Common carrier parcel lockers have emerged as a secure, automated, self-service means of delivery consolidation in congested urban areas, which are believed to mitigate last-mile delivery challenges by reducing out-of-vehicle delivery times and consequently vehicle dwell times at the curb. However, little research exists to empirically demonstrate the environmental and efficiency gains from this technology. In this study, we designed a nonequivalent group pre-test/post-test control experiment to estimate the causal effects of a parcel locker on delivery times in a residential building in downtown Seattle. The causal effects are measured in terms of vehicle dwell time and the time delivery couriers spend inside the building, through the difference-in-difference method and using a similar nearby residential building as a control. The results showed a statistically significant decrease in time spent inside the building and a small yet insignificant reduction in delivery vehicle dwell time at the curb. The locker was also well received by the building managers and residents.
Ranjbari, A., Diehl, C., Dalla Chiara, G., & Goodchild, A. (2023). Do Commercial Vehicles Cruise for Parking? Empirical Evidence from Seattle. Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, 172, 103070. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tre.2023.103070