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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Raison D'être

We bring you the latest news and academic research about last mile logistics and retail distribution from around the world.

Our Team

Juan Sotolongo


Juan is CEO of Lockars and Sr Partner in 722 Consulting. He is a logistics sector expert with a very strong focus on the express parcel sector and ecommerce. With the convergence of ecommerce and logistics, Juan is recognized as a leading voice in this evolving business disruption, where he got first-hand experience by working in China with SF Express and JD.com. The vertical integration of the ecommerce business model, from online selling to the last mile has proven to be the most efficient business structure, and the technology and operations to support this approach is what Juan is focused on. Juan was at UPS for 20 years, where his last position was Director of Operations and Engineering for UPS Europe. He was also heavily involved in the strategy and execution of the worldwide expansion of UPS in both Latin America and Europe. During his years with UPS, Juan worked and lived in the United States, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom. The focus of his responsibility was to restructure and integrate the 16 companies that UPS acquired, including operational, systems and service offering integration. Juan was instrumental in the creation and launch of UPS operations in Latin America, including the opening of wholly owned operations in Mexico. Juan has bachelors and masters degrees in Industrial Engineering from the University of Miami. He lives in London, where his hobbies are Cuban cooking and the Chelsea Football Team.

Stanley Lim


Stanley Lim is an Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management at Michigan State University. He examines operational issues at the interface between retail supply chain management and end consumers. At present, he focuses on understanding the economics of distribution services in digital and nondigital retail. Professor Lim has developed a research stream that is grounded in practice with a strong managerial emphasis. He integrates work in operations management, marketing, and economics to understand how and under what conditions can retailers best distribute their products and services to the end consumers. Based on this research agenda, Stanley has developed analytical models to predict failed delivery attempts for routing models, estimate the opportunity cost of product stockouts to inform assortment planning, and evaluate the degree of spatial competition to guide the design of store market areas. He has also examined the effects of contract terms on retailer and supplier’s bargaining power and their economic outcomes, drivers’ workload on their delivery performance, subscription models on consumer behaviors, and consumers’ sensitivities to lead times and their product return behaviors across digital and nondigital channels. Stanley holds a Ph.D. in Supply Chain Management from the University of Cambridge and three master’s degrees: an M.C.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an M.Sc. in Industrial & Systems Engineering from the National University of Singapore, and an M.B.A. (Distinction) from the Warwick Business School.

Aaron Huang

Asia News Editor

Aaron Jinjia Huang is Research Fellow at the Institute of Operations Research and Analytics, National University of Singapore. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in 2018 from the Management Science and Engineering Department of Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU), Guangzhou, China. His research focuses on the application of operations research and computer science techniques to problems in logistics, transportation and supply chain management. He also works closely with the industrial practitioners and has developed demo systems for aiding smart decision-making, e.g., cargo airport stand assignment project with the biggest express company in China and inventory planning project for cross-docking operations with IDSC consulting company in Singapore.

Marshall Hughes

Oceania News Editor

Marshall is the CEO and Founder of Freight Companies Australia. He has over 25 years of freight and logistics experience, including consulting to transport companies, freight brokers, GM of Poste-Haste, and COO of Myfreight. His last-mile delivery startup, Passel, is currently hibernating. He combines freight industry knowledge, last-mile delivery experience, an understanding of technology, and lateral thinking to assist companies in optimising their logistics needs.

Mohsen Afsahi

Middle East News Editor

Mohsen is a seasoned Business Optimization Consultant for retail and production companies. He is also a Lecturer at the University of Science and Culture in Tehran, Iran. He received his BS in Industrial Engineering from Kurdestan University in 2011 and MS and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Tarbiat Modares University (TMU) in 2013 and 2019, respectively. His research includes data-driven optimization in the retail industry, Shelf Space management, Assortment Optimization, Promotion Optimization, Pricing, warranty inventory optimization, and Simulation-based Optimization.

Tracey Worth


Tracey is the CEO of the Institute of Couriers, a professional organisation supporting the Last Mile Express delivery industry. Her career started in Logistics within the Army. This was followed by Partner and Senior Board membership of several Same Day parcel companies. Tracey’s logistics career covered change management, CPD training and sales. She currently works with DfT Strategic Apprenticeship Taskforce (STAT) and is the Chair for Diversity & Inclusion. She is a mother of two and employed Norlanders to care for her children for the first seven years of their childhood. Tracey is a member of the Audit Committee.

Jeff Sward


Jeff Sward is founding partner of Merchandising Metrics. He is an executive with deep experience in both retail and wholesale. He is a strategic thinker with a truly “vertical” understanding of the business, starting with market research, product conceptualization, merchandising and design, sourcing, and finally retail implementation. Jeff began his career in retailing becoming a Vice President/Divisional Merchandise Manager for both Bullock’s/Macy’s South and Sak’s Fifth Avenue. He also held senior merchandising positions at Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters. At Oxford Industries, he served as President of Polo Ralph Lauren for Boys directing sales, merchandising, design and sourcing (managing a staff of 60 in NY, Hong Kong and Singapore), and then later as President of DKNY Kids.

Angel Batalla


Angel is the founder and CEO of Last Mile Team, a deep-tech based innovative startup that develops inclusive digital solutions to solve urban logistics and last mile distribution problems at large scale. After 37 years of a successful career in blue-chip corporations Global Logistics, he realized that he was not able to make a difference at the scale he would like, so he founded Last Mile Team to contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable world, becoming a pioneer and passionate advocate on Digital Twins as the way forward to reconcile all urban logistics stakeholders needs and solve the conundrum of faster and better services, cities liveability and transport sustainability Besides, Angel is also an Adjunct professor at international business schools and a frequent speaker on road transport decarbonization and sustainability. He holds an MSc in Marine Engineering (Hons.) and an Executive MBA.

Mohammad Moshref-Javadi


Mohammad is Visiting Assistant Professor of Supply Chain and Information Management at the D'Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University. His research focuses on the design and analysis of innovative logistics models, aiming at understanding the most beneficial models considering vehicle constraints, types of business, characteristics of road network infrastructure, multi-channel and omni-channel availability, and regulatory limitations faced by delivery companies. Main applications can be found in customer-centric commercial delivery systems, healthcare delivery systems, and disaster relief logistics. Mohammad received his PhD degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University with a research focus on customer-centric logistics systems. He also worked at MIT as a Postdoctoral Associate with research on last-mile delivery logistics.

Sushil Poudel


Sushil Raj Poudel is a Senior Operations Research Analyst at a Logistic Company and an Adjunct Professor of Supply Chain Management at the Westcliff University. Sushil holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering with a concentration on Operations Research from Mississippi State University. His research interests cover a wide variety of topics in the intersection of stochastic programming, decomposition methods, reliable hub-and-spoke supply chain network design, biofuel supply chain modeling and optimization, vehicle routing, traveling salesman problem, and applying operations research tools and techniques in additive manufacturing. He had developed models and algorithms for solving large-scale reliable and congested supply chains with a particular application in biofuel supply chain networks. Sushil is an ex-president of INFORMS Student Chapter at MSU and ex-advisor of Nepalese Student Association at MSU. He enjoys hiking, camping, mountain biking, and writing poems in his leisure time.

Derek Polishen


Derek is currently an architect for a mid-sized consulting firm and has recently spent the last three years working across R&D and supply chain with one of the largest grocers in America. He's also spent time in manufacturing, non-profit, and financial services industries. He's currently working on his master's degree in analytics at the Georgia Institiute of Technology. He holds a bachelor's degree in Information Systems and Supply Chain Management from Penn State Behrend. Outside of work, he enjoys reading, playing guitar, and lifting.

Vishwesh Rege


Vishwesh is a software engineer by profession and loves reading and writing (and rambling), on topics related to last-mile logistics, technology and finance. Outside of work, he loves hiking and is always down for a game of basketball. He completed his masters in Computer Engineering from the University of California, San Diego.

Yuanzhe Pei


Yuanzhe is a full-time undergraduate student at Michigan State University. He is majoring in supply chain management and has a strong interest in the food value chain and last-mile delivery. During his undergraduate, he interned at electric manufacturing companies in China in the operation & planning role. Now, he plans to pursue a master's degree in SCM after graduating from MSU.

Past Contributors

Carl Dumesle


Carl is a a recent MBA graduate from the University of San Diego School of Business. He is the Founder of HUGS. At USD, Carl won first place at the 2019 Fowler Business Concept Challenge hosted by the Entrepreneurship and innovation Catalyzer at the USD School of Business with the idea of creating Housing for Undergraduates and Graduate Students (HUGS) to make finding housing for international and out-of-state undergraduate and graduate students easier.

Nina Reamer


Nina Reamer is a full-time undergraduate student at the University of San Diego. She recently develops a keen interest in last mile logistics. Nina is in the Honors Program pursuing a degree in International Business with minors in French and Political Science. She is heavily involved on-campus: from the Alcalá Club to a professional business fraternity (Delta Sigma Pi) to student leadership. She plans to attend either graduate or law school upon graduating from USD.