Crowdshipping: critical points of a promising sustainable urban freight system

The following is a brief summary of the Master thesis of Marco Ferrari, a student of the University of Roma Tre. The thesis was supervised by TRELab director Valerio Gatta and Ila Maltese.

This thesis has explored different aspects of crowdshipping. It chose to focus solely on its use for the last mile delivery and on the critical points that seemed to have not been fully taken into account in the existing literature. The effort to catalogue these criticalities provided a systematization of the issues crowdshipping might face. Some of them are real problems while others appear more as a matter of choice. The secondary objective to provide solutions to those very issues cannot be considered fully achieved. While the answers proposed in the previous section seem convincing to the author, more empirical evidences are necessary to prove if they are indeed correct. However, this thesis appears valuable inasmuch it tried to have a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to the subject. It seemed important to emphasize the fact that all the themes treated in this dissertation are interconnected and need to be considered together. It must be noted that the multidisciplinary approach does not reside in the criticalities themselves but rather in the various competences (in law, economics, engineering, sociology and so on) that are necessary to confront and solve those critical points. It is not possible to decide which types of goods to deliver without considering privacy concerns or the choice of the vehicle, privacy is inevitably connected to the type of contract and to social issues, and so on. This work might be useful as a stimulus for further developments of academic research and for practitioners in the field to address potential criticalities.

For further details, download the full report on the thesis.

Report: Crowdshipping, critical points of a promising SUFS

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