The increasing use of e-commerce introduces major challenges for last-mile delivery, which is critical to ensure smooth functioning of supply chains. Besides the speed and cost of deliv- ery, which are the most important factors for last-mile logistics, environmental and social sustaina- bility factors are taking on an increasingly important role, especially in urban areas. In this perspec- tive, last-mile delivery by drones could be a good choice both in terms of transport speed and sus- tainability. Being electrically powered, drones can reduce environmental impact; moreover, they enable the reduction of road congestion since they do not interfere with land infrastructures. The goal of this study is to analyse the viability of drones for last-mile delivery in the Italian city of Milan. A stated preference survey was carried out to assess end-user propensity towards drones. Using these results, a goods delivery service by drones was designed. Furthermore, a preliminary financial analysis was performed to evaluate the benefits for a company that would provide such a transport service. Findings show that last-mile delivery by drones can be successfully used to de- liver small and light packages, reducing environmental and social impacts, and ensuring profits for the transport provider.

The Use of Drones for Last-Mile Delivery: A Numerical Case Study in Milan, Italy

F. Borghetti;R. Maja;
2022-01-01

Abstract

The increasing use of e-commerce introduces major challenges for last-mile delivery, which is critical to ensure smooth functioning of supply chains. Besides the speed and cost of deliv- ery, which are the most important factors for last-mile logistics, environmental and social sustaina- bility factors are taking on an increasingly important role, especially in urban areas. In this perspec- tive, last-mile delivery by drones could be a good choice both in terms of transport speed and sus- tainability. Being electrically powered, drones can reduce environmental impact; moreover, they enable the reduction of road congestion since they do not interfere with land infrastructures. The goal of this study is to analyse the viability of drones for last-mile delivery in the Italian city of Milan. A stated preference survey was carried out to assess end-user propensity towards drones. Using these results, a goods delivery service by drones was designed. Furthermore, a preliminary financial analysis was performed to evaluate the benefits for a company that would provide such a transport service. Findings show that last-mile delivery by drones can be successfully used to de- liver small and light packages, reducing environmental and social impacts, and ensuring profits for the transport provider.
2022
drones, last-mile delivery, urban logistics, city logistics, parcel delivery, smart city, environmental sustainability, social sustainability, transportation planning, road congestion, safety
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1199577
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