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The future of last-mile logistics

22 August 2022

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Organised by the IMA Journal of Management Mathematics, and edited by Professors Emrah Demir and Aris Syntetos (Cardiff University) and Professor Tom Van Woensel (Eindhoven University of Technology), a new special issue has just been published, entitled “The future of last-mile logistics”.

The five contributions to this special issue collectively study new mathematical problems and solutions that give decision-makers a better understanding on the latest trends and innovations emerging in the context of last-mile logistics.

What is this special issue about, who should read it and why?

This Special Issue brings together five articles that push the boundaries of transportation research by shedding light on the opportunities and challenges that technology and innovation brings to customers and industry through the help of mathematics.

The 'last-mile' is the final step of a shipment process that brings goods from a (central) warehouse to the customers' door. It is an increasingly powerful force reshaping supply networks around the world. Customers wish to have on-time delivery of the products, which might be very difficult for the logistic service providers (LSPs) because of various challenges and uncertainties. At the same time, LSPs need to comply with the sustainable development agenda 2030. There is a growing need to provide LSPs with relevant evidence, insights, strategies, and mathematical models to help them plan.

This special issue should be read by academics, industry practitioners and other interested parties related to last-mile logistics. The powerful algorithms presented in this issue can help address the challenges of urbanisation and sustainable development.

What do Guest Editors think of this special issue?

Guest Editors: Emrah Demir (Cardiff University), Aris Syntetos (Cardiff University), and Tom Van Woensel (Eindhoven University of Technology)

“Last-mile logistics are becoming much more than a consumer convenience necessity and a transportation optimization exercise. Rather, this area presents a true opportunity to foster both financial and environmental sustainability. There is a great opportunity to make changes and improve the design and operations of freight transportation. Looking at the vulnerability of the logistics systems, logistics industry needs to make best use of available resources to ensure a sustainable future for all. This special issue makes an important contribution by looking at the latest technological, social and business innovations as a remedy.” Professor Emrah Demir

“We would like to thank the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications (IMA) for motivating and inspiring this special issue. The articles demonstrate, collectively, the great scope for Maths to contribute to the sustainability agenda of both governments and industry, and we hope you will these papers useful and thought-provoking, and that they will influence your research and inform your practices.” Professor Aris Syntetos

“Last-mile logistics remains an important topic as witnessed by the enormous amount of research papers published over the last few years. But it is also important in practice, observing the explosion of online buying, green zones in cities, banning conventional-fuel vehicles, etc. The papers in this special issue all add an important building block to this growing field of last-mile logistics research and practice.”

Tom Van Woensel

Professor Tom Van Woensel

Eindhoven University of Technology

What is the content of this special issue?

The special issue includes the following articles.

More information about the special issue can be found on the IMA Journal of Management Mathematics website.

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