Estimating the benefits of dedicated unloading bays by field experimentation

Jan C. Fransoo, M. Gaston Cedillo-Campos, Karla M. Gamez-Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

In most dense urban environments in emerging markets, retail deliveries are very fragmented to thousands of nanostores. It is not uncommon for a delivery route to include more than 60 stops. Unloading bays are often blocked by regular traffic. Due to the complex urban environment, it is difficult to estimate the benefits of making unloading bays available. In this study, we conduct a field experiment in an urban field lab of one square kilometer in the downtown of Querétaro, Mexico. During the treatment period of one week, we obtain help from the local traffic police to keep the unloading bays available for unloading only. Using advanced GPS devices and extensive manual field observations, we are able to capture the change in driver behavior and the direct efficiency increases. We find a high efficiency gain, not only in travel time (39%) but also – remarkably – in the total time parked (17%). Corrected for other effects, we estimate a gain of about 44% in total time per delivery. Apart from the insights on unloading benefits, we also provide insights into the method of field experimentation in such a complex environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-354
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Volume160
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

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