Robust Optimal Last Mile Logistics

Project: Research

Project Details


Last mile logistics (LML) is the final delivery step of goods from distribution centers and supply terminals to end customers. LML is characterized by medium to low size of goods delivered and strict customer requirements on delivery time window. In LML, transportation is traditionally carried on through the road network inside urban areas that are highly congested during peak hours and causing a high level of particles, noise, and carbon (di)oxide emissions. For example, in 2018, drivers in Moscow, London, and Bogota lost on average at least 210 hours in congestion. The primary transportation mode used is via vans and medium-size trucks. In LML planning, the main issue for logistics providers is how to meet the customers' requirements on time at the lowest possible cost while satisfying the environmental restrictions imposed by municipalities and authorities. Several ideas have been proposed in practice and literature to tackle the significant challenges in LML. These include using different transportation modes to expand the transportation capabilities, e.g., UAVs, bikes, electric vehicles, and outsourcing to third-party trusted drivers, for example, taxi and private drivers. In Saudi Arabia and many countries, the pickup and delivery market provided by online platforms such as Uber go, Careem Now, Jahez, HungerStation, and the like is booming with a 250% increase due to the Covid19 pandemic. This proposal aims to provide a holistic, integrated, optimal approach to LML, focusing on the strategic, tactical, and operational levels. Strategic level decisions involve the selection of the best transportation mode(s). E.g., for UAVs and electric vehicles, the decisions on where to build the recharging stations are essential to expanding the delivery range. Tactical level decisions involve the capacity planning of resources in terms of drivers, vehicles, and the percentage of jobs to be outsourced. Operational decisions involve the support of drivers and unmanned vehicles with the best route to reach the customer site. For vans, electric vehicles, and third-party drivers, the route is designed to visit a set of customers on a single trip.
Effective start/end date1/07/2131/12/22


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