The world is rapidly urbanizing, causing businesses to rethink venerable principles related to logistics and distribution. As populations urbanize and customer service expectations escalate, firms seek new ways to serve urban customers but are often frustrated by numerous complexities inherent to the urban context. Through a systematic literature review, this research combines concepts and theories from multiple nonbusiness disciplines in order to provide a foundation for understanding the urban environments within which logistics activities increasingly occur. In doing so, our review serves as a genesis for urban logistics theory development. The research identifies three distinct urban logistics stakeholder groups, each of which influences, directly or indirectly, urban logistics operations, and then uncovers four urban environmental characteristics that impede the implementation of traditional logistical systems and processes. Our analysis thereby enables managers to develop new logistical strategies that are suited to specific urban environments.


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Print ISSN
pp. 357-394
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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