Urban Logistics: Delivery Companies are Redefining the Last Mile

Urban parcel delivery is more complicated and triggering new strategies to get goods through packed city centers

The Wall Street Journal

Dec. 16, 2015—The Coca-Cola Co. bottler in Rio de Janeiro used to deliver crates of drinks in the city’s Copacabana area by truck until a parking ban forced the company to rethink its distribution strategy. The big cargo vehicles now arrive early in the morning, park at designated sites and transfer the goods to motorcycles that make the final delivery to customers.

Logistics changes like this will become more common in crowded urban centers around the world as local communities cope with growing congestion and companies develop new last-mile distribution models.

Big cities are growing in both size and complexity, especially in the world’s emerging economies. In an effort to curb traffic congestion and pollution, local governments are restricting the movement of commercial vehicles in city centers. At the same time, the explosive growth of e-commerce is changing consumer buying patterns and disrupting traditional delivery services that use trucks.

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