Last Mile Delivery (Urban Delivery Systems)
While working on last mile delivery, people in charge may be confronted with a lack of interest of key actors (e-commerce) and local players. It will also be challenging to define successful business models, to compete form existing delivery services, and to identify a successful financial model. Moreover, legal aspects are time consuming to solve (e.g. finding permission to build on public/private grounds). Introducing a clear division between public and private partners (e.g. finding a permission to build on public/private grounds) can also be difficult.
Improving procedures and implying traffic restrictions in certain areas to make them only accessible for green vehicles are policy recommendations. Through information campaigns, citizens can be encouraged to use the service. To create experiences for customers, it is advisable to use apps and easy to use interfaces. Further suggestions include scaling up by uniting different players from the transport sector around a common identity and around a community. Moreover, knowledge should be shared between smart city projects. One should also continue in terms of how to build/design the boxes * and the business model behind them. The location of the boxes * is probably key to their success: They should be easily accessible and preferably close to mobility stations.
Plan for Implementation
Project leaders should find sustainable business models to make the solution financially independent and should evaluate the sustainability of the solution. It is also advisable to integrate RES in the solutions and to integrate them in the city’s next strategic plan. Furthermore, a “neighbourhood market place” can be created. The USP (Unique Selling Point) of the Shared District Boxes should be highlighted to citizens (e.g. key shared via app; secure system; multiple functions; etc.). Finally, the basic prototype model should be piloted.
*Shared District Boxes: places were the goods are delivered and picked up. It can be used by online shops, but also by citizens as a locker or for sharing objects within the community. It can contain specific compartments with adapted thermal conditions (e.g. chilled or frozen). The biggest challenges when installing Shared District Boxes are identified to be finding the right locations, making legal agreements with both public and private entities and the tendering process (see also Thematic Lessons Learned for Innovative Procurement of Smart City Solutions).