Data Intelligence for Logistics


Courier companies offering express package delivery services have to improve their operations on a continuous basis in order to satisfy customers, while maintaining their efficiency in the face of ever-growing challenges such as fierce competition and the expansion of e-commerce services. It is important to analyze alternative ways to perform operations that would reduce costs and environmental footprint, while improving quality of service.

This 5-year NSERC Collaborative Research and Development project pursues challenges in the industry by bringing together specialists from operations research, civil engineering and data science, united towards the goal of developing methodology and decision-making software tools. The project is divided into five areas:

  1. City Logistics. This area focuses on the design, planning and operations of First Mile/Last Mile distribution, in particular in downtown areas.
  2. National/Regional Distribution Network Planning. This area is dedicated to the development of optimization models for planning national/regional distribution networks by integrating decisions related to hub locations and inter-hub multi-modal (air-truck) transportation.
  3. Supply Chain Optimization. This area is concerned with the best ways to synchronize supply with demand, by studying the market and how demand can be met as efficiently as possible using various types of services that can be offered through innovative logistics concepts.
  4. Impact of New Technologies on Network Optimization. In this area, we study the impact of new technologies on the express package delivery services. New technologies include the deployment of sensors and the availability of innovative vehicles, such as autonomous shuttles and drones.
  5. Distribution Networks for the New Economy. This area emphasizes the development of models to design and manage collaborative platforms to improve the logistics of the company.

This 5-year project is part of the new Purolator-sponsored “Data Intelligence for Logistics” research chair at the Université de Montréal, with Professor Bernard Gendron as the chairholder. It involves two Smart Freight Centre co-investigators, Dr. Matthew Roorda and Dr. Elkafi Hassini.

For more information, please contact: Dr. Matthew Roorda, Professor, University of Toronto at

Project Leadership

Principal Investigator

  • Dr. Bernard Gendron, Professor, Département d’informatique et de recherche opérationnelle, Université de Montréal


  • Dr. Jean-François Cordeau, Professor, Department of Logistics and Operations Management, HEC Montréal
  • Dr. T. Crainic, Professor, Management et Technologie, Université de Québec à Montréal
  • Dr. Elkafi Hassini, Professor, Degroote School of Business, McMaster University and Vice Chair, Smart Freight Centre; Area Chair Operations Management
  • Dr. Matthew Roorda, Professor, Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto, and Chair, Smart Freight Centre


Private Sector Partners

  • Purolator Inc.

Public Sector Partners