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Research Reports

Cover page of Analytical Modeling Framework to Assess the Economic and Environmental Impacts of Residential Deliveries, and Evaluate Sustainable Last-Mile Strategies

Analytical Modeling Framework to Assess the Economic and Environmental Impacts of Residential Deliveries, and Evaluate Sustainable Last-Mile Strategies

(2020)

In the last decade, e‐commerce has grown substantially, increasing business‐to‐business, business‐to‐consumer, and consumer‐to‐consumer transactions. While this has brought prosperity for the e-retailers, the ever-increasing consumer demand has brought more trucks to the residential areas, bringing along externalities such as congestion, air and noise pollution, and energy consumption. To cope with this, different logistics strategies such as the introduction of micro-hubs, alternative delivery points, and use of cargo bikes and zero emission vehicles for the last mile have been introduced and, in some cases, implemented as well. This project, hence, aims to develop an analytical framework to model urban last mile delivery. In particular, this study will build upon the previously developed econometric behavior models that capture e-commerce demand. Then, based on continuous approximation techniques, the authors will model the last-mile delivery operations. And finally, using the cost-based sustainability assessment model (developed in this study), the authors will estimate the economic and environmental impacts of residential deliveries under different city logistics strategies.

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Cover page of Development of a Freight System Conceptualization and Impact Assessment (Fre‐SCANDIA) Framework

Development of a Freight System Conceptualization and Impact Assessment (Fre‐SCANDIA) Framework

(2018)

The freight system is a key component of California’s economy, but it is also a critical contributor to a number of externalities. Different public agencies, private sector stakeholders, and academia engaged in the development of the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan (CSFAP). This plan put forward a number of improvement strategies/policies. However, the freight system is so complex and multifaceted, with a great number of stakeholders, and freight operational patterns, that evaluating or assessing the potential impacts of such strategies/policies is a difficult task. To shed some light, this project develops a freight system conceptualization and impact assessment framework of the freight movements in the State. In doing this, the framework assesses the impact of commodity flows from different freight industry sectors along supply chains within, originating at, or with a destination in the state of California.

The conceptual framework analyzes the freight flows in supply chains, and the type of freight activity movements and modes. The framework uses a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Methodology. The framework could be extended to support multidimensional cost/benefit appraisals for both direct benefits (e.g., delays, costs, accidents, maintenance) and social benefits to non-users which include impacts on regional and national economies as well as environmental and health impacts. This report discusses the main components of the conceptual framework based on a comprehensive review of existing methodologies. The implementation is limited to the Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) following the Environmental Protection Agency’s Tool for Reduction and Assessment of Chemicals and Other Environmental Impacts (TRACI).

The report describes the results from the LCIA implementation for a number of case studies. Specifically, the work estimated the impacts of moving a ton of cargo over a mile for various industry categories and commodity types. These results show the relative difference across industries and commodities and could serve to identify freight efficiency improvement measures in the state of California.

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