This research program uses Operations Research and Analytics to understand the impact of the smart lockers on urban logistics in Singapore. As a public infrastructure project, the Federated Locker System needs to first serve the general public (i.e. residents living in public housing blocks), but this egalitarian consideration may undermine the commercial objective of this infrastructure, which is to attract as much usage of the lockers as possible. What are the trade-offs in these considerations?
We show that the reduction in efficiency can be negligible with the incorporation of the fairness consideration, provided the fairness criterion and the scale of the system are
appropriately chosen. To see this, we develop locker choice models and carefully calibrate the parameters to predict the volume of parcels that the infrastructure can attract to the system, after accounting for demand endogeneity in the calibration study. Excessive scale however will reduce average utilization per locker. Right-sizing the Federated Locker System appears to be vital for this new concept in the last mile delivery domain.
To level the playing field, and to streamline the flows of parcels into crowded housing districts, the Singapore Government has recently announced its plan to roll out a federated locker system. This will be outsourced to commercial operators to manage, but open to all parcel delivery companies, making it the first country to do such large scale deployment of common parcel lockers at a national level.
This is a bold move, and hopefully will allow many logistics companies to break away from the lack of scale in their respective business models to offer seamless parcel delivery services to their customers and to reduce the cost of parcel delivery operations for these companies. The latter comes from the fact that deliverymen's productivity can be enhanced 3 to 4 folds with the federated locker system, since many of the door-to-door deliveries can now be bundled together and delivered to a single locker station.
|Teo Chung Piaw||He Long||LYU Guodong|
This research is supported by :