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Urban Goods Delivery
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.
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.
Before the pandemic, Urbanism Next developed a framework organizing the disruptions to cities caused by emerging transportation technologies on land use, urban design, building design, transportation, and real estate. COVID-19 has disrupted the trajectory of these emerging technologies and will, in turn, change some our original assumptions. This paper revisits the original Urbanism Next framework, taking into account the cascading impacts of the pandemic. This report is one of two reports completed by Urbanism Next on the impacts of Covid-19.
How is the COVID-19 pandemic changing urban living? In this paper, we explore the landscape of COVID-19 disruptions to date on land use and real estate, urban design, building design, transportation, e-commerce and retail, and goods delivery. We also highlight the longer-term questions and potential ongoing impacts COVID-19 might have on the built environment.
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.
With the rapid growth of ride-hailing services, e-commerce and on-demand deliveries, demand for curb space has increased in urban areas.
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.
The purpose of this study is to go beyond cataloging pilot projects to determine the lessons learned, emerging trends and considerations, and examples of promising practices from pilot projects in the United States and Canada. Researchers assessed 220 pilot projects and 11 case studies. Based on that assessment, they recommend 10 actions for pilot projects generally. The study resulted in 31 lessons learned organized by pilot goals, evaluation, implementation, outcomes, and policy and infrastructure implications.
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 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.
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.
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.
"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."
Between 1998 and 2005, employment in the U.S. warehousing industry grew at a compound annual growth rate of 22.23%, and the number of establishments increased at compound annual growth rate of 9.48%. Over this same period of time, the price for transportation fuels increased dramatically and became much more volatile. In this paper we examine the microeconomic and macroeconomic forces that have enabled such rapid growth in the warehousing industry. We also analyze structural change through employment and warehouse construction starts data and show that a new breed of warehouse has emerged – the mega distribution center, or mega DC.
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.
"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. "
This report compares and analyzes the "relative advantages and disadvantages of autonomous and connected large trucks relative to light-duty vehicles."
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.
"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."
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.
This paper examines the suburbanization of warehousing and trucking activity within US metropolitan areas between the 1980s and the present using Gini indices as a measure of concentration. While historical work exists on the relocation of transportation and warehousing activity to suburban locations, there has been little to document the most recent shifts in warehousing and logistics. This research does so via spatial analysis of Economic Census data, finding that while most US metropolitan areas have experienced decentralization in the spatial distribution of freight-related activity, there is also some growth in core counties, indicating that a more complex process is going on than simple suburbanization.
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."
This article looks at how "retailers are honing their distribution center strategy to meet current e-commerce demands.
"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.
Uber Eats will now deliver food to customers in the most unexpected of places—restaurants. The food delivery and pick-up app's "Dine-in" feature is now being pilot-tested in Dallas, Austin, Phoenix and San Diego, according to an Uber spokesperson.
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.
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.
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.
Autonomous trucking is coming faster than expected—perhaps within five years, according to panelists at the Transportation Research Board’s 96th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Drones, for the last few years, have been viewed as the future of last-mile delivery for a variety of organizations ranging from 3PLs to hospitals. Amazon has applied for a waiver with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that, if approved, would allow the retailer to begin drone delivery in the United States.
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