Cost and Performance Optimisation in the Technological Phase of Parcel Delivery – A Literature Review

  • Ermin Muharemović University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Traffic and Communications, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Samir Čaušević University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Traffic and Communications, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Amel Kosovac University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Traffic and Communications, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Jasmina Baraković Husić University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Keywords: optimisation, costs, performances, delivery, innovations, technology, outsourcing


The present review paper provides a systematic insight into the studies published so far when it comes to the research on the cost and performance optimisation in the parcel delivery phase. Globalisation, as well as the new trends, such as selling online, directly influences the demands for the delivery of goods. Demand for the delivery of goods proportionally affects the transport prices. A great majority of deliveries is carried out in densely populated urban areas. In terms of costs, the greatest part in the courier organisations costs is observed in the technological phase of parcel delivery, which is at the same time the least efficient. For that reason, significant improvement of performance and cost optimisation in the very delivery phase is a rather challenging field for the researchers. New algorithm-based technologies, innovations in the logistics and outsourcing of individual technological phases are ways by means of which one strives to enhance the delivery efficiency, to improve performance and quality, but also - to optimise the costs in the last phase of delivery. The aim of the present paper is to offer a systematic review into the most recent research in the field of technology, innovations and outsourcing models with the aim of reducing the cost and enhancing the productivity and quality in parcel delivery.


Almqvist M, Basalisco B, Apon J, Okholm B, Cerpickis M, Facino M. Main Developments in the Postal Sector (2013-2016); 2018. DOI: 10.2873/51951

Savelsbergh MWP, Sol M. The General Pickup and Delivery Problem. Transportation Science. 1995;29(1): 17-29. DOI: 10.1287/trsc.29.1.17

Ding Z. Evaluating Different Last Mile Logistics Solutions. Master thesis. University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development; 2014. Available from:

Ko SY, Cho SW, Lee C. Pricing and collaboration in last mile delivery services. Sustainability. 2018;10: 4560. DOI: 10.3390/su10124560

Čaušević S, Deljanin A, Begović M, Deljanin E. Potentials and advantages of applying geographic information systems in various fields of traffic engineering. 5th International Conference on Road and Rail Infrastructure; 2018. p. 1285-90.

Deljanin A, Colakovic A, Muharemovic E. Rationalization of Transport of Postal Shipment using GPS/RFID Technologies in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Suvremeni Promet - Modern Traffic. 2014;34(1-2): 26-31.

Deljanin A, Kosovac A, Muharemović E. Use of ITS System as a Track&Trace in Express Delivery in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Suvremeni Promet - Modern Traffic. 2017;37(1-2): 30-5.

Jung H, Lee K, Chun W. Integration of GIS, GPS, and optimization technologies for the effective control of parcel delivery service. Computers and Industrial Engineering. 2006;51(1): 154-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.cie.2006.07.007

Thompson RG, Zhang L. Optimising courier routes in central city areas. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies. 2018;93(October 2017): 1-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.trc.2018.05.016

Santos FA, Mateus GR, Da Cunha AS. The pickup and delivery problem with cross-docking. Computers and Operations Research. 2013;40(4): 1085-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.cor.2012.11.021

Treleaven K, Pavone M, Frazzoli E, M. P. Models and Asymptotically Optimal Algorithms for Pickup and Delivery Problems on Roadmaps. In: Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE 51st IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC); 2012. Available from:

Ranieri L, Digiesi S, Silvestri B, Roccotelli M. A review of last mile logistics innovations in an externalities cost reduction vision. Sustainability (Switzerland). 2018;10: 782. DOI: 10.3390/su10030782

Dell’Amico M, Hadjidimitriou S. Innovative Logistics Model and Containers Solution for Efficient Last Mile Delivery. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2012;48: 1505-14. DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.06.1126

Perboli G, Rosano M, Gobbato L. Parcel delivery in urban areas: Opportunities and threats for the mix of traditional and green business models. Transportation Research Part C. 2016;99(January): 19-36. DOI: 10.1016/j.trc.2019.01.006

Juan AA, Mendez CA, Faulin J, De Armas J, Grasman SE. Electric vehicles in logistics and transportation: A survey on emerging environmental, strategic, and operational challenges. Energies. 2016;9: 86. DOI: 10.3390/en9020086

Kosovac A, Ferizović A. Impact of electric vehicle usage in the City Logistic center of Sarajevo. Suvremeni Promet - Modern Traffic. 2017;37(5-6): 223-9.

Juan AA, Goentzel J, Bektaş T. Routing fleets with multiple driving ranges: Is it possible to use greener fleet configurations? Applied Soft Computing Journal. 2014;21: 84-94. DOI: 10.1016/j.asoc.2014.03.012

Kosovac A, Ferizović A. Mathematical Model Of Measurement Of Positive Effects On The Application Of Electrical Vehicles In City Logistics. In: 5th International Conference on Road and Rail Infrastructure, CETRA 2018. Zadar; 2018. p. 1533-40. DOI: 10.5592/CO/CETRA.2018.643

Muñoz-Villamizar A, Montoya-Torres JR, Faulin J. Impact of the use of electric vehicles in collaborative urban transport networks: A case study. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment. 2017;50: 40-54. DOI: 10.1016/j.trd.2016.10.018

Tiwapat N, Pomsing C, Jomthong P. Last Mile Delivery: Modes, Efficiencies, Sustainability, and Trends. In: 2018 3rd IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Engineering, ICITE 2018; 2018. p. 313-7. DOI: 10.1109/ICITE.2018.8492585

Lemke J, Iwan S, Korczak J. Usability of the Parcel Lockers from the Customer Perspective - The Research in Polish Cities. Transportation Research Procedia. 2016;16(March): 272-87. DOI: 10.1016/j.trpro.2016.11.027

Ulmer MW, Streng S. Same-Day delivery with pickup stations and autonomous vehicles. Computers and Operations Research. 2019;108: 1-19. DOI: 10.1016/j.cor.2019.03.017

Vakulenko Y, Hellström D, Hjort K. What’s in the parcel locker? Exploring customer value in e-commerce last mile delivery. Journal of Business Research. 2018;88(June): 421-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2017.11.033

Iwan S, Kijewska K, Lemke J. Analysis of Parcel Lockers’ Efficiency as the Last Mile Delivery Solution - The Results of the Research in Poland. Transportation Research Procedia. 2016;12(June 2015): 644-55. DOI: 10.1016/j.trpro.2016.02.018

Verlinde S, Rojas C, Buldeo Rai H, Kin B, Macharis C. E-Consumers and Their Perception of Automated Parcel Stations. In: Taniguchi E, Thompson E. (eds.) City Logistics 3: Towards Sustainable and Liveable Cities; 2018. p. 147-60. DOI: 10.1002/9781119425472.ch8

Boysen N, Schwerdfeger S, Weidinger F. Scheduling last-mile deliveries with truck-based autonomous robots. European Journal of Operational Research. 2018;271(3): 1085-99. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2018.05.058

Karak A, Abdelghany K. The hybrid vehicle-drone routing problem for pick-up and delivery services. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies. 2019;102(March): 427-49. DOI: 10.1016/j.trc.2019.03.021

Kunze O. Replicators, Ground Drones and Crowd Logistics A Vision of Urban Logistics in the Year 2030. Transportation Research Procedia. 2016;19(June): 286-99. DOI: 10.1016/j.trpro.2016.12.088

Menouar H, Guvenc I, Akkaya K, Uluagac AS, Kadri A, Tuncer A. UAV-enabled intelligent transportation systems for the smart city: Applications and challenges. IEEE Communications Magazine. 2017;55(3): 22-8. DOI: 10.1109/MCOM.2017.1600238CM

Dorling K, Heinrichs J, Messier GG, Magierowski S. Vehicle Routing Problems for Drone Delivery. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems. 2017;47(1): 70-85. DOI: 10.1109/TSMC.2016.2582745

Shetty VK, Sudit M, Nagi R. Priority-based assignment and routing of a fleet of unmanned combat aerial vehicles. Computers and Operations Research. 2008;35(6): 1813-28. DOI: 10.1016/j.cor.2006.09.013

Boysen N, Briskorn D, Fedtke S, Schwerdfeger S. Drone delivery from trucks: Drone scheduling for given truck routes. Networks. 2018;72(4): 506-27. DOI: 10.1002/net.21847

Kinyua BK. Determinants of outsourcing services as a cost reduction measure in devolved government: a case study of Nairobi city county, Kenya. European Journal of Business and Social Sciences. 2015;4(05): 12-23. Available from:

Fadile L, El Oumami M, Beidouri Z. Logistics outsourcing: A review of basic concepts. International Journal of Supply Chain Management. 2018;7(3): 53-69.

Digiesi S, Fanti MP, Mummolo G, Silvestri B. Externalities reduction strategies in last mile logistics: A review. In: Proceedings - 2017 IEEE International Conference on Service Operations and Logistics, and Informatics, SOLI 2017; 2017. p. 248-53. DOI: 10.1109/SOLI.2017.8121002

Kim SJ, Lim H, Park M. Analysing the cost efficiency of parcel distribution networks with changes in demand. International Journal of Urban Sciences. 2014;18(3): 416-29. DOI: 10.1080/12265934.2014.975152

Gevaers R, Van de Voorde E, Vanelslander T. Cost Modelling and Simulation of Last-mile Characteristics in an Innovative B2C Supply Chain Environment with Implications on Urban Areas and Cities. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2014;125:398–411. DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.01.1483

Chaabouni F, Dhiaf MM. Logistics outsourcing relationships: Conceptual model. In: 2013 International Conference on Advanced Logistics and Transport, ICALT 2013. 2013. p. 458-63. DOI: 10.1109/ICAdLT.2013.6568502

Zäpfel G, Bögl M. Multi-period vehicle routing and crew scheduling with outsourcing options. International Journal of Production Economics. 2008;113(2):980–96. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2007.11.011

Hill AV, Hays JM, Naveh E. A Model for Optimal Delivery Time Guarantees. Journal of Service Research. 2000;2(3): 254-64. DOI: 10.1177/109467050023003

So KC. Price and Time Competition for Service Delivery. Manufacturing & Service Operations Management. 2003;2(4): 392-409. DOI: 10.1287/msom.2.4.392.12336

Thakur RK. Assessment Model for Outsourced Pick-Up and Delivery Operations. PhD thesis. MIT Global SCALE Network. Report number: MIT-2013-12, 2016. Available from:

Ülkü MA, Bookbinder JH. Optimal quoting of delivery time by a third party logistics provider: The impact of shipment consolidation and temporal pricing schemes. European Journal of Operational Research. 2012;221(1): 110-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2012.03.021

Zhu W, Ng SCH, Wang Z, Zhao X. The role of outsourcing management process in improving the effectiveness of logistics outsourcing. International Journal of Production Economics. 2017;188(March): 29-40. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2017.03.004

Han HS, Lee JN, Seo YW. Analyzing the impact of a firm’s capability on outsourcing success: A process perspective. Information and Management. 2008;45(1): 31-42. DOI: 10.1016/

Kin B, Spoor J, Verlinde S, Macharis C, Van Woensel T. Modelling alternative distribution set-ups for fragmented last mile transport: Towards more efficient and sustainable urban freight transport. Case Studies on Transport Policy. 2018;6(1): 125-32. DOI: 10.1016/j.cstp.2017.11.009

How to Cite
Muharemović E, Čaušević S, Kosovac A, Baraković Husić J. Cost and Performance Optimisation in the Technological Phase of Parcel Delivery – A Literature Review. Promet - Traffic&Transportation. 2021;33(1):129-3. DOI: 10.7307/ptt.v33i1.3439