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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2014, Article ID 417129, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/417129
Research Article

How to Choose “Last Mile” Delivery Modes for E-Fulfillment

1Institute of Systems Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China
2School of Business, Dalian University of Technology, Panjin 124221, China
3School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia

Received 11 February 2014; Revised 1 May 2014; Accepted 15 May 2014; Published 11 June 2014

Academic Editor: Kwok-Wo Wong

Copyright © 2014 Xuping Wang et al. 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.

Abstract

“Last mile” delivery has become one of the bottlenecks of e-logistics. This paper aims to explore the competitiveness of three “Last mile” delivery modes—attended home delivery (AHD), reception box (RB), and collection-and-delivery points (CDPs) in different scenarios, especially in high population density scenario. The advantages and disadvantages of each mode are introduced first. Then each mode’s operation efficiency is solved with different kinds of vehicle routing problem (VRP) models and genetic algorithm (GA). Finally the cost of each mode is calculated on the basis of cost structures and operation efficiencies. The results show that different modes are suitable for different scenarios: (i) AHD and independent reception box work better in a scenario with sparse population or small order quantity; (ii) shared reception box and CDPs are more appropriate in the scenario with high population density and large order quantity, and the better one depends on the cost of labors and facilities; (iii) RB is desirable in some circumstances as delivering fresh vegetables and fruits to the ones living in high-grade communities.