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ICT for Sustainable Last-Mile Logistics: Data, People and Parcels

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In this paper we present a vision of how ICT can be leveraged to help combat the impact on pollution, congestion and carbon emissions contributed by the parcel delivery sector. This is timely given annual growth in parcel deliveries, especially same-day deliveries, and the need to inform initiatives to clean up our cities such as the sales ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles in the UK by 2040. Our insights are informed by research on parcel logistics in Central London, leveraging a data set of parcel manifests spanning 6 months. To understand the impact of growing e-commerce trends on parcel deliveries we provide a mixed methods case study leveraging data-driven analysis and qualitative fieldwork to demonstrate how ICT can uncover the impact of parcel deliveries on delivery drivers and their delivery rounds during seasonal deliveries (or “the silly season”). We finish by discussing key opportunities for intervention and further research in ICT4S and co-created Smart Cities, connecting our findings with existing research and data as a call to the ICT4S community to help tackle the growth in carbon emissions, pollution and congestion linked to parcel deliveries.