Yiling Zhang, Assistant Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering
To cope with the challenges of increasingly shorter delivery times, higher volumes, and more volatile demand, retailers are turning to innovative solutions. Among these is an increased reliance on crowdsourcing for last mile delivery--the most expensive and challenging leg of the delivery process. However, there is limited research on the effective design, planning, and operation of a crowd-based last mile delivery system. The goals of this project are to (1) lay out the theoretical foundation for how such systems should be designed and managed, (2) develop data-driven algorithms to support the real-word implementation of these systems, and (3) test and validate these algorithms using real-world data from two major online retailers: Target in the US and JD.COM in China.