Evaluating the Suitability of Crowd-Shipping Platforms for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2019: $299,311.00
Projected End Date: 09/30/2022
Grant Recipient: The University of Texas at Arlington
Region: Southern
State: Texas
Principal Investigator:
Caroline Krejci
The University of Texas at Arlington
Abstract: Crowd-shipping platforms have the potential to serve as flexible and low-cost logistics solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which tend to have proportionally higher logistics costs than large companies. By increasing visibility and access to underutilized vehicle capacity, crowd-shipping platforms can offer lower rates than traditional delivery services. Leveraging excess capacity on premeditated delivery trips can also improve logistics efficiency and reduce emissions. However, high platform fees, insufficient carriers, and difficulty finding suitable platforms are common barriers to widespread adoption. This research evaluates the degree to which existing commercial crowd-shipping platforms can provide suitable transportation solutions for SMEs. A systematic search yielded 400 platforms, which were evaluated for SME suitability by requesting quotes for delivery service from each platform, based on typical shipping requirements of two agriculture-based SMEs in Texas. The responses and quotes that were received, as well as feedback from the case study SMEs, indicate that most existing platforms are unlikely to meet the needs of SME shippers. The results suggest ways in which crowd-shipping platform managers could take advantage of this market opportunity by tailoring the services and features of their platforms to better meet the expectations of SMEs.
Peer-reviewed Journal Article
Anuj Mittal, Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development
Amy Marusak, The University of Texas at Arlington
Caroline Krejci, The University of Texas at Arlington
Narjes Sadeghiamirshahidi, The University of Texas at Arlington
Jamie Rogers, The University of Texas at Arlington
Target audiences:
Farmers/Ranchers; Researchers
This product is associated with the project "Regional Food Transportation for Texas Farmers"
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.