Fostering unassisted off-hour deliveries: the role of incentives
Journal article, 2017

This paper describes the chief findings of research conducted to assess the willingness of receivers of supplies to accept unassisted off-hour deliveries (U-OHD), which are those conducted outside regular business hours and without the assistance of the receiving establishment staff. U-OHD have potential to increase economic competitiveness, reduce congestion, improve environmental conditions, enhance livability, and increase quality of life in urban areas. This study considers the role that public policy initiatives could play in fostering receivers’ acceptance of U-OHD by analyzing survey data collected from potential U-OHD adopters. The paper describes the survey conducted, performs descriptive analyses of the data, analyzes the respondents’ stated willingness to participate in unassisted off-hour deliveries, estimates discrete choice models to gain insight into receivers’ decision-making processes, and analyzes the effectiveness of alternative policy scenarios. It is found that a number of policy levers can foster U-OHD: (1) public sector provision of a one-time incentive, a public recognition program, and business support services; (2) carriers providing shipping discounts to receivers of U-OHD; and (3) the creation of a Trusted Vendor Certification Program.

freight behaviour

urban freight


Unassisted off-hour deliveries



José Holguín-Veras

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Xiaokun Wang

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Ivan Sanchez-Diaz

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Service Management and Logistics

Shama Campbell

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Stacey Hodge

Division of Traffic and Planning

Miguel Jaller

University of California

Jeffrey Wojtowicz

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice

0965-8564 (ISSN)

Vol. 102 172-187

Gothenburg Urban Freight Platform

VREF, 2014-02-01 -- 2019-12-31.

VREF, 2022-06-01 -- 2024-12-31.

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Transport Systems and Logistics



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