Identifying design criteria for urban system ‘last-mile’ solutions – a multi-stakeholder perspective

T.S Harrington, J.S Srai, M. Kumar, J. Wohlrab

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This study presents a novel approach to design and evaluate ‘last-mile’ solutions – encompassing the social and economic perspectives of key stakeholders. While urban system initiatives have been implemented in practice, theoretical gaps remain at the operational design level. A theoretical framework is developed, based on design criteria identified from a critical synthesis of supply chain and operations management literature, and ‘operationalised’ using an in-depth case study demonstrating implementation of a Consumer Choice Portal-Package Consolidation Centre solution, within a densely populated urban geography. Findings suggest that there is a need to re-define the role of institutional actors beyond that of the traditional governance task, to one of being able to facilitate performance outcomes. Similarly, industrial efficiency dimensions need to be reorientated to include consumer participation, social considerations and multi-stakeholder service outcomes. Finally, implications for operations theory and practising managers in city logistics are highlighted, with suggested directions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-476
Number of pages21
JournalProduction Planning and Control
Issue number6
Early online date18 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • ‘Last-mile’ operations
  • urban systems
  • smart cities
  • evaluation criteria
  • stakeholder analysis
  • service supply networks design

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