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Delivery to homes or collection points? A sustainability analysis for urban, urbanised and rural areas in Belgium

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

E-commerce is a rapidly growing and evolving sector. The sector is however struggling with organising its last mile deliveries in order to meet the sustainability requirements, both economically and environmentally. Multiple studies have compared deliveries to collection points with deliveries to residential home addresses in sustainability terms. The variety in results indicates that these studies are bound to local parameters (such as regulations, drop densities, collection point networks). Consequently, their results cannot be generalised or transferred to other contexts. In this research, we compare deliveries to stores serving as collection points and homes for online ordered non-food products in Belgium. The solutions are simulated with agent-based transport model TRABAM. The results are evaluated based on their generated external costs and differentiated according to three area types: urban, urbanised and rural areas. Considering the case-specific density of the collection points, the results indicate that home deliveries are preferred in rural and urbanised areas when considering the sustainability impact solely. In urban areas, collection point deliveries are more sustainable.
Journal: Journal of Transport Geography
ISSN: 0966-6923
Volume: 94
Number of pages: 9
Publication year:2021
Keywords:General & traditional engineering, Geosciences & technology