An Integrated Framework to Optimise Consolidating the Last Leg of Deliveries in the Inner-City
Saudi Digital Library
Efficient and reliable freight delivery and pickup services are important for the functioning of retailers and businesses in the inner-city area as well as the consumption of products for residents, visitors and workers. Furthermore, the limited availability of affordable industrial land for logistics facilities and inefficient loading infrastructure in the inner-city coupled with the increasing demand for express and fragmented deliveries make it operationally difficult and economically cost-prohibitive for freight carriers to maintain offering reliable and low-cost delivery services to inner-city receivers. Policymakers and transport researchers have considered freight consolidation delivery solutions to address negative externalities caused by growth in last mile deliveries. However, there has been an imbalance of focus in previous initiatives towards freight carriers, with far less emphasis placed on goods receivers. Moreover, the lack of focus on financial viability of consolidation solutions early in the planning process often results in making these schemes highly dependent on government incentives. An effective and properly planned consolidation policy could offer an alternative solution for freight carriers to cope with increasing activities of express deliveries in the highly congested inner-city. Accordingly, the objective of this research is to develop an integrated framework to optimise the design and set-up of a suitable, sustainable and financially viable freight consolidation facility in the inner-city based on operational, social, environmental and economic objectives of all stakeholders. The integrated framework developed in this research consists of five stages. The data-adjusted decision-support framework presented in this thesis incorporates the freight industry operational requirements as well as social and environmental concerns to optimally and sustainability establish a suitable consolidation facility in the inner-city. The modelling results of the integrated framework enable decision-makers and transport researchers to not only apply value-decisions at the onset of the process, but also allow for understanding and visualisation of the results and of the importance of chosen criteria in the decision-making process. The acquired knowledge from freight carriers facilitate an enhanced understanding and depict an accurate picture of the current state of the last leg of delivery in the inner-city. Hence, appropriate and practical solutions could be proposed to enhance the efficiency of freight carriers and alleviate the negative impacts of their operations in the inner-city area.