Special Issue "Decision Support Systems for Urban Logistics Planning: Multi-Stakeholder and Participative Approaches"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Transportation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Andrea Genovese Website E-Mail
The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK
Interests: decision support methods for logistics; supply chain management
Guest Editor
Dr. Antonino Sgalambro Website 1 Website 2 E-Mail
The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK
Istituto per le Applicazioni del Calcolo Mauro Picone (IAC-CNR), National Research Council of Italy
Interests: operational research; logistics; supply chain management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainability will publish a Special Issue focusing on recent developments in the field of “Decision Support Systems for Urban Logistics Planning”. The goal is to compile state-of-the art research, spanning modeling, theory, empirical studies, applications, and case studies in this research area. We seek contributions that are rigorously executed, clearly and succinctly written, addressing contemporary challenges.

With the growth of the population share living in urban areas, over recent decades, interest and awareness in urban transport activities (often referred to as urban logistics) has been growing steadily, in both the research environment and in a wider policy context. Significantly, advances in urban logistics operations and improved local authority planning are seen as essential in order to alleviate the associated negative environmental and economic impacts occurring in cities.

Several types of actors and stakeholders are therefore involved in such urban logistics management processes. Among them, freight carriers and shippers are interested in minimizing freight logistics costs in order to maximize their profits, while maintaining a competitive level of service to their customers. City administrators and residents are oriented towards a decrease in traffic congestion, social costs and environmental nuisances, even though they are often direct beneficiaries of high quality delivery services. This leads to a multitude of differing and possibly conflicting objectives that are involved in urban freight transport planning and decision making, yielding a high level of complexity and providing a strong motivation for the development of tools for helping decision-makers to reach higher grades of efficiency.

Until recently, despite growing interest and awareness of freight transport operations at local authority level, many urban transportation authorities have often overlooked freight; at the same time, despite an increasing number of advanced models and powerful algorithms presented in the literature for optimizing Urban Logistics, planning-oriented Decision Support Systems (DSSs) are seldom considered by private and public agents as a concrete option to enhance the quality of real-world decision-making process. This is partly due to the fact that these models and methods rarely incorporate a multi-stakeholder perspective in their analysis, often resulting in centralised and hierarchical decision-making procedures that might be of little help in contexts where a more participatory approach is required.

Within this context, this special issue is aimed at publishing contributions that deal with the practical application of Decision Support Systems to real-world problems arising in Urban Logistics. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Multi-Criteria Decision-Making approaches for Urban planning;
  • Stakeholders engagement and participatory Decision-Making techniques;
  • Advanced mathematical modelling for Urban Logistics optimization;
  • Facility location for Urban Logistics;
  • Methods and Models for Reverse logistics optimisation in Urban contexts;
  • Risk management in Urban Logistics;
  • Financial implications of Urban Logistics solutions;
  • Social and Environmental Sustainability Evaluation of Urban Logistics solutions;
  • Integration of Decision Models and Geographical Information Systems;
  • Forecasting approaches for Urban Logistics;
  • Case studies concerning practical applications of Urban Logistics solutions.

All manuscripts should be submitted electronically via the online system. The submission deadline is September 30, 2018. The plan is to publish the Special Issue in early 2019. Researchers from all relevant disciplines are invited to consider this special issue as an outlet to publish their quality work on this topic of increasing significance. Inquiries on the Special Issue can be directed to the Guest Editors ([email protected]; [email protected]).

Acknowledgments: This Special Issue will be partially supported by the project "Promoting Sustainable Freight Transport in Urban Contexts: Policy and Decision-Making Approaches (ProSFeT)", funded by the H2020-MSCA-RISE-2016 programme (Grant Number: 734909)

Dr. Andrea Genovese
Dr. Antonino Sgalambro
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Urban Logistics
  • Decision Support Systems
  • Multi-Criteria Decision Making
  • Stakeholders Engagement

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Analysing Stakeholder Consensus for a Sustainable Transport Development Decision by the Fuzzy AHP and Interval AHP
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3271; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123271 - 13 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
In any public service development decision, it is essential to reach the stakeholders’ agreement to gain a sustainable result, which is accepted by all involved groups. In case this criterion is violated, the impact of the development will be less than expected due [...] Read more.
In any public service development decision, it is essential to reach the stakeholders’ agreement to gain a sustainable result, which is accepted by all involved groups. In case this criterion is violated, the impact of the development will be less than expected due to the resistance of one group or another. Concerning public urban transport decisions, the lack of consensus might cause lower utilisation of public vehicles, thus more severe environmental damage, traffic problems and negative economic impacts. This paper aims to introduce a decision support procedure (applying the current MCDM techniques; Fuzzy and Interval AHP) which is capable of analysing and creating consensus among different stakeholder participants in a transport development problem. The combined application of FAHP and IAHP ensures that the consensus creation is not only based on an automated computation process (just as in IAHP) but also on the consideration of specific group interests. Thus, the decision makers have the liberty to express their preferences in urban planning, along with the consideration of numerical results. The procedure has been tested in a real public transport improvement decision as a follow-up project, in an emerging city, Mersin, Turkey. Results show that by the application of the proposed techniques, decision-makers can be more aware of the conflicts of interests among the involved groups, and they can pay more attention to possible violations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Decision Support Systems for Smarter and Sustainable Logistics of Construction Sites
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2762; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102762 - 14 May 2019
Abstract
Efficient logistics in urban areas is crucial for construction companies since building materials account for 30–40% of all construction costs and the space on site is highly constrained. To face these challenges, actions coming from both public and private decision-makers to find more [...] Read more.
Efficient logistics in urban areas is crucial for construction companies since building materials account for 30–40% of all construction costs and the space on site is highly constrained. To face these challenges, actions coming from both public and private decision-makers to find more sustainable solutions related to the distribution of building materials in urban areas become urgent. Although barely used in such contexts, can decision support systems be of support, and for who and for which purpose? This paper proposes a set of decision support systems addressing public and private decision-makers to improve the construction logistics and supply chain with evidence-based decision-making mechanisms. Those systems are, in particular, a public participatory geographical information system for determining the impact of policy measures, a consolidation center locator, a consolidation center planner, and an innovation measures selector. The paper explains how these decision support systems are settled and experimented from the analysis of pilot sites in European cities and in collaboration with the companies. Our diverse experiments demonstrate that data-driven decision-making is worth it to trigger thought on improvement measures for construction freight transport in urban area. We conclude that additional attention should be devoted to this specific sector. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Collaborative Stakeholder Decision-Making Approach for Sustainable Urban Logistics
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010234 - 04 Jan 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Cities strongly rely on efficient urban logistics to ensure their attractiveness, quality of life, and economic development. In the same time, they strive to ensure livable and safe environments around its road network, where the increased presence of light and heavy goods vehicles [...] Read more.
Cities strongly rely on efficient urban logistics to ensure their attractiveness, quality of life, and economic development. In the same time, they strive to ensure livable and safe environments around its road network, where the increased presence of light and heavy goods vehicles raises questions of regarding safety and environmental impacts. Recent literature has well-recognized the need to consider different stakeholders’ perspectives on these issues, in order to achieve desired outcomes. In this paper, we introduce a collaborative stakeholders’ decision-making approach for sustainable urban logistics, and demonstrate its applicability on a real-life example. The suggested approach extends existing route planning approaches by considering route sustainability as a part of an arc’s traversal cost. The integration of route sustainability is based on the adoption of a multi-criterial decision-making approach, with the possibility of including different stakeholders’ points of view, and evaluating the sustainability cost concerning the route’s spatial context. To demonstrate the applicability of the suggested approach, we extract the route sustainability cost from the traffic sign database, and implement the findings on a real-life example. Furthermore, the suggested approach exhibits a high level of transferability to various local contexts, where local stakeholders might have a different view on the route sustainability than is the case in our example. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Stakeholder-Based Evaluation of the Most Suitable and Sustainable Delivery Fleet for Freight Consolidation Policies in the Inner-City Area
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010124 - 27 Dec 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Freight carriers, receivers and citizens in the inner-city area suffer the most from issues impacting last mile delivery due to exacerbated traffic congestion, limited parking and unsustainable delivery vehicles. Freight consolidation policies offer a sustainable solution to address these problems. The freight vehicles [...] Read more.
Freight carriers, receivers and citizens in the inner-city area suffer the most from issues impacting last mile delivery due to exacerbated traffic congestion, limited parking and unsustainable delivery vehicles. Freight consolidation policies offer a sustainable solution to address these problems. The freight vehicles used in the consolidated deliveries could play a significant role in the sustainability and success of these policies. This paper applies a multi-stakeholder decision support approach to evaluate the suitability and potential of various delivery fleet configurations in addressing the perspectives and requirements of all stakeholders involved in last mile delivery to perform the consolidated delivery in the inner-city area. The Multi-Actor Multi-Criteria Analysis (MAMCA) framework was utilised to assess and rank various delivery configurations involving a combination of eco-friendly delivery vans, trucks and cargobikes based on the objectives of the stakeholders. The weight allocation of the criteria was determined through the Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (F-AHP) method using responses collected from key actors representing all stakeholder groups in Melbourne, Australia. The multi-stakeholder analysis, which was performed using the Preference Ranking Organization Method for Enrichment Evaluation (PROMETHEE) method, suggested that the consolidated delivery should be performed using a combination of eco-friendly delivery vans and cargobikes to incorporate the concerns of the societal stakeholders and operational requirements of the business stakeholders. The mono-actor analysis revealed the heterogeneity of the stakeholders’ preferences and clashing views regarding the optimal delivery fleet. This highlights the importance of incorporating a multi-stakeholder perspective in the planning and selection of suitable urban freight policies. Accordingly, a suitable implementation plan for the consolidated delivery fleet was proposed to reflect the perspectives and requirements of these stakeholders. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Urban Transport Planning Considering Different Stakeholder Groups by an Interval-AHP Decision Support Model
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010009 - 20 Dec 2018
Cited by 10
Abstract
Sustainable urban transport requires smart and environmentally-friendly technical solutions. It also needs to meet the demands of different user groups, including current and potential future users, in order to avoid opposition of the citizens and to support sustainable development decisions. While these requirements [...] Read more.
Sustainable urban transport requires smart and environmentally-friendly technical solutions. It also needs to meet the demands of different user groups, including current and potential future users, in order to avoid opposition of the citizens and to support sustainable development decisions. While these requirements are well-known, conducting full surveys of user needs and preferences are tedious and costly, and the interests of different user groups may be contradictory. We therefore developed a methodology based on the prevalent Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), which is capable of dealing with the inconsistencies and uncertainties of users’ responses by applying an Interval Analytic Hierarchy Process (IAHP) through comparing the results of passengers to reference stakeholder groups. For a case study in Mersin, a coastal city in southern Turkey with 1.7 Million inhabitants, three groups were surveyed with questionnaires: 40 users of the public transport system, 40 non-users, and 17 experts. Based on interval pairwise comparison matrices, consisting of whole judgments of all groups, the IAHP methodology could attain a consensual preference ranking for a future public transportation system between the three groups. A sensitivity analysis revealed that the factor ranking was very stable. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Performance Analysis and Improvement of the Bike Sharing System Using Closed Queuing Networks with Blocking Mechanism
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4663; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124663 - 07 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The Bike Sharing System is a sustainable urban transport solution that consists of a fleet of bikes placed in various stations. Users will be satisfied if they find available bikes at their departure station and free docks at the destination. Despite the regulation [...] Read more.
The Bike Sharing System is a sustainable urban transport solution that consists of a fleet of bikes placed in various stations. Users will be satisfied if they find available bikes at their departure station and free docks at the destination. Despite the regulation operations of the system provider (i.e., redistribution of bikes by truck) deeper modifications (bike fleet size or station capacity) are often necessary to ensure a satisfactory service rate. In this paper, we model a sub-graph of a Bike Sharing System using the closed queuing network with a Repetitive-Service-Random-Destination blocking mechanism. This model is solved using the Maximum Entropy Method. This model faithfully reproduces the system dynamics considering the limited capacity of stations. We analyze the performance, particularly, via an overall performance indicator of the system. The various control and monitoring decisions (fleet-size, capacity of stations, incoming and outgoing flow of bikes) are applied to find out the best performance levels. The results demonstrate that the overall performance is robust enough regarding the fleet size changes but it degrades with the increase of the stations’ capacity. Finally, the arrival and departure flows control is an efficient and powerful operational leverage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Application of AHP and DEMATEL Methods in Choosing and Analysing the Measures for the Distribution of Goods in Szczecin Region
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2365; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072365 - 07 Jul 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Urban areas are centres of business and innovation. Freight transport is indispensable for the proper functioning of any modern urban society. Urban areas cannot function without an appropriate freight transport system, due to the need to replenish stocks of food and other goods [...] Read more.
Urban areas are centres of business and innovation. Freight transport is indispensable for the proper functioning of any modern urban society. Urban areas cannot function without an appropriate freight transport system, due to the need to replenish stocks of food and other goods in retail shops. The complexity of the decisions concerning implementation of measures to improve the movement of goods in the city requires tools designed to support this process. In this context, a research gap and a research problem occur—how to obtain a reliable set of factors for development of sustainable urban freight transport (UFT). The purpose of this article is to introduce the possibility of applying the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) as well as the Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory Method (DEMATEL) in choosing a set of measures and in analysing the field of distribution logistics, which will help to solve delivery problems and streamline cargo flow in Szczecin, in the context of sustainable development. This paper presents the findings of a survey in which experts evaluate the main coefficients for sustainable freight transport in the city area. Using both AHP and DEMATEL methods, we have concluded that: (i) all coefficients from administrative, financial, technical and promotional measures are highly interconnected; (ii) strategy of freight transport development should take into consideration how these coefficients influence each other; (iii) P2—eco-driving trainings, T4—alternative delivery systems and P1—promotional campaigns for sustainable transport are the most important criteria and should be priorities for investments; (iv) A1—implementation of loading/unloading and transit restrictions—highly influences other coefficients; (v) T2—intelligent route guidance in freight transport is greatly influenced by them. Full article
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