The impact of technological developments on consumer habits and behavior is endangering the classical model of postal services. The resulting fall in postal volumes generated by the substitution of traditional letter posts by electronic forms of communication has rendered the collection of postal items highly inefficient. In this context, our work deals with a real problem concerning the reorganization of the collection system of the Italian postal service provider, based on the reduction of the number of postboxes currently located in an urban area. To tackle the problem, we propose a practical solution methodology, based on a mathematical programming model which identifies the postboxes to be closed, and we evaluate the impact of such a reorganization on management costs, in terms of postmen to be dedicated to the daily collection operations. Considering the crucial role of postboxes as main access points of users to the postal network, equity is also taken into account. Several computational experiments are conducted based on real data from the city of Bologna, in northern Italy. The resulting scenarios show the capability of the model to support the decision making process towards the redesigning of the postal collection system.
- Postal service
- service accessibility
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Management Information Systems
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research