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    Transportation for Delivering Groceries

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    Topic I: Delivering Groceries
    Please refer to the hypothetical grocery delivery business described in (Posting 612375). You are now confronted with a decision concerning transportation modes.
    Obviously, neither trains, ships, pipelines, large trucks nor airplanes are options for deliveries in residential neighborhoods (although drones may be an option in the near future). The options for your business are cars, motorcycles or bicycles.
    Cars can either be owned by the business, leased by the business, provided by employees (e.g. the usual pizza delivery scheme), or rented on a per-trip basis from a taxi company or private owners (à la Uber). A mixture of these options is also a possibility.
    Motorcycles can be owned by either the riders or by the business. Ditto bicycles. Although the weather in Silicon Valley is generally temperate, a delivery system that relied exclusively upon wind-in-the-face vehicles would have to have some sort of foul weather backup.
    In addition to flexibility and cost-effectiveness, whatever system you devise will have to consider the availability of operators and insurance costs, both for your employees and for the people they may run over.
    The readings are mostly concerned with "heavy" systems, up to and including multimodal (ships to trains to trucks), but the basic considerations involved in choosing a system - speed, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, safety, etc. - are applicable to any type of technology.
    So what sort of transportation mix would you choose for your business? We're looking for close, logical argumentation, backed up by citations and references.

    DeWitt, W. & Clinger, J. (2013). Intermodal freight transportation. Retrieved on 13 Jan 2015* from http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/millennium/00061.pdf
    Murray, M. (2015b). Containerization. Retrieved on 13 Jan 2015* from http://logistics.about.com/od/tacticalsupplychain/a/Containerization.htm
    Pearson (2015). Product Distribution (PPT deck). Retrieved on 13 Jan 2015* from http://www.pearsoncustom.com/mct-comprehensive/asset.php?isbn=1269879944&id=12248
    Smarta (2013). Choosing a transportation mode. Retrieved on 13 Jan 2015* http://www.smarta.com/advice/suppliers-and-trade/logistics-management/product-distribution-the-basics/

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    The MyShoppingCart.com grocery delivery business is expected to operate during all hours of the day; however, most of the deliveries are expected to be after closing hours, when the majority of stores in the area are closed for the night. Since Silicon Valley has an unusually low crime rate, we can regard modes of transportation in which the driver or rider is exposed—such as bicycling--to be safe from muggings or theft. Regarding the terrain over which the deliveries are made, contrary to its name, Silicon Valley is a wide, flat expanse, surrounded by a few low mountains--there is not much of a valley in Silicon Valley. It should be easy for bicyclists to ride to stores and residences since the terrain is mostly flat.

    It may be difficult to find parking space for a car, motorcycle or bicycle close to the delivery destination, especially since the parking spaces at residences are expected to be full at night, when most of the deliveries are likely to occur; however, in the worst case situation, the delivery personnel would most likely be able to carry the bicycle to the customer's doorstep. Lightweight bicycles should be selected in case it does become necessary for delivery personnel to carry the bicycle up a stairway. Since a ...

    Solution Summary

    Answered in 708 words. Three additional sources have been cited.