Innovative Sustainable Urban Last Mile: A Synthetic Review of Academic Litterature, Grey Literature and Media Data

Yuan Virtanen, Marianna Sobkiewicz, Kien Do Trung, Anna Aminoff, Britta Gammelgaard

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


The rapid growth of e-commerce further accelerated by the current Corona crisis demands innovative solutions in creating more sustainable urban last mile logistics. However, academic research is behind practical developments, so that topic has not yet been examined from a practical perspective by considering grey literature and media data. This paper aims to provide an integrated understanding of the conceptual and practical developments in innovative sustainable last mile solutions.
By adopting a ‘state-of-the-art’ literature review approach, this paper analyses academic literature, grey literature (i.e. industry reports) and media data (i.e. news articles and Twitter tweets). Thematic content analysis was applied to synthesise findings from the data sources and to identify key themes and the front-line of sustainable last mile innovations.
Results reveal that all three data sources highlight innovative solutions within the stages of last mile transport (e.g. innovative vehicles) and last mile delivery (e.g. goods reception solutions), while giving limited consideration towards the processes of last mile fulfilment and last mile reverse logistics. Based on the synthetic review, a structured research agenda is proposed and several key innovative solutions that have high potential for future implementation are suggested.
This paper establishes a novel approach for innovative sustainable last mile by synthesising 2 academic literature, grey literature and contemporary trends in media sources. This synthesis contributes to the emergence of new understandings of innovative sustainable last mile by bridging the gap between academic scholarship, grey literature and media data under this topic.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2022
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventThe 33rd NOFOMA Conference 2021: Annual Nordic Logistics Research Network Conference - Online, Reykjavik, Iceland
Duration: 28 Sept 202130 Sept 2021
Conference number: 33


ConferenceThe 33rd NOFOMA Conference 2021
Internet address


  • Last mile logistics
  • Literature review
  • Secondary data
  • Media data
  • Grey literature
  • Sustainability
  • Urban freight innovation

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