Exploring Logistics-as-a-Service to integrate the consumer into urban freight
E-commerce established the consumer as a freight actor. This new reality in the e-commerce supply chain holds economic, social, and environmental opportunities. First, logistics service providers can capitalize on the willingness to pay of consumers with tailored logistics services. Second, consumers can be confronted with the correct costs of delivery options, raising awareness and influencing their choices' sustainability. Third, policymakers can steer the consumer directly, nudging their behaviour to reach urban freight policy objectives. Until now, the lack of interaction between the logistics service provider and the consumer prevented exploiting these opportunities.
In this paper, we look at passenger transport, specifically the concept of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS), for inspiration on how to integrate the consumer into the logistics market. We propose conceptualizations for a Logistics-as-a-Service (LaaS) platform with different levels of integration and discuss the role of various stakeholders. We conclude with a suite of research questions that deserve attention to develop further the LaaS idea and its proof of concept for consumer logistics.