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From the Last Mile to the Last 800 Feet: Key Factors in Urban Pick-Up and Delivery of Goods

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Publication: Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board
Volume: Freight Systems, Volume 1
Pages: 85-92
Publication Date: 2017

Pickup and delivery operations are an essential part of urban goods movements. However, rapid urban growth, increasing demand, and higher customer expectations have amplified the challenges of urban freight movement. In recent years, the industry has emphasized improving last-mile operations with the intent of focusing on what has been described as the last leg of the supply chain. In this paper, it is suggested that solving urban freight challenges requires an even more granular scale than the last mile, that is, the last 800 ft. The necessary operations in the last 800 ft require integration of diverse stakeholders, public and private infrastructure, and a diverse set of infrastructure users with multiple, varied objectives. That complexity has led to a gap in the needs of delivery operations and the characteristics of receiving facilities (i.e., unloading and loading facilities and pickup–drop-off locations). This paper focuses on accessibility for pickup and drop-off operations, taking a closer look at urban goods movement in the last 800 ft from the final customer. The paper presents and analyzes previously documented approaches and measures used to study the challenges at the proposed scale. Finally, it proposes a more holistic approach to address accessibility for urban pickup–delivery operations at the microscale to help develop more comprehensive urban freight transportation planning.

Recommended Citation:
Butrina, Polina. Gabriela Del Carmen Girón-Valderrama, José Luis Machado-León, Anne Goodchild, and Pramod C. Ayyalasomayajula. From the Last Mile to the Last 800 ft: Key Factors in Urban Pickup and Delivery of Goods. Transportation Research Record 2609, no. 1 (2017): 85-92.