Crowdsourcing the Last Logistical Mile

April 23, 2018
Crowdsourcing the Last Logistical Mile

Crowdsourced delivery is on the rise with 10% of retailers using this “last mile” delivery model currently, and 26% of retailers planning to use this delivery network in the future.  The challenges to crowdsourced delivery include finding a long term partner, sharing privacy data with vendors, and the potential for safety incidents at delivery.

But there are also opportunities, especially in densely populated areas, as retailers compete to offer same-day delivery.

This post is based on Logistics Viewpoints’ The Other Side of the Coin for Crowdsourced Deliveries, by Chris Cunnane, April 11, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov.

Discussion Questions:

1. How can a major retailer select a safe, reliable, and financially stable “last mile” delivery partner?

Guidance: Students should develop a checklist to present in class that addresses vendor selection for a crowdsourced delivery partner.  Lists could include items related to financial stability, route coverage, delivery guarantees, contract penalties for failures, and addressing privacy protection policies.

2. Would crowdsourced delivery be a viable solution for the healthcare industry? Why or why not?

Guidance: Students should consider the privacy and safety concerns that are more difficult to address with crowdsourced delivery firms.  For example, explore whether there are differences in delivery of patients, delivery of blood, and delivery of hospital beds.


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