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Efficient and sustainable logistics
The exponential growth in e-commerce volume has put enormous pressure on the last mile delivery system, the process by which products are shipped from distribution centers to end consumers. Worldwide e-commerce sales have quadrupled over the decade, from $2 billion in 2010 to around $3.5 trillion at the end of 2019.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated this trend as more and more people are demanding non-contact forms of shopping. Take, for example, the penetration of e-commerce in the United States: when the pandemic struck a 10-year increase occurred in three months
People continue to expect ever shorter delivery times, which is why last mile delivery systems are becoming the so-called "bottleneck". Logistics suppliers are struggling with the growing volume of goods, which results in slower delivery times and less flexibility in their scope and higher costs for customers. In addition, the shipping traffic continues to grow, so the negative environmental effects are likely to increase unless action is taken to mitigate them.
Better technologies and performance levers are needed to handle last-mile deliveries in the Japanese collage of regions with varying population densities. Understanding these issues - including at the policy and structure levels - and how they differ between urban and non-urban regions, can be instructive for other countries. This article presents the consequences of the continuous increase in the number of last mile deliveries in urban and suburban areas. Through examining the effectiveness of various interventions currently being used to mitigate the negative consequences of rising costs and carbon emissions, it has been found that delivery robots - small personal delivery devices that can transport packages weighing up to 100 kilograms at a maximum speed of 5 km/h may be the best way to reducing carbon emissions and costs while coping with issues such as the lack of manpower.
Most people are well aware what it means to wait for a online delivery. Usually after making a purchase there is a tendency to refresh the tracking page constantly, virtually following the goods from the warehouse to the sorting room to the destination. A number of interventions can be implemented to meet the growing demand for delivery online. We looked at the long list of viable initiatives from the WEF report, taking into account the context of the situation in Japan, including the regulations and the current state of implementation of these interventions, as well as the expected impact on carbon emissions and delivery costs in urban and suburban areas.
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