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CARGO CYCLES

Team: Andre Alho, Cheng Cheng, Moshe Ben-Akiva, Giacomo Dalla Chiara, Lynette Cheah

Urban deliveries are traditionally carried out with vans or trucks. These vehicles tend to face parking difficulties in dense urban areas, leading to traffic congestion. Smaller and nimbler vehicles, such as cargo-cycles, by design struggle to compete in distance range and carrying capacity. However, a system of cargo-cycles completed with strategically located cargo-storing hubs can overcome some limitations of the cargo-cycles. Past research provides a limited perspective on how demand characteristics and parking conditions in urban areas are related to potential benefits of this system. To fulfill this gap, we propose a model to simulate the performance of different operational scenarios - a truck-only scenario and a cargo-cycle with mobile hubs scenario – under different delivery demand and parking conditions. We apply the model to a case-study where the exploration of alternative demand scenarios informs how demand characteristics influence the viability of the solution. Furthermore, a sensitivity analysis clarifies the contributing factors to the demonstrated results.