A Greener Last Mile: Analyzing the Carbon Emission Impact of Pickup Points in Last-Mile Parcel Delivery

17 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2022 Last revised: 12 Sep 2023

See all articles by Rudy Niemeijer

Rudy Niemeijer

University of Groningen

Paul Buijs

University of Groningen

Date Written: April 23, 2023

Abstract

This paper analyzes the carbon emission impact of pickup points in last-mile parcel delivery. Pickup points provide customers and delivery companies with an alternative to attended home delivery. The delivery company can drop off a parcel at the pickup point, such as a service desk in a grocery store or a parcel locker, from where the customer collects the parcel. Because of the potential efficiency gains for the delivery vehicle, pickup points are often presented as a sustainable alternative to home delivery. The efficiency gains for the delivery vehicle need to be weighed against customers traveling to the pickup point by car, however. The mathematical analysis presented in this paper integrates continuous approximation techniques to assess the potential for improved delivery route efficiency with multinomial logistic regression for estimating the travel distance and mode choice of customers collecting their parcels. The results challenge the suggestion that pickup points are a universally sustainable alternative to home delivery. The potential for a net positive carbon emission impact is greatest when pickup points are established in urban settings, while in rural settings, the carbon emission benefits derived from improved delivery route efficiency are quickly offset by the carbon footprint associated with customer travel.

Keywords: last-mile logistics, pickup points, environmental impact assessment, analytical model

Suggested Citation

Niemeijer, Rudy and Buijs, Paul, A Greener Last Mile: Analyzing the Carbon Emission Impact of Pickup Points in Last-Mile Parcel Delivery (April 23, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4169737 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4169737

Rudy Niemeijer

University of Groningen ( email )

P.O. Box 800
9700 AH Groningen, Groningen 9700 AV
Netherlands

Paul Buijs (Contact Author)

University of Groningen ( email )

Postbus 72
9700 AB Groningen
Netherlands

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