This thesis addresses challenges faced by small package shipping companies and investigates the integration of 1) service consistency and driver knowledge aspects and 2) the utilization of electric vehicles into the route planning of small package shippers. We use Operations Research models and solution methods to gain insights into the newly arising problems and thus support managerial decisions concerning these issues.
I report on two experiments, which were designed to test theoretical predictions about individual behavior in a duopolistic setting. With quantity being the choice variable a simultaneous Cournot game and a sequential Stackelberg game were tested over two periods. The key feature of both models was that players were able to lower marginal cost for period two if they successfully outperformed their competition in period one in terms of profit. Experimental results suggest that in the Cournot game players are very competitive in period one but become Cournot players in period two. In the Stackelberg game Cournot play is modal, suggesting that players have preferences for equality in payoffs, which maybe brought about by punishment of Stackelberg followers and fear of punishment of Stackelberg leaders . Overall, players earned more money in the Stackelberg game than in the Cournot game.