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Identifying design criteria for urban system last-mile solutions -A multi-stakeholder perspective

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Harrington, TS 
Singhai, J 
Wohlrab, J 


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.


This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Taylor & Francis via


'Last-mile' operations, urban systems, smart cities, evaluation criteria, stakeholder analysis, service supply networks design

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Production Planning and Control

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Informa UK Limited
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (TS/I000275/1)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (TS/I000313/1)