The effect of customer satisfaction on parcel delivery operations using autonomous vehicles: An agent-based simulation study

Mohammad A. Shbool*, Ammar Al-Bazi, Rami Al-Hadeethi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The quality of Third-Party Logistics (3PL) services represented by delivery time decides the outcome of customer satisfaction. The result of this satisfaction judges the type of Word of Mouth (WoM) that, if positive, plays a vital role in attracting non-customers who are willing in 3PL services to join as customers. In this paper, we investigate the effect of an essential factor represented by Word of Mouth on the number of customers in 3PL companies. Therefore, an agent-based model for parcel delivery is developed to investigate the impact of social factors such as WoM and other operational factors, including vehicle number and speed, on customer number and satisfaction, average service time, and vehicle utilization. As a methodology, state charts of Vehicle, Customer, Hub agents are developed to mimic the messaging protocols between these agents under the WoM concept. A case study based in 3PL in Jordan is used as a test bench of the developed model. A sensitivity analysis study is conducted to test the developed model's performance, including different levels of influential model parameters such as targeting non-customers parameters by Loyal/Unhappy customers. Key results reveal that the best scenario is achieved when the WoM value equals 10, the vehicle number equals 30, and the vehicle speed equals 60 km/h. These model parameters result in higher customer numbers of 873, vehicle utilization equals 63%, and customer satisfaction equals 99%. Video of our proposed model showing it in action can be found at:

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere09409
Number of pages14
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (


  • Agent-based simulation
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Parcel delivery logistics
  • VRP-based GIS model
  • Word-of-mouth


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