Distribution Network Design
We develop interactive, data-driven optimization and simulation models that help designing better last-mile distribution networks and delivery models to serve demand in congested urban centers more efficiently.
Urban Freight Infrastructure
We combine data analytics, mathematical modeling, and industry best practices to guide freight infrastructure investments and policy design to make cities more livable and last-mile logistics operations more sustainable.
Logistics Big Data Analytics
We develop analytical methods and tools to navigate and analyze the vast amounts of data generated by logistics operations every day in order to derive intelligible and actionable insights that help improve last-mile performance.
Last-Mile Technology Innovation
We conduct inter-disciplinary research to identify potentially disruptive technology innovations, assess their impact on last-mile distribution, and support their adoption in the marketplace.
Logistics is an enabler of quality of life in cities: it delivers goods and services to city dwellers enabling them to enjoy all the benefits of the urban environment. There are, however, three major drivers of increased complexity of urban logistics networks that calls for a new thinking on city logistics. First, urbanization is progressing at a high pace. In particular, cities in the emerging markets are becoming the new global economic hot spots. The rapid increase of the number of megacities with more than 10 million inhabitants around the world is an example of a new era of urbanization. Second, the growth of electronic and mobile commerce is triggering an increasing amount of direct shipments from manufacturers and retailers to individuals. Direct deliveries do not only increase complexity of last-mile urban transportation networks, they also lead to fragmentation of shipments and higher complexity and greater need for coordination between consumers, retailers and manufacturers to distribute goods efficiently. Finally, on-going efforts from cities to invest in public transportation, limiting road access and parking spaces in favor of pedestrian and public transit infrastructure, disproportionally impact logistics operations. With urban freight generating an important share of urban congestion and pollution, private and public sector need to collaborate to improve the quality of life in urban environments. The MIT Megacity Logistics Lab addresses these challenges by bringing together business, logistics, and urban planning perspectives to develop appropriate technologies, infrastructures and policies for sustainable urban logistics operations. While megacities constitute the most complex urban environments, we consider urban areas of all sizes. Our work aims to promote new urban delivery models, from unattended home delivery solutions, to smart locker systems, to click & collect services. We are pushing the limits of existing logistics network designs as future city logistics networks need to support omni-channel retail models, smaller store formats, increased intensity of deliveries, coordinate multiple transshipment points, engage a wider range of vehicle technologies – including electric and autonomous vehicles – and support complex inventory balancing and deployment strategies.
Percent of global population will live in cities by 2050
Percent of global GDP growth until 2025 will come from 600 largest cities
McKinsey Global Institute
Percent annual growth rate of global e-commerce volume in 2016
Percent of transportation cost occur in the last mile
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
Daniel E. Merchán
André C. Snoeck
Yin Jin Lee
Sergio A. Caballero
Edgar E. Blanco
Get to know our latest initiative: the MIT Visual Analytics Lab
In a talk at the Society of Industrial & Office Realtors (SIOR) Annual Conference in New Orleans, MIT’s Matthias Winkenbach discussed the current challenges in urban last-mile logistics in light of the continuing boom in e-commerce. In it’s quarterly magazine, SIOR reflects on the insights shared by Dr. Winkenbach and other industry experts.
Daniel Merchan of the MIT CTL Megacity Logistics Lab has been awarded the 2016 L.L. Waters Scholarship sponsored by APICS. The L.L. Waters Scholarship Program was established to encourage advanced undergraduate study and graduate study in the field of transportation, logistics, physical distribution, for the purpose of preparing persons of high potential for professional careers[…]
In an article for the MIT Sloan Management review, MIT’s Matthias Winkenbach outlines how data analytics and interactive visualization can enable faster, better-informed decision making on the way to more efficient last-mile delivery operations in congested urban centers.
In a Wall Street Journal commentary, MIT’s Matthias Winkenbach and Daniel E. Merchán write that demographic changes and shifting buying patterns are combining to change delivery in the congested cities, leading to new last-mile logistics strategies
Dr. Matthias Winkenbach, Research Associate at the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, has been appointed as the new Director of the MIT Megacity Logistics Lab. Dr. Winkenbach received his Ph.D. in Logistics and his Masters in Business with specializations in Finance and Economics at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany. He also[…]
This is the annual Future Urban Mobility Symposium, organized by the Future Urban Mobility (FM) IRG of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) Center. The two-day Symposium, featuring contributions from researchers at SMART, MIT, NTU, NUS, and SMU, among others, will give an up-to-date account on research on a variety of topics relevant[…]
MIT MLL partners with Monterrey Tech to explore urban freight solutions in Mexico City neighborhoods
The MIT Megacity Logistics Lab is partnering with Monterrey Tech Campus Santa Fé to explore sustainable urban freight solutions in the Azcapotzalco area in Mexico City. The research methodology devised for this project combines state-of-the art logistics data analytics and interactive visualization. Researchers include Monterrey Tech faculty: Dr. Josué Velazquez, Dr. Lourdes Muñoz, Dr. Raul Morales[…]
IST-Lisbon PhD candidate and MLL visiting student André Alho recieved the “2015 best doctoral disertation award” at the European Logistics Association Doctorate Workshop, for his research on urban freight parking in Lisbon. About the workshop: The European Logistics Association organizes a yearly European Doctorate Workshop. The 2015 edition was in Schindellegi, Switzerland, from June 24th[…]
On Tuesday June 16, the Dutch company Slimstock awarded three scholarships to excellent students in the field of Supply Chain at the Dutch National Inventory Day. André Snoeck, visiting student at the Megacity Logistics Lab, received one of the awards to invest in his further academic development. André shared his plans when interviewed by the[…]
Daniel Merchán, graduate student at the MIT Megacity Logistics Lab, was awarded a research grant by Instituto de la Ciudad to continue his research work on urban logistics in Quito. This project will add another case study to the Better Cities for Logistics policy toolkit being developed at the Megacity Lab. Further details about the grant and[…]