Chapter 21 E-commerce and urban logistics: trends, challenges, and opportunities
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This chapter analyses e-commerce, by focusing on its relevance to urban freight transport, in terms of both market penetration and impact on sustainability. E-commerce is defined according to its spread around the world, different types of goods, and delivery systems. The chapter illustrates the main elements to consider when analysing e-commerce and its impacts. It underlines the importance of demand analysis, actors involved, and service configurations. It discusses the main innovations related to technology, business models and regulations useful for mitigating negative externalities, and provides relevant examples. The chapter synthesizes problems, knowledge needed, research trends, and future directions, and concludes by discussing the roles that public policy planning and stakeholder engagement play in addressing the growth of e-commerce while guaranteeing economic, environmental, and social sustainability.

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