Author: Amalia Bozinaki, Frontier Innnovations
In the past few years, the world has been experiencing an outstanding growth in last-mile transport following the incomparable growth of e-commerce, especially during the pandemic period. This new reality has mostly burdened the operators of the last-mile deliveries: Courier Companies & Organisations, who are obliged to fulfil consumer’s needs. Needless to mention how unprepared the Courier companies were to face the unexpected growth of both over-consumerism and consumer’s demand for home delivery. Consequently, the urgent need to counteract the fast change of urban logistics led companies to search for solutions capable of greening the last mile and optimising road transport. In this context, the GREEN-LOG project aims to accelerate the shift to sustainable and smart mobility in last mile delivery by introducing a Marketplace as a solution, which targets the link from the suppliers to the consumers in a more sustainable and eco-friendly way.
Most of you may wonder what the difference between the existing marketplaces and the one that GREEN-LOG launches is? How can a marketplace contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly urban logistics and road transport?
The GREEN-LOG marketplace is designed by taking into account two major aspects:
- The origins of LaaS (Logistics-as-a-Service) lies in its mobility counterpart: Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) and
- The real transportation cost, which, in most cases, isn’t considered in the price that final consumers pay.
Thus, the marketplace takes the concept of LaaS further by (i) letting freights take centre stage and (ii) by involving the consumer as a principal actor. Concretely, the LaaS links green logistics services to direct consumer demand on an IT platform and offers the users (shippers, logistics service providers and consumers) flexibility. Moreover, using a data-driven system to efficiently create the link between the users, it increases fill rates and decreases the number of driven kilometres. The LaaS offers the opportunity to organise freight transport in a specific area and hence it can serve as an enabler for other consolidation schemes. With the development of the LaaS, GREEN-LOG marketplace puts the consumer at the forefront, directly linking the individual with logistics service providers and as a result, removes the barriers which prevent breakthroughs in on-demand logistics.
Traditionally, transportation costs are hidden from the consumers but remain an accountable metric for the service providers. Even if shippers and receivers adjust logistic services according to their preferences, without considering transportation costs; they cannot be efficiently measured by the transporters. In attempt to contribute to this change, GREEN-LOG marketplace will integrate dynamic pricing mechanisms using AI tools which not only will provide the means for shippers and receivers of goods to adjust logistics services according to their preferences and policy directions but, will also offer them the opportunity to measure and identify the hidden costs.
To sum up, undoubtedly the swiftness of e-commerce has led both logistics and consumers to a behavioural change; the former trying to reach customers’ expectations and the latter becoming more demanding in-service time. GREEN-LOG’s holistic solution focuses on contributing to a more sustainable urban LaaS, with the marketplace playing a central role.
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