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Rural Parcel Delivery

In the project “Rural Parcel Delivery”, VIL wants to improve efficiency in the delivery of parcels in rural areas. A model of collaboration in geographic clusters with shared cross-docking capacity will be studied and tested to arrive at the most optimal economic and social situation.

Studies and projects with an emphasis on optimization of last-mile distributions are mainly limited to cities. On average, rural-based residents buy more parcels on the internet and the delivery of these parcels do not run very efficient.

Shops are located along regional roads or in the center of the village. The economic and social costs are high, because of the long distance and time between deliveries. At the same time, traffic jams don’t stop at the edge of large cities. Regional roads and village centers are also getting stuck. The typical Flemish spatial planning with ribbon development and dispersed habitation reinforces this problem. 

Specific activities include mapping the current problems with parcel distribution in non-urban areas and best practices. Collecting and analyzing the volumes and the different logistics flows in different geographical clusters in Flanders. Developing a calculation model to achieve a demonstrable reduction of costs, kilometers driven and CO2 for the proposed pilot projects. To list various options, concepts and business models for delivering parcels in a non-urban area. Choosing one solution for the pilot based on practical and economic feasibility and ecological viability. Setting up a scalable pilot that allows to validate the chosen solution.

Date:1 Mar 2020 →  1 Mar 2022
Keywords:Rural, Parcel, Deliveries
Disciplines:Transport economics
Project type:Collaboration project
Results:VIL worked out a solution on an economic, ecological and social level. The designed model calculates the total costs, CO2 emissions, transport distance and total number of transport movements in different scenarios of horizontal cooperation between the parties involved.
Cooperation for last mile deliveries in rural areas pays off. On average, CO2 emissions and number of transport movements decrease by 60 %. Costs are reduced by an average of 35%. Moreover, it turned out that small parties can not only achieve profits through cooperation but also commercially improve their clout.
Despite the many advantages, a few factors can get in the way of applying the Rural Parcel Delivery model. These include the blurring of brand image, the decline of competitive advantage for large-volume parties, and the neutrality of a joint subcontractor in the event of consolidation.
VIL can guide interested companies in researching and setting up their own collaboration case.