Blog posts

Face to Face At Last

First in-person meeting of the iSmile consortium was a success.

The i-SMILE research consortium met physically for the first time in late April at CBS. For most of us, this was the first time to meet face to face. We spent two days together during which we had intense talks about the progress so far and the way forward. The corona crisis has slowed down some of the data collection where stakeholders, such as consumers and couriers, are involved. However, we are moving forward and are more excited than ever. Since we started, the subject of innovations in sustainable logistics and last-mile deliveries has become even more timely.

Several consortium members have prepared conference papers for the upcoming conference season. Helleke Heikkinen, PhD candidate from Hanken, presented her paper on different cognitive frames regarding sustainability between retailers and logistics service providers. Helleke’s data consists of interviews with several relevant stakeholders in Finland and the paper is to be a part of the doctoral thesis.

Virva Tuomala, postdoctoral researcher also from Hanken, presented her and Anna Aminoff and Niklas Arvidsson’s paper on automated delivery vehicles for last mile deliveries. This paper came out of a fruitful collaboration with Forum Virium, an innovation company owned by the city of Helsinki, and LMAD, a start up in the field of automated last mile delivery vehicles. The collaboration is set to continue later in 2022, which is great news for i-SMILE!

Inspiring was also the visit from Dr. Cristiana Parisi, CBS, who talked about the large EU innovation project, REFLOW, that she has been leading the last three years. The project is about circularity in cities and as we remarked, there was no logistics or SCM discussed in the project. We think there is a potential here.

Finally, a master thesis on last mile delivery from retailers’ point of view was presented by student Benjamin Vives. The comparative case study will, among other things, assess last mile deliveries from a total cost of ownership perspective. We look forward to seeing the final results.

All presentations were very interesting and good discussions and inspiration came out of these two presentations. This particularly showed the importance of face-to-face meetings for collaboration in long-term projects like this. While we have achieved a lot through digital meetings, this physical meeting was greatly needed!

i-SMILE Project