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In the last several years there has been a surge of interest in fostering more sustainable logistical operations in urban areas. Under the umbrella of the generic term City Logistics, these initiatives try to take advantage of the coordinating power of a municipal government to convince urban delivery companies to participate in collaborative schemes that by reducing truck trips, increasing the utilization of trucks, or both, may reduce the negative externalities associated with urban truck traffic.

For the most part, the bulk of the research on this topic has focused on: analyses of real life trials (Kohler, 2001; 2004; Hayashi et al., 2006); the use of routing models to assess potential benefits and costs (Thompson, 2003; Yamada and Taniguchi, 2005); policy issues and national programs in City Logistics (Kohler, 2001; Patier, 2006); among other topics. Unfortunately, not much research has been conducted to understand the behaviors of urban carriers and freight receivers in response to the cooperative multicarrier delivery initiatives and assess its impacts on a disaggregate level. One exception is the behavioral modeling work conducted by Holguín-Veras (2010) using data from New York City (Holguín-Veras, 2006; Holguín-Veras et al., 2006a; 2006b). The results show that 15%-18% of the urban carrier industry would be either highly or extremely likely users of joint delivery services (JDS) or a joint staging area (JSA). Company size and tour length are negatively correlated with the likelihood or participating in the JDS concept, implying that engaging small and mid-size companies is more likely to succeed than convincing large or very large carriers to participate in JDS. It was also found that there are industry segments that have an innate inclination to participate in cooperative multi-carrier delivery initiatives: carriers delivering food products to both Manhattan and Brooklyn were found to have a statistically significant higher propensity to join the service. Companies that identify themselves as “distributors,” chemical carriers and household good carriers tend to have a higher propensity to collaborate with a JDS to make deliveries to Manhattan. Similarly, manufacturers, textile carriers and plastic carriers expressed a higher interested in participating with the JDS to do deliveries to Brooklyn. Taken together, these findings clearly suggest that City Logistic projects should target the industry segments more likely to participate in the proposed concepts. This is bound to significantly reduce implementation costs and, at the same time, increase success rates and collective welfare.

This project attempts to build on the behavioral models established by Holguín-Veras (2010) and further evaluate the benefits, costs and impacts of the cooperative multi-carrier delivery Initiatives. Based on the behavior simulation, the impacts of cooperative multi-carrier delivery initiatives on freight trips will be analyzed. Its further impacts on carriers, receivers and society at large will also be assessed.