Estimating transportation network impedance to last-mile delivery: A case study of Maribyrnong City in Melbourne

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Logistics Management


Emerald Group Publishing Ltd


School of Business and Law




Ewedairo, K., Chhetri, P., & Jie, F. (2018). Estimating transportation network impedance to last-mile delivery: A case study of Maribyrnong City in Melbourne. International Journal of Logistics Management, 29(1), 110-130. Available here



The purpose of this paper is to measure and map the potential transportation network impedance to last-mile delivery (LMD) using spatial measures representing attributes of road network and planning controls.


The transport network impedance is estimated as the potential hindrance to LMD as imposed by the characteristics of the built and regulatory environment. A matrix of key transport and planning measures are generated and overlaid in geographical information systems to compute and visualise the levels of transportation network impedance to LMD using a composite indexing method.


The mapped outputs reveal significant spatial variation in transportation network impedance to LMD across different part of the study area. Significant differences were detected along the road segments that connect key industrial hubs or activity centres especially along tram routes and freight corridors, connecting the Port of Melbourne and logistic hub with the airport and the Western Ring Road.

Research limitations/implications

The use of static measures of transport and urban planning restricts the robustness of the impedance index, which can be enhanced through better integration of dynamic and real-time movements of business-to-business LMD of goods. Spatial approach is valuable for broader urban planning at a metropolitan or council level; however, its use is somewhat limited in assisting the daily operational planning and logistics decision making in terms of dynamic routing and vehicle scheduling.

Practical implications

The built and regulatory environment contributes to the severity of LMD problem in urban areas. The use of land use controls as instruments to increase city compactness in strategic nodes/hubs is more likely to deter the movement of urban freight. The mapped outputs would help urban planners and logisticians in mitigating the potential delay in last-mile deliveries through devising localised strategies such as dedicated freight corridors or time-bound deliveries in congested areas of road network.


This is the first study that measured the potential transport network impedance to LMD and improved understanding of the complex interactions between urban planning measures and LMD. Micro-scale mapping of transportation network impedance at the street level adds an innovative urban planning dimension to research in the growing field of city logistics.



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