What Prevents Sustainable Last-Mile Delivery in Industry 4.0? An Analysis and Decision Framework

Vijay Prakash Sharma, Surya Prakash, Ranbir Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Industry 4.0 (I4.0) has revolutionized every sector in the last decade. A huge demand has been created in the supply chain for doorstep delivery services. However, many barriers are hindering the progression of I4.0 implementation to last-mile delivery (LMD) operations. In this study, these hindrances need investigation for improving customer satisfaction levels in LMD. The present research is focused on analyzing barriers to adopting I4.0 technologies for sustainable smart supply chains with a special focus on LMD operations. The published literature is critically investigated to determine the crucial factors which are acting as barriers to I4.0 implementation in LMD. The interpretive structure modeling (ISM) approach is adopted to evaluate different levels with their hierarchal order for analyzing the I4.0 barriers to digitalized logistic networks. Delivery capacity emerged as the major barrier to LMD operational networks due to insufficient technological and hardware support for I4.0 cyber-physical systems in logistics. Infrastructure for I4.0 emerged as the most basic requirement for the smart logistics management criteria for efficient LMD. The need to adopt I4.0 technologies for developing inventory hubs and warehouse management has evolved recently. There is scope for customized and specific case studies for the supply chain to achieve a higher level of sustainability. A conceptual framework for a smart and sustainable supply chain is presented and future directions for sustainable LMD are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16423
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Industry 4.0 (I4.0)
  • barriers
  • interpretive structure modeling (ISM)
  • last-mile delivery (LMD)
  • logistics management
  • sustainability


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