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Integrated Planning of Order Capture and Delivery for Attended Deliveries in Metropolitan Areas

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The ongoing boom in e-commerce increases the importance of profitable and customer-oriented delivery services. Particularly in metropolitan areas, the high population density offers great potential for e-commerce, while uncertain demand and traffic conditions increase planning uncertainty. This contribution focuses on e-commerce delivery fulfillment (e-fulfillment) for attended last-mile delivery services in metropolitan areas. As the customer needs to be present for deliveries of groceries, for example, a service time window has to be agreed upon already when a customer’s order is accepted. We consider service time windows as a scarce resource and as the critical interface between order capture and order delivery. To optimally utilize this scarce resource, we propose combining concepts of revenue management and vehicle routing to extend tactical and operational planning for e-fulfillment. We define the research problem and provide a perspective on integrated planning for attended deliveries. Furthermore, we present the design of a virtual laboratory to support benchmarking in e-fulfillment research. To ensure realistic experimental settings, we plan to incorporate real-world data provided by a major e-grocery in Germany.