A New Process Model for Urban Transport of Food in the UK

Dimitrios Zisis, Emel Aktas, Michael Bourlakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (SciVal)


Urbanisation is increasing at a rapid pace and one of the consequences of this trend is that more people live in cities, more peopledemand more products, and above all, more food needs to be transported to and distributed within the cities. With theadvancement of new technologies and widespread use of mobile devices in the population, more and more people prefer to shoponline, not just books, electronics, or fashion products, but food products as well, in particular the groceries. In this work, wefocus on this growing challenge of food distribution in the cities, from the viewpoint of this emerging channel: home deliveries ofonline food purchases. Especially in the UK which is the second biggest online grocery market over the wor ld, retailers areoffering online shopping to their customers and then fulfil the home delivery using their own fleet. This poses challenges toretailers in terms of increased costs from providing a non-core service of distribution and logistics to end-consumers and the lifein the cities in general in terms of increased car bon emissions and traf fic. We design models that pr opose appropriate incentivesto retailers to collaborate for the distribution of home deliveries. For this purpose, we initially investigate the current marketstructure and operations. Then, we test our logistics sharing models with empirical data from a retailer based in London to showthe relevance of collaboration. Our results suggest that it is theoretically possible to collaborate and reduce economic,environmental, and social costs arising from the uncoordinated case; however, implementation of these ideas still pose a greatchallenge due to the extremely competitive nature of the food retail market.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-597
JournalTransportation research procedia
Early online date17 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event19th EURO Working Group on Transportation Meeting, EWGT2016 - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 5 Sept 20167 Sept 2016


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