Multi-modal multi-echelon logistics optimisation planning for medical interchanges in the Solent region of the UK using drones, cargo bikes, and vans

Djamila Ouelhadj*, Somayeh Allahyari, Xiang Song, Tom Cherrett, Andy Oakey, Toni Martinez Sykora

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The sustainability of urban logistics could be improved by a partial transition of urban freight delivery from ground-based vans and light commercial vehicles to cargo bikes and Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Due to the benefits of UAVs in terms of transit speed, reduced emissions, and improved access to remote/rural areas, the healthcare sector could particularly benefit from the use of drones, as many medical products could have short shelf lives and therefore require a timely collection/delivery. The Drone Medical Logistics project, which is part of the Solent Future Transport Zone (FTZ) programme funded by the UK Department for Transport (DfT), focuses on developing a simulation environment for optimising and evaluating multi-modal supply chains involving land-to-UAV and UAV-to-land logistics interchanges. This study aims to develop multimodal logistics planning and optimisation tools that will enable a fleet manager to quantify in what ways drones can be used as part of integrated fleets to efficiently improve deliveries/collections of medical/healthcare products between hospitals and surgeries in the Solent region, whilst reducing emissions and mean receipt times at the pathology labs to improve patient care.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of INFORMS Transportation and Logistics Society
PublisherINFORMS Inst.for Operations Res.and the Management Sciences
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 6 Feb 2023
EventINFORMS Transportation and Logistics Society: Second Triennial Conference - Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, United States
Duration: 23 Jul 202326 Jul 2023
Conference number: Second Triennial Conference


ConferenceINFORMS Transportation and Logistics Society
Abbreviated titleTSL 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • Last Mile Logistics
  • Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles
  • multi-echelon vehicle routing
  • Heuristics

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