Assessing the sustainability of mobile depots: The case of urban freight distribution in Rio de Janeiro

To encourage the provision and use of more sustainable means of transportation, cities and companies are implementing a variety of measures, such as strengthening the use of public transportation infrastructure and services to alleviate traffic congestion and to democratize the urban space. In these cases, literature shows that the combined use of smaller vehicles and mobile depots is a practice to be explored more deeply. This paper focuses on the use of motorized cargo tricycles alongside conventional trucks in a mobile-depot-based procedure to accommodate the restrictions imposed on conventional freight vehicle access in densely populated areas. Therefore, a new method is proposed to identify the impact on service level, emissions footprint and delivery cost of this distribution strategy. Moreover, the authors assess the environmental benefits of this new distribution strategy by estimating the reduction in various pollutant emissions attributable to the adoption of smaller, more agile last-mile delivery vehicles. The analyses have shown that greenhouse gas emissions and local air quality pollutants can be significantly cut by the use of cargo tricycles and mobile depots in the last mile delivery. With respect to cost, the authors can show that the mobile-depot-based delivery setup yields slight cost advantages over the traditional setups for neighborhoods that are characterized by low average delivery drop sizes.


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  • Accession Number: 01678169
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 25 2018 3:23PM