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The Influence of Time Windows on the Costs of Urban Freight Distribution Services in City Logistics Applications


  • Francesco P. Deflorio

    (DIATI - Dipartimento dell'ingegneria dell'ambiente, del territorio e delle infrastrutture - Polito - Politecnico di Torino [Torino])

  • Jesus Gonzalez-Feliu

    () (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - ENTPE - École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Guido Perboli

    (DAUIN - Department of Computer Engineering - Polito - Politecnico di Torino [Torino])

  • Roberto Tadei

    (DAUIN - Department of Computer Engineering - Polito - Politecnico di Torino [Torino])


In freight distribution services a required quality level may have a relevant effect on transportation costs. For this reason an evaluation tool is useful to compare different service settings and support the decision, on the base of quantitative indicators. This paper proposes a method for cost evaluation in this context and presents an application to a case study concerning a freight distribution service, which operates on a wide road network having a city centre, a peripheral urban area and a peri-urban rural zone. A simulation method is proposed to obtain real-life scenarios in order to test the method and its indicators. The performance of each indicator has been evaluated in an experimental context to produce realistic test cases, using a trip planning tool and a demand generator. First, the behaviour of the indicators is analysed with regard to the time windows width planned for the service. Then, their ability in estimating the total transportation cost to satisfy all the requests, under different time period profiles, is shown. The results confirm the ability of the set of indicators to predict with a good approximation the transportation costs and therefore to be used in supporting the service quality planning decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco P. Deflorio & Jesus Gonzalez-Feliu & Guido Perboli & Roberto Tadei, 2012. "The Influence of Time Windows on the Costs of Urban Freight Distribution Services in City Logistics Applications," Post-Print halshs-00736428, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00736428
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eiichi Taniguchi & Rob E.C.M. Van Der Heijden, 2000. "An evaluation methodology for city logistics," Transport Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 65-90, January.
    2. Jacobsen, S. K. & Madsen, O. B. G., 1980. "A comparative study of heuristics for a two-level routing-location problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 5(6), pages 378-387, December.
    3. Gerardo Berbeglia & Jean-François Cordeau & Irina Gribkovskaia & Gilbert Laporte, 2007. "Static pickup and delivery problems: a classification scheme and survey," TOP: An Official Journal of the Spanish Society of Statistics and Operations Research, Springer;Sociedad de Estadística e Investigación Operativa, vol. 15(1), pages 1-31, July.
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    7. Francesco Russo & Antonio Comi, 2010. "A modelling system to simulate goods movements at an urban scale," Transportation, Springer, vol. 37(6), pages 987-1009, November.
    8. Danielis, Romeo & Marcucci, Edoardo & Rotaris, Lucia, 2005. "Logistics managers' stated preferences for freight service attributes," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 201-215, May.
    9. Hunt, J.D. & Stefan, K.J., 2007. "Tour-based microsimulation of urban commercial movements," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 981-1013, November.
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    urban freight distribution; compatibility indicators; evaluation method; simulation; real-life applications;

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