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Crowdsourcing the Last Mile

In: New Business and Regulatory Strategies in the Postal Sector


  • Michael D. Bradley

    (George Washington University)

  • Jeff Colvin

    (USPS Office of Inspector General)

  • Mary K. Perkins

    (Howard University)


Crowdsourced ridesharing companies, such as Uber, have recently made moves to expand into last-mile package delivery, setting up a competitive struggle between them and the national hub-and-spoke companies (NHC). Crowdsourced ridesharing platforms have achieved significant penetration of the passenger service industry. They have done so through constructing a two-sided platform linking consumers seeking rides with independent drivers and have avoided investing in a large physical network. In this paper, we model the interaction between contending suppliers in the same day delivery network, incorporating the scale and scope economies inherent in an NHC local delivery and the two-sided platform characteristics of ridesharing providers. Conditions under which ridesharing providers can successfully complete with NHCs include a high value placed on rapid delivery and significant cost complementarity enjoyed by passenger and delivery services.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael D. Bradley & Jeff Colvin & Mary K. Perkins, 2018. "Crowdsourcing the Last Mile," Topics in Regulatory Economics and Policy, in: Pier Luigi Parcu & Timothy J. Brennan & Victor Glass (ed.), New Business and Regulatory Strategies in the Postal Sector, pages 55-66, Springer.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:topchp:978-3-030-02937-1_5
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-02937-1_5

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