The challenges in sustainability of urban freight network design and distribution innovations: a systematic literature review
International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management
Article publication date: 19 June 2020
Issue publication date: 3 September 2020
Freight network planning and the application of distribution innovations are popular fields of research on sustainable urban logistics. However, considerable research on freight network design lacks a comprehensive consideration of the application of distribution innovations. This observation implies that sustainable urban freight research appears highly fragmented in topics of network design and distribution innovations. From the perspective of long-term planning, this situation possibly serves as a barrier to further promotion of sustainability. The objective of this paper is to analyze existing research gaps of literature to further promote the sustainability of urban logistics systems from a future perspective.
This paper employs a systematic literature review (SLR) method, which covers 164 papers and research works published in 2013–2018. The article corpus involved the innovative schemes of freight network design and the emerging delivery concepts in cities. Based on an analysis of articles' relevance, the most significant research contributions on both city logistics network design and exploitation of distribution innovations are detected.
This paper has found four research gaps in aspects of network design and distribution innovations. To respond to these gaps, we propose the research framework of sustainable and flexible future urban freight planning (SFFUFP) based on trends of city development, while discussing further research direction on urban freight planning.
The authors have found four research gaps in aspects of both urban freight network design and distribution innovations in which scholars could be encouraged to contribute. The research framework of SFFUFP can further promote sustainable urban logistics from a view of future management.
Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no competing interests.I would like to thank Prof. Dr. Hans-Dietrich Haasis for his valuable input in the creation of this paper. Prof. Haasis is a full professor and Head of the chair in Maritime Business & Logistics at the University of Bremen, Germany. I sincerely express my gratitude to his support and help.
He, Z. (2020), "The challenges in sustainability of urban freight network design and distribution innovations: a systematic literature review", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 50 No. 6, pp. 601-640. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-05-2019-0154
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