Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Winter 2020


Vera Sell

Course Title

Technology Marketing

Course Number

ETM 555/655


Delivery of goods -- United States, Technology -- Management, Business logistics -- Technological innovations, Tricycles -- Applications to delivery of goods


According to the global logistics market report in 2018-2022 the industry will grow at a rate over 7%-year with $357B increase in revenue. A major area of focus during this period is the adoption of the Fifth Party Logistics (5PL) distribution model, meaning a switch from supply chains to supply networks. The 5PL model is often associated with E-Commerce and relies tremendously on integration of new technology such as big data analytics, Blockchain security / contracting, and the Internet of Things (IoT’s). The final trickle down of goods to end users in the 5PL model is also critically dependent on efficient and reliable last mile delivery having a total market value of nearly $40B. Consumers are driving increases in services provided by big names in E-commerce such as Amazon and Walmart. Timely doorstep delivery once considered only for consumer goods is evolving daily to include everything from groceries to medicines. The end user market is now expecting orders to be 100% accurate as well as just in time (JIT). For logistic companies to take full advantage of the 5PL model, an efficient and reliable method for last mile delivery must be secured.

An attractive solution to the last mile delivery problem in high population density areas is a high capacity, Eco friendly cargo vehicle, combined with a microhub refill station containing pre-loaded cargo boxes of parcel goods. The vehicle would be highly maneuverable and capable of hauling up to 400 pounds of cargo nearly 30 miles per working shift. The cargo box can be detachable and replaced from a larger trailer system called a microhub containing 4-9 cargo boxes and stationed approximately every 5 miles. The innovative technological solution will be versatile in cost effectively solving last mile delivery in both controlled environments such as college campuses and large venues as well as in less controlled and highly volatile urban environments. If electric or electric assist, additional batteries can be carried to double the daily range or for emergency backup to other vehicles.

The success of the product requires relatively nice travel routes similar to the paths used by normal bicycles. Excessively challenging terrain or geography can be expected to reduce battery life. Fit employees of average weight are ideal operators of the system as they will have physical demand and excessive weight would reduce battery life. The system must be capable of delivering to homes, apartments, businesses, and taller buildings that have elevators or lower level delivery stations / lockers. Performance level of the product is equivalent or greater than the car, bike, pedestrian, moped, scooter, van, truck delivery in terms of efficiency and cost. The technology should be quiet, flexible in delivery route options including no car zones, and accommodating to normal parking spots. If designed as a bike vehicle, operation of the vehicle will not require a driver's license, vehicle registration, and have lower maintenance costs than engine powered vehicles. In other words, it will have the capability of a small delivery car/truck but is only limited by bicycle regulations.


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