A fuzzy multi-criteria model for evaluating sustainable urban freight transportation operations
Abstract The growing number of studies to measure sustainability in transportation highlights the importance of this research topic. Nonetheless, these studies do not address or even consider the sustainability of urban freight transportation, such as the results of a systematic literature review conducted on the theme indicate. However, urban freight transportation has long-term impacts upon sustainability. Consequently, it is important that freight transport companies operate in more sustainable manners. In this context, we address in this paper the challenge for transport operators in how to evaluate and select sustainable configurations for urban freight transportation. We present a fuzzy multi-criteria decision making approach for selecting alternative configurations for the distribution chain in urban areas in terms of sustainability. Fuzzy multi-criteria is used to aggregate scores for sustainability assessment and selection of the best alternative, considering thus not only different weights but also uncertainty. An application of the proposed framework to the assessment of alternative courier operations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is presented to demonstrate its applicability. A sensitive analysis is also carried out to determine how different weights assigned to input parameters might impact the final priority ranking, and thus the final decision. The framework presented is simple, flexible and wide useful, besides its practical applicability. Companies and transportation operators could address to such tool to evaluate their distribution chain and identify more sustainable configurations for their urban deliveries. Highlights A set of sustainable indicators for urban freight transport is proposed. We use fuzzy logic to develop a sustainable index for urban freight transport. The use of e-tricycles shows better results for the sustainable composite index. The method could be a basis for sustainability standards and certification programs. It can be used for benchmarking to compare different urban delivery companies.
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