robots in San Francisco.
Current availability of technology and FAA regulations mean that, contrary to e-commerce company announcements, drones aren't able to deliver packages by air.
Amazon announced plans to launch a Prime Air delivery drone, "a hybrid aircraft that’s capable of vertical takeoff and landing as well as sustained forward flight."
This article questions the common assumptions that delivery drones would be more efficient, cost less and be better for the environment.
This report studies curb use at five typical locations in Greater Downtown Seattle to understand how cities can effectively manage curb access.
Across the U.S. growing eCommerce is resulting in increasing deliveries, most of which are inefficient and negatively affect the community. This report is the first in a series that analyzes the opportunities, challenges, and innovations related to eCommerce delivery.
Cargo drones are an emerging delivery technology that range in sizes from single item delivery capacities to plane-sized drones.
Zipline, the drone-delivery startup that sends medical supplies to hospitals in Rwanda, has expanded into Ghana and has plans to continue into India and North Carolina.
Zipline is a drone-delivery startup that delivers medical supplies, including blood, rabies vaccines and antivenom, to thousands of hard-to-reach health clinics in Rwanda and Ghana.
Meal delivery service Uber Eats unveiled the design for its delivery drone. Uber Eats hopes to use the drones for meal deliveries by next summer.
Food delivery service Postmates is building delivery robots to reduce reliance on vehicles. This endeavor faces many of the same challenges as autonomous vehicles, such as safety and public perception.
The United States Parcel Service (UPS) wants to expand its Flight Forward program to include private home drone delivery service.
The Federal Aviation Administration awarded the United Parcel Service certification to use drones for delivery on medical campuses. This came after a year of working together on the terms of the certification.
As e-commerce grows, the quantity of packages being delivered to apartment buildings has become overwhelming. Some owners and developers have begun planning for this by increasing the capacity of package rooms and investing in delivery notification services.
This article considers if utilizing drones for goods delivery is more efficient than traditional truck delivery, but it depends on the source of energy and size of the delivery.
A podcast discussing the history and future of UberEats. It explores their relationships with restaurants and customers, and how they use data to improve their service.
This article examines the relationship between urban form and vehicle miles travelled, especially as it relates to last mile goods delivery and greenhouse gas emissions.
Target announced that customers can place an online order for delivery if their order is over $35 for a flat delivery fee of $9.99, or for free if they are a member of Shipt.
Amazon announced that it will make one-day shipping the standard for all Prime members. This move pressures other retailers like Target and Walmart to keep up with consumers' delivery expectations.
This website is a resource for consumer habits and economic trends in the restaurant industry in the U.S.
“The growth in e-commerce is driving up demand for smaller industrial spaces nearer to cities so fulfillment firms can quickly get their products to customers, but it remains to be seen if fulfillment centers will start operating in suburban neighborhoods.”
Food delivery has become increasingly popular in China and is generating millions of tons of food packaging waste. Through the use of food delivery apps, ordering food online has become cheap and convenient.
The growth of online shopping has increased packaging waste, especially cardboard boxes from apartment builds and residences as more consumers receive products directly to their homes.
The increasing popularity of online shopping is causing more package deliveries to apartment buildings than the building can handle. New apps, services and building lobby designs are attempting to manage this issue.
Online shopping is making congestion worse by adding endless delivery trucks to cities that are not designed to handle the rising number of daily deliveries.
This website serves as a guide to how e-commerce has affected industrial real estate and building design.
One-day and same-day deliveries are causing companies to need warehouse space closer to the dense urban areas they are serving. However, this land is scarce, expensive and involves a long development process.
Amazon’s shipping network has been increasing rapidly over the past decade which has led to severe working conditions for their thousands of employees around the world, especially during events like “Prime Day.”
With the rise of e-commerce, Americans are demanding more deliveries. However, with declining warehouse availability, congested streets and limited curb access, the U.S.’s infrastructure may not be able to handle the increasing demand.
“Retailers and logistics firms are establishing warehouses closer to large urban centers to keep up with rising consumer demand for faster delivery of products ordered online.”
Logistics development company Prologis has built the first multi-story industrial warehouse in the U.S. just south of Seattle. Other multi-story warehouses have been planned or proposed in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles as growing e-commerce demands faster deliveries.
“Industrial real estate analysts say that in recent years, an increasing number of massive distribution centers have popped up in response to growing e-commerce.”
The Teamsters labor union wrote UPS an 83 page document outlining demands to ban UPS from using drones or driverless vehicles. UPS must balance these demands with growing competition for the package delivery industry and the flexibility it requires to remain competitive.
The invention of the internet introduced a new typology to the marketplace, the online retailer. Omnichannel retail strategies - where a retailer operates through both physical locations and online sales - have become a necessity in today’s market.
Today, warehouses are transforming into massive “mega-distribution centers” located in increasingly suburban areas. However, the rapid delivery expectations of E-commerce will also perpetuate the need for a network of local, smaller-scale supply points.
This article examines the increasingly high demand for same-day and two day delivery and what customers are willing to do to get it.
"Thanks to a literature review, interviews of the players of the French CEP sector and urban parcel delivery sector, as well as comparisons with other European countries, this article analyzes the sector's changes, its drivers, and provides an accurate picture, based on examples and figures, of an under-studied sector. The article also highlights some future prospects for the new segment such as the segment's consolidation and the rise of cross-border e-commerce."
Chinese companies are going all-out on unmanned systems for delivery logistics. A fleet of new autonomous cargo drones, robotic trucks, and quadcopters are private-sector developments that are making China a future world leader in robotics.
This white paper will discuss the non-technological trends logistics managers much know and then will hone in on the technologies that will impact the logistics in 2018.
A synopsis of how Walmart plans to increase services and capacity in order to continue to compete with Amazon.
This report includes information on the first of many research tasks planned for the partnership between SDOT and the Urban Freight Lab. This is the first assessment in any American city of the privately-owned and operated elements of the Final 50 Feet of goods delivery supply chains. These include private truck freight bays and loading docks, delivery policies and operations within buildings located in Center City.
The news talks about Amazon expand their warehouses (and other facilities) across 382 metropolitan areas in US and how the supply chain may impact local development.
To gain a deeper understanding of retailers’ focus, concerns and investment plans, Zebra conducted a global research study across a wide spectrum of retail segments, including: specialty stores, department stores, apparel merchants, supermarkets, electronics, home improvement and drugstore chains. The results of this study are shared in this 2017 Retail Vision Study.
"This research analyzed the competitiveness of freight tricycles, low- capacity freight delivery vehicles, as compared with diesel vans in urban areas. Freight tricycles, also known as electric-assisted trikes, are low- emission vehicles powered by a combination of human effort and an electric engine. This research developed a cost model that incorporated vehicle ownership and operation models as well as logistics constraints such as time windows, cargo capacity, fuel consumption, and energy use. Unlike previous research efforts, the model was tailored to the unique characteristics of freight tricycles and diesel van deliveries in urban areas. The model was used to analyze the competitiveness of freight tricycles against diesel- powered delivery vans. "
The expansion of delivery services is expanding each day with the use of new technology. In this article, we see how a new app can give delivery drivers access to your trunk to leave packages, an option that is created to eliminate the need to leave packages on your doorstep if security concerns you.
Target acquires delivery service Shipt for $550 million, this article explains how its going and how they match up to other delivery options.
In an effort to keep up with competitor Amazon, Walmart partners with delivery company Postmastes to offer same-day grocery delivery to more US households.
It seems that drones are the future of delivery. Now, there's evidence that this outcome could have a positive effect on our energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions.
Deaths and devastating injuries. A litany of labor violations. Drivers forced to urinate in their vans. Here is how Amazon’s gigantic, decentralized, next-day delivery network brought chaos, exploitation, and danger to communities across America.
The full story of autonomous vehicles is yet to be written. We created four scenario planning stories that explain how cities could shape the driverless future: tap taxi to tackle isolation, weaving a microtransit mesh, a human touch on robot delivery, reprogramming bus, bikes and barriers.
"In this paper, we present a project in Munich, Germany, where the last mile package delivery is carried out by a CEP company by cargo bikes and eBikes. To this end, two containers and one truck-trailer are placed in the city center which function as depot stations for the parcels to be delivered nearby. We analyze the delivery data, present an optimization scheme for finding suitable container locations, and simulate the routes conducted by cargo bikes for an average day. It can be concluded that the presented approach is a feasible solution for the package delivery in densely populated cities. The vehicle mileage covered by diesel trucks per day is significantly reduced from 180 km to 45 km, approximately."
The questionable acquisition of Jet.com by Walmart last year has seemed to pay off, this article explains the purchase and their success since.
Amazon agreed to buy the upscale grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.4 billion, in a deal that will instantly transform the company that pioneered online shopping into a merchant with physical outposts in hundreds of neighborhoods across the country.
Meal-delivery companies are the ultimate symbol of the most powerful force in business today: convenience maximalism. But it comes with ethical, ecological, and economic costs.
Trikes can be a major competitor in the CDB delivery market as it can navigate bike lanes and be parked more freely.
"This document is for city administrations, national policy makers, and anyone considering a move to employ cycle logistics. It outlines the major learning points and success factors, and sets out nine recommendations for the most successful implementation. The project demonstrated that e-bikes were popular, efficient, reliable and – above all – saved money compared to the motorized alternative. Most of the participants were so impressed, they are continuing or expanding their use of e-bikes, after the project end-point."
"As e-commerce grows as a percentage of total retail sales, consumers are choosing delivery options with shorter delivery cycles. Not only does this mean that Amazon Prime customers (65 million subscribers in September 2016) can choose Prime Now two-hour deliveries for some high-volume items, it means other retailers are offering same-day deliveries, as are some package delivery companies (United Parcel Service [UPS], Federal Express [FedEx], and United States Postal Service [USPS]) in certain cities. This report reviews how express delivery services now operate, how they are regulated, and how they may affect the state’s transportation system."
There's a good reason Walmart, Kroger, and other supermarket chains are rapidly building out their online grocery options: Amazon.com is running away with the category, and as more grocery shopping moves online, it may develop an impenetrable lead over the competition.
JD.com is an example of what companies may look like in the future of automation. This article talks about how their company, shipping 200,000 orders a day, operates in this new age.
"Completing urban freight deliveries is increasingly a challenge in congested urban areas, particularly when delivery trucks are required to meet time windows. Depending on the route characteristics, Electric Assist (EA) cargo bicycles may serve as an economically viable alternative to delivery trucks. The purpose of this paper is to compare the delivery route cost trade-offs between box delivery trucks and EA cargo bicycles that have the same route and delivery characteristics, and to explore the question, under what conditions do EA cargo bikes perform at a lower cost than typical delivery trucks?"
The aim of this paper is to make an overview of the business models of the companies developing AVs for Last-Mile Delivery (LMD) of goods and to find out what is the attitudes of the online customers towards using AVs for delivery of their goods.
Nuro, now a part of Waymo, released an autonomous driving grocery delivery service in Scottsdale. The partnership with Fry's grocery charges customers only $6 for delivery and will have two available vehicles on the streets for deliveries.
Like most other industries, transportation and logistics (T&L) is currently confronting immense change; and like all change, this brings both risk and opportunity. New technology, new market entrants, new customer expectations, and new business models. In this paper we discuss four key areas of disruption logistics companies need to focus on now, and explore some possible futures of the industry.
Amazon.com Inc. has agreed to take space in a first-of-its-kind three-story warehouse, a new type of distribution center that could reduce delivery times in congested cities to hours rather than days. While common in densely-populated Asian and European cities, modern warehouses with multiple floors have been absent until recently in the U.S., where higher land and construction costs deterred developers. But now that more retailers are racing to deliver more same-day packages, developers are starting to build the multistory fulfillment centers needed to speed delivery in congested cities.
In theory, e-commerce can be greener than a bunch of shoppers making personal trips in their own cars: Consolidating products and delivering them on one route to a bunch of homes requires fewer miles on the road. However, that calculus changes significantly if items are coming from further away and have to be sent immediately, which creates fewer opportunities for lumping deliveries together.
The quintessential college experience of getting pizza delivered to your dorm room is about to get a high-tech upgrade. Starship Technologies announced its plan to deploy thousands of its autonomous six-wheeled delivery robots on college campuses around the country over the next two years.
Smartphone data from riders and drivers schlepping meals for restaurant-to-home courier service Deliveroo shows that bicycles are faster than cars. In towns and cities, bicyclists are also often faster than motorized two-wheelers.
This paper is focused on the analysis of the four Italian pilots, three in Genoa and one in Milan, highlighting the peculiarities of each one and investigating the data collected in the 12 months test. Each pilot represents a specific and well defined case study. The data used for the elaboration of this paper have been collected by pilot companies and, for the Italian pilots, elaborated by Poliedra – Politecnico di Milano.
"This chapter firstly approaches these questions from the historical perspective of in-house logistics, as this provides a clear understanding of companies’ motivations for implementing driverless transport systems and the individual experience of company decision-makers’. Using case studies from the field of logistics and freight transport, this chapter will examine current fields of application and, wherever possible, the navigation and safety concept required for autonomous driving as well as control. Moreover, it will outline specific use cases for freight transport."
In an era dominated by ongoing urbanization and rising e-commerce, the efficient delivery of goods within cities becomes a major challenge. As a new element of urban logistics, we discuss the potential of autonomous unmanned ground vehicles (AUGV) regarding the last mile delivery of shipments to customers. We propose an optimization model to minimize the delivery costs of urban shipments using AUGV. Simultaneously, best locations from a set of existing stations are selected for AUGV positioning and optimal route determination. With our developed Location Routing Problem, we provide decision support for parcel service providers, city authorities, and other relevant decision makers. Regarding the Green Information Systems domain, we tackle the lack of solution-oriented research addressing a more sustainable and locally emission free supply of goods within urban areas.
“Zombie malls,” as they are known, are increasingly dotting the suburban landscape. The lights are on, the escalators keep moving, but their purpose in life has gone. Burlington Center has less than 20 tenants — including a Sears and a Foot Locker — but once had more than 100.
As retail went digital, the idea was, physical space would become redundant. But while pivoting to a new digital paradigm hasn’t been easy, the retail industry’s ability to adapt has been notable and impressive. In fact, as cities grow and new hordes of consumers flock to establish themselves in urban communities, opportunities for innovation are emerging that suggest brick-and-mortar may be the pillar of a new retail era." This article primarily talks about the urbanization and the consumer, and the rebirth of brick-and-mortar.
While the U.S. online food-delivery market continues to burn hot, data from KeyBanc suggests growth in restaurants offering the service may be slowing. That could limit the whole sector’s long-term growth, as restaurant selection is key to consumer adoption of delivery apps.
This report aims to pull back Amazon’s cloak of invisibility, it shows how the company’s tightening grip is stifling competition, eroding jobs, and threatening communities - it presents new data; draws on interviews with dozens of manufacturers, retailers, and others; and synthesizes a broad body of previous reporting and scholarship.
This study looks at the potential for a shift away from curb use focused on street parking to more flexible allocation that includes pick-up and drop-off zones for passengers and freight. It presents the results of quantitative modelling of alternative curb-use scenarios and discusses their relative efficiency, contribution to wider policy objectives and implications on city revenues. The work builds on a workshop held in September 2017, and outreach to numerous experts. It also provides insights from a modeling exercise to quantify the impact of re-allocating curb space from parking to pick up and drop off zones.
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