Nordstrom, Costco, UPS Join Last-Mile Delivery Study in Seattle

In the heart of Amazon country, Nordstrom, Costco and UPS have joined with a team from the University of Washington in Seattle to study solutions to last-mile delivery issues in urban areas.

UW’s Urban Freight Lab will explore high-impact, low-cost solutions in urban areas where delivery vehicles, bicycles, cars and pedestrians all have to coexist, according to a report in the university’s publication.

The lab will bring together retailers, freight carriers, logistics providers, technology companies and property developers to help work out the many logistical challenges around last-mile delivery. For instance, some developers have been rethinking building design to better accommodate the growing influx of daily ecommerce deliveries to high-rise residences and offices.

Executing on last-mile delivery – getting the package from the nearest sort or fulfillment center or postal DDU to the customer’s doorstep – has been an ongoing challenge for merchant shippers. This has been exacerbated by Amazon raising the bar in terms of customer expectations of speedy fulfillment via Prime membership and its vast network of facilities, leaving everyone else scrambling to keep up.

This topic in fact will be covered at Operations Summit 2017, March 27-29 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA, in a session entitled “Solving the Last-Mile Delivery Puzzle.” A panel of industry experts will tackle the various issues around last mile and discuss solutions. Hope to see you there!

Mike O’Brien is Senior Editor of Multichannel Merchant and lead programmer of Operations Summit.



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