A simulation-based evaluation of a Cargo-Hitching service for E-commerce using mobility-on-demand vehicles

10/22/2020
by   Andre Alho, et al.
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Time-sensitive parcel deliveries, shipments requested for delivery in a day or less, are an increasingly important research subject. It is challenging to deal with these deliveries from a carrier perspective since it entails additional planning constraints, preventing an efficient consolidation of deliveries which is possible when demand is well known in advance. Furthermore, such time-sensitive deliveries are requested to a wider spatial scope than retail centers, including homes and offices. Therefore, an increase in such deliveries is considered to exacerbate negative externalities such as congestion and emissions. One of the solutions is to leverage spare capacity in passenger transport modes. This concept is often denominated as cargo-hitching. While there are various possible system designs, it is crucial that such solution does not deteriorate the quality of service of passenger trips. This research aims to evaluate the use of Mobility-On-Demand services to perform same-day parcel deliveries. For this purpose, we use SimMobility, a high-resolution agent-based simulation platform of passenger and freight flows, applied in Singapore. E-commerce demand carrier data are used to characterize simulated parcel delivery demand. Operational scenarios that aim to minimize the adverse effect of fulfilling deliveries with Mobility-On-Demand vehicles on Mobility-On-Demand passenger flows (fulfillment, wait and travel times) are explored. Results indicate that the Mobility-On-Demand services have potential to fulfill a considerable amount of parcel deliveries and decrease freight vehicle traffic and total vehicle-kilometers-travelled without compromising the quality of Mobility On-Demand for passenger travel.

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