UTC Mission: to advance transportation expertise and technology through research

Urban Last-Mile Transportation 4.0

Project No. MITR25-52  |  Prof. Yossi Sheffi, Matthias Winkenbach  | 

In this proposed research project, we aim to evaluate and compare the performance of different operational setups for highly responsive urban logistics services based on a number of economic, social, and environmental metrics. Specifically, we aim to assess the impact of increasing levels of flexibility in the physical design of urban last-mile transportation systems that are enabled by technological advances in the realm of Industry 4.0 and that are becoming increasingly relevant in light of rapidly rising customer expectations in the context of e-commerce and on-demand consumerism. The main focus of our analysis will lie on the implications of varying levels of flexibility of companies to dynamically activate, de-active, and physically re-locate local distribution operations (so-called satellite operations) within a city. Combining state-of-the-art exact and approximate methods of mathematical optimization with large-scale simulations of last-mile transportation activities and their impact on urban traffic flows, we aim to provide a set of analytically rigorous, scalable, and easily transferrable methods and tools to guide private- and public-sector decision and policy making and to derive generalizable policy recommendations to effectively mitigate the negative externalities of increasingly complex and fragmented last-mile transportation and logistics operations in growing and increasingly dense urban centers.

Initial Project Description

Project Description: Six Month Update