Across all industries, from manufacturing to services, decision-makers must deal day to day with the outcomes from past and current decisions that affect their business. Last-mile delivery is the term used in supply chain management to describe the movement of goods from a hub to final destinations. This research proposes a methodology that supports decision making for the execution of last-mile delivery operations in a supply chain. This methodology offers diverse, hybrid, and complementary techniques (e.g., optimization, simulation, machine learning, and geographic information systems) to understand last-mile delivery operations through data-driven decision-making. The hybrid modeling might create better warning systems and support the delivery stage in a supply chain. The methodology proposes self-learning procedures to iteratively test and adjust the gaps between the expected and real performance. This methodology supports the process of making effective decisions promptly, optimization, simulation, and machine learning models are used to support execution processes and adjust plans according to changes in conditions, circumstances, and critical factors. This research is applied in two case studies. The first one is in maritime logistics, which discusses the decision process to find the type of vessels and routes to deliver petroleum from ships to villages. The second is in city logistics, where a network of stakeholders during the city distribution process is analyzed, showing the potential benefits of this methodology, especially in metropolitan areas. Potential applications of this system will leverage growing technological trends (e.g., machine learning in supply chain management and logistics, internet of things). The main research impact is the design and implementation of a methodology, which can support real-time decisions and adjust last-mile operations depending on the circumstances. The methodology allows taking decisions under conditions of stakeholder behavior patterns like vehicle drivers, customers, locations, and traffic. As the main benefit is the possibility to predict future scenarios and plan strategies for the most likely situations in last-mile delivery. This will help determine and support the accurate calculation of performance indicators. The research brings a unified methodology, where different solution approaches can be used in a synchronized form, which allows researches and other interested people to see the connection between techniques. With this research, it was possible to bring advanced technologies in routing practices and algorithms to decrease operating cost and leverage the use of offline and online information, thanks to connected sensors to support decisions.


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Graduation Date





Rabelo, Luis


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Industrial Engineering and Management Systems

Degree Program

Industrial Engineering









Release Date

August 2020

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)