Shang Zhang wins CTRF paper award

head shot of Shang Zhang
Shang Zhang is an MASc candidate at University of Toronto

Congratulations to Shang Zhang, whose paper, “Potential Crowd-Shipper Commute Pattern in the Toronto Area: Analysis from a Household Travel Survey,” co-authored with Smart Freight Centre Chair, Professor Matthew Roorda, won the first runner-up award in the Conference Paper Competition at the 2021 Canadian Transportation Research Forum (CTRF) Annual Conference.

Zhang is an MASc Candidate at University of Toronto working under the supervision of Professor Roorda.

Potential Crowd-Shipper Commute Pattern in the Toronto Area: Analysis from a Household Travel Survey – Abstract

There is a growing market for crowd -shipping, which hires people to transport packages on their regular commutes, in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

One barrier to crowd-shipping implementation is uncertainty in driver supply. Motivated by a crowd-shipping operator in the GTHA, we consider an operation that involves an interconnected system of lockers between which parcels are transported by crowd-shippers.

This research investigates the spatial distribution of potential crowd-shippers, proposes a corresponding locker placement strategy, and explores the potential service level to customers. By leveraging a crowd-shipper behaviour model and data that combines 2016 Transportation Tomorrow Survey (TTS) data and geographically aggregated census results, we predict the crowd-shipper commuting pattern both spatially and temporally. We are then able to propose locker locations that reflect the expected availability of potential drivers and analyze potential service level and environmental benefits under different demand scenarios. Future research can focus on calibrating the behaviour model and expanding the locker network.