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Research in urban logistics: a systematic literature review

Alexandra Lagorio (Department of Engineering, University of Bergamo, Dalmine, Italy ) (Department of Management, Information and Production Engineering, Universita degli Studi di Bergamo, Dalmine, Italy )
Roberto Pinto (Department of Management, Information and Production Engineering, University of Bergamo, Dalmine, Italy )
Ruggero Golini (Department of Management, Information and Production Engineering, University of Bergamo, Dalmine, Italy )

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 7 November 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

The last decades have witnessed an increased interest in urban logistics originating from both the research and the practitioners’ communities. Sustainable freight transports today are on the political, social and technological agenda of many actors operating in urban contexts. Due to the extent of the covered areas and the continuous progress in many fields, the resulting body of research on urban logistics appears quite fragmented. From an engineering management perspective, the purpose of this paper is to present a systematic literature review (SLR) that aims to consolidate the knowledge on urban logistics, analyse the development of the discipline, and provide future research directions.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses the main evidence emerging from a SLR on urban logistics. The corpus resulting from the SLR has been used to perform a citation network analysis and a main path analysis that together underpin the identification of the most investigated topics and methodologies in the field.

Findings

Through the analysis of a corpus of 104 articles, the most important research contributions on urban logistics that represent the structural backbone in the development of the research over time in the field are detected. Based on these findings, this work identifies and discusses three areas of potential interest for future research.

Originality/value

This paper presents an SLR related to a research area in which the literature is extremely fragmented. The results provide insights about the research path, current trends and future research directions in the field of urban logistics.

Keywords

Citation

Lagorio, A., Pinto, R. and Golini, R. (2016), "Research in urban logistics: a systematic literature review", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 46 No. 10, pp. 908-931. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-01-2016-0008

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited