Freight transport makes up 16% of all road vehicle activity in UK cities, with lorries and vans performing 30% of their total activity in urban areas. In the UK alone, the volume of the parcel market reached 2.6 billion items in 2018-19, giving rise to significant operational challenges in delivering the 'last-mile'. In this talk, I will present some of the findings of the research project FTC2050: Freight Traffic Control 2050 that was funded by the EPSRC, and that looked at the impact of current 'business-as-usual' carrier activities in London.
The aim was to improve carrier collection and delivery schedules by investigating the potential of new business models. I will describe the practical issues faced by last-mile logistics providers, present alternative distribution models to help improve the efficiency of the operations, and discuss the theoretical challenges these models present. This talk is based on joint work with co-authors from the University of Southampton, Lancaster University, UCL and University of Westminster.