This literary article has been accepted in the ISL 2017 conferernce. Along with other projects and grants, BEACONING (H2020) has provided a pedagogical platform behind the research work. Here is a brief discussion on the main methodologies and results of this research attempt:
The rapid expansion of urban areas throughout the world is a daunting issue in terms of Logistics support and management. The quality and reliability of service is manageable in the areas with lower congestion whereas it is not the same in cases of higher congestion areas. The optimization and organization of logistic processes and transportation activities being the main objective of urban logistics, it is immensely important to identify the key factors for success in the entire process. It is evident from the previous researches that the increment of efficiency within complex systems is majorly dependent on the interactions between the stakeholders. Under this circumstance, Supara Grudpan, Jannicke Baalsrud Hauge and Klaus-Dieter Thoben has written an analysis of a systematic literature review of the existing works in this field. The focus of this article remains on the challenges related to collaboration between the stakeholders in urban logistics. The methodology used to separate the result is according to Pickering (2013) and along with it, another review protocol was present to identify selection criteria, collect and then to analyse the data. This method is designed to collect, classify and identify challenges in collaborative urban logistics as well as collaborative technology related to private and public stakeholders’ interaction and engagement. The final steps were to synthesize and evaluate the results obtained from the data during the process.
The researchers searched for chosen keywords from the work (Research papers) in the field of Urban Logistics for last 10 years (2007-2017). The search was performed inside 3 online databases (Scopus, Web of Science and IEEE) those are available at the University of Bremen. The use of different keywords in different levels of the search achieved a more suited pattern of collection. The final terms used in the search are “urban logistics with challenges”, “management and technical challenges in urban logistics” and “stakeholders in urban logistics” as three major filtering criteria. The classification of relevant results under the criteria of “technical involvement” and “management”. In order to achieve that, “management”, “business”, “economic”, “engineering”, “computer” and “environment” was applied as keywords. The visually representation of the result is found in a table where the frequency of hits for different category of keywords is displayed. 50 papers were considered and reviewed with the keyword “stakeholder”. 25 of them are related to management challenges in urban logistics stakeholders and the rest 25 is related to technical challenges in urban logistics stakeholders.
In research of Management challenges related to urban logistics stakeholders, it is evident that different aspects of management, urban studies and interaction between stakeholders affects the logistics planning. The interaction between different stakeholders in urban distribution has two reflections in activities within urban systems. Firstly, the success of the logistics system relates to structure and policy sensitiveness and secondly, it relates to the response of the operators for the policy innovations. An early involvement in the planning of an urban space system is essential for the success where the identified studies had a bigger window to look into social, environmental and economic impacts regarding freights and logistic topics. Insufficient interaction between stakeholders may lead to misunderstanding of the planning processes.
On the other hand, the research of Technical challenges related to urban logistics stakeholders has a huge shift in IT systems developments. The recent works in this field shows that, the results or outcomes of most of the researches are mainly beneficial to the public stakeholders, rather than the private ones. The use of IT systems, technology, algorithms and mathematical models are helping to evolve Internet of Things (IoT), simulation models, decision-making process of different stakeholders for different layers of tasks. The solution algorithms for Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) shows the influence of total distribution cost and process reliability against the safety stock and the variance of demand. Another application of this algorithm is the optimization possibility setting for urban logistics service in a number of scenarios. Finally, agent-based-simulation models have contributed to the research of evaluation of stakeholder behaviour and the interaction between private and public actors concerning different urban logistics and transport measures.
From the review, we bear witness that, the investigation for private and public stakeholder interest is different. This usually results in a mismatch between the policymaking and operational processes. It is evident that a holistic approach involving all stakeholders within a system life cycle in every phase is essential yet still quite difficult to achieve. It indicates that we need tools to support effective collaboration between public and private stakeholders. Although, there are some tools and approaches are available, they are not widely implemented due to the lack of understanding of the necessity of stakeholder involvement in all phases of planning urban logistics systems.
However, the amount of research in the interaction between public and private system is quite low at present. According to our findings, it is required in order to improve urban logistics solutions for long term. Moreover, the private stakeholders focus on time and costs, whereas the public stakeholders are on sustainability and quality of life of the citizen. A limited amount of work has been and is getting done in order to find a collaboration between these two through simulation, gamification and participatory design approaches. The rate of outcome remains low to this date. In order to improve the situation by increasing awareness to the fact that, it’s time we focus more on the necessity of collaboration and stakeholder involvement in phases of urban planning system through management and IT systems.
Acknowledgement: FUSION (Featured eUrope and South asIa mObility Network) of ERASMUS MUNDUS project granted to SG and partial support by College of Arts, Media and Technology, Chiang Mai University are acknowledged and the Beaconing Project, Grant agreement no. 687676 as a H2020 action.