This paper uses data from a major logistics service provider in Gothenburg (Sweden) to (i) identify the different activities in a typical urban distribution tour, (ii) quantify the time required by drivers to perform each of these activities, and (iii) identify potential initiatives to improve time efficiency. To do so, the authors collected GPS data, conducted a time-study of the activities performed by the drivers for a week, conducted a focus group with the drivers, and a set of interviews with managers. The results show that driving represents only 30% of the time, another 15% is spent on breaks, and the remaining 55% is used to perform activities related to customer service, freight handling, and planning. The latter are subdivided into multiple activities, each taking a small amount of time. A focus group with the drivers and some interviews revealed several initiatives to improve time efficiency. Most initiatives can bring small gains, but when aggregating all potential time savings there is a big potential to improve overall time efficiency. Initiatives with highest potential and low cost are: providing better pre-advice on upcoming customers, improving route planning, having hand-free cell phone use, and enhancing handling equipment.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited