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Enabling the freight traffic controller for collaborative multi-drop urban logistics: practical and theoretical challenges

Enabling the freight traffic controller for collaborative multi-drop urban logistics: practical and theoretical challenges
Enabling the freight traffic controller for collaborative multi-drop urban logistics: practical and theoretical challenges
There is increasing interest into how horizontal collaboration between parcel carriers might help alleviate problems associated with last-mile logistics in congested urban centres. Through a detailed examination of parcel logistics literature pertaining to collaboration, along with practical insights from carriers operating in the UK, this paper examines the challenges that will be faced in optimising multi-carrier, multi-drop collection and delivery schedules. We propose the concept of the ‘Freight Traffic Controller’ (FTC) who would be a trusted third-party, assigned to equitably manage the work allocation between collaborating carriers and the passage of vehicles over the last mile where joint benefits to the parties were achievable. Creating this FTC requires a combinatorial optimisation approach to evaluate the many combinations of hub locations, network configuration and vehicle/walking routing options in order to find the true value of each potential collaboration, whilst at the same time, considering the traffic, social and environmental impacts of these activities. Cooperative game theory is a way to investigate the formation of collaborations (or coalitions) and our analysis identifies a significant shortfall in current applications of this theory to last-mile parcel logistics. Specifically, we identify that application of theory to urban freight logistics has, thus far, failed to account for critical concerns including: i) the mismatch of vehicle parking locations relative to actual delivery addresses; ii) the combination of deliveries with collections, the latter often being received in real-time during the round; and iii) the variability in travel times and route options due to traffic and road network conditions.
0361-1981
Allen, Julian
5a70d3a9-57ab-4f92-bd40-682e51aebfec
Bektas, Tolga
0db10084-e51c-41e5-a3c6-417e0d08dac9
Cherrett, Thomas
e5929951-e97c-4720-96a8-3e586f2d5f95
Friday, Adrian
d567d50d-bd9f-4be3-b693-6cacae6a8c5d
Mcleod, Fraser
93da13ec-7f81-470f-8a01-9339e80abe98
Piecyk, Maja
51273248-be60-42e5-ada6-093cfa9aa234
Piotrowska, Marzena
a8d8c328-1096-463c-ad98-f3262d5e5db9
Zaltz Austwick, Martin
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Allen, Julian, Bektas, Tolga, Cherrett, Thomas, Friday, Adrian, Mcleod, Fraser, Piecyk, Maja, Piotrowska, Marzena and Zaltz Austwick, Martin (2017) Enabling the freight traffic controller for collaborative multi-drop urban logistics: practical and theoretical challenges Transportation Research Record (doi:10.3141/2609-09).

Allen, Julian, Bektas, Tolga, Cherrett, Thomas, Friday, Adrian, Mcleod, Fraser, Piecyk, Maja, Piotrowska, Marzena and Zaltz Austwick, Martin (2017) Enabling the freight traffic controller for collaborative multi-drop urban logistics: practical and theoretical challenges Transportation Research Record (doi:10.3141/2609-09).

Record type: Article

Abstract

There is increasing interest into how horizontal collaboration between parcel carriers might help alleviate problems associated with last-mile logistics in congested urban centres. Through a detailed examination of parcel logistics literature pertaining to collaboration, along with practical insights from carriers operating in the UK, this paper examines the challenges that will be faced in optimising multi-carrier, multi-drop collection and delivery schedules. We propose the concept of the ‘Freight Traffic Controller’ (FTC) who would be a trusted third-party, assigned to equitably manage the work allocation between collaborating carriers and the passage of vehicles over the last mile where joint benefits to the parties were achievable. Creating this FTC requires a combinatorial optimisation approach to evaluate the many combinations of hub locations, network configuration and vehicle/walking routing options in order to find the true value of each potential collaboration, whilst at the same time, considering the traffic, social and environmental impacts of these activities. Cooperative game theory is a way to investigate the formation of collaborations (or coalitions) and our analysis identifies a significant shortfall in current applications of this theory to last-mile parcel logistics. Specifically, we identify that application of theory to urban freight logistics has, thus far, failed to account for critical concerns including: i) the mismatch of vehicle parking locations relative to actual delivery addresses; ii) the combination of deliveries with collections, the latter often being received in real-time during the round; and iii) the variability in travel times and route options due to traffic and road network conditions.

Text ENABLING THE FREIGHT TRAFFIC CONTROLLER FOR COLLABORATIVE MULTI DROP URBAN LOGISTICS - PRACTICAL AND THEORETICAL CHALLENGES revised - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 13 January 2018.

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 13 April 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 25 July 2017
Organisations: Decision Analytics & Risk, Transportation Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 410680
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/410680
ISSN: 0361-1981
PURE UUID: cb72329b-5f32-49e5-a87b-8f624e7fdd1a
ORCID for Tolga Bektas: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0634-144X
ORCID for Fraser Mcleod: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5784-9342

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Jun 2017 09:21
Last modified: 14 Nov 2017 17:31

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Contributors

Author: Julian Allen
Author: Tolga Bektas ORCID iD
Author: Thomas Cherrett
Author: Adrian Friday
Author: Fraser Mcleod ORCID iD
Author: Maja Piecyk
Author: Marzena Piotrowska
Author: Martin Zaltz Austwick

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