Consequences of logistics sprawl: Order or chaos? - the case of a parcel service company in Paris metropolitan area

Logistics sprawl is the phenomenon driving warehouses and freight terminals further and further away from city centers, for reasons that are mostly dependent on urban planning, field price and economies of scale. In the past, studies have already described logistics sprawl in Paris Metropolitan area. These studies have concluded that logistic facilities far from Paris city center increased the distance travelled, and by extension, CO₂ emissions. This study does not question logistics sprawl in Paris metropolitan area but questions its consequences.This study presents a point of view on the location of cross-docking terminals. One main parcel service carrier was studied through a database strong of 600,000 inputs including pick-ups and deliveries for two months in the Paris metropolitan area. This study is not intended to be representative of all merchandise flows but makes it possible to understand the running of one significant actor. This project aims at determining the optimum terminals location according to two criteria: minimization of the total distance as calculated by the Euclidean distance (as the crow flies) between terminals and points of pick-up/ delivery, and the number of authorized terminals. The number of terminals is modified to study its relationship with the spatial distribution of its clients.Interestingly, the authors found that optimized locations for this parcel service carrier are located outside of Paris city center. Those locations minimize the total distance to the clients, and thus, are the best places to limit pollution. The reason is that the carrier manages this perimeter through a polycentric organization. Paris Metropolitan area is viewed as several sectors and not as a whole for this carrier. It is therefore unknown how the carrier's performance has evolved over time, but its current organization is close to the optimal situation.


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  • Accession Number: 01760782
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 10 2020 3:04PM