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Special Issue "Sustainability in Supply Chain Operations and Collaboration in the Big Data Era"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Zhaoxia Guo

Business School, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
Website | E-Mail
Interests: low-carbon economy and management; operations management; green logistics; intelligent and data-driven decision-making
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Guido Perboli

1. Department Of Control And Computer Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Castelfidardo, 34/A, 10138 Torino TO, Italy
2. CIRRELT - Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche sur les Reseaux d'Entreprise, la Logistique et le Transport, Montreal, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Sustainable Logistics; Last Mile and Urban Logistics; Car Sharing; Combinatorial Optimization
Guest Editor
Dr. Calvin Wai-Keung Wong

Business Division, Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong, China
Website | E-Mail
Interests: apparel operations management; industrial engineering; intelligent decision-making

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Supply chain operations involve various business functions and processes in manufacturing, transportation, and retailing, in which the collaboration among supply chain members is a key issue to improve operational performances. In today’s Big Data era, supply chain operations in most manufacturing and service enterprises become more data-driven, complex, and global. With ever-increasing competitive pressures, more and more enterprises are aware of the substantial economic, environmental, and social benefits by improving the sustainability in supply chain operations and collaboration. This Special Issue focuses on cutting-edge research that can effectively handle the balances and synergies associated with the integration of economics, environment, and social perspectives into traditional business and decision-making processes in supply chain operations in the Big Data era.

Researchers and practitioners all over the world, from both academia and industry, working in the areas of analytical models, empirical studies, and solution approaches that address significant issues for sustainability in various supply chain operations and their collaboration, are invited to discuss state-of-the-art solutions, novel issues, recent developments, applications, methodologies and techniques. Review papers are also welcomed if they provide new insights to the practice of sustainability in supply chain operations.

Dr. Zhaoxia Guo
Dr. Guido Perboli
Prof. Dr. Wai-keung Wong
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Sustainability in data-driven operations and decision-making
  • Information technology and information systems for sustainable operations
  • Performance measurement systems and assessment for sustainable operations
  • Multi-criteria decision methods for sustainability assessment
  • Sustainability in supply chain collaboration
  • Sustainability in manufacturing operations
  • Sustainability in logistics operations
  • Sustainability in retail operations
  • Reverse logistics and closed-loop supply chain

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Fostering Sustainable Transportation Operations through Corridor Management: A Simulation Gaming Approach
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020455
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 30 January 2018 / Published: 9 February 2018
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Abstract
Synchromodality is described as a network of well-synchronised and interconnected transportation modes. One of the most important advantages of synchromodality is the development of a sustainable transportation system. Given the numerous stakeholders and network interdependencies within freight transport corridors, achieving efficient coordination and
[...] Read more.
Synchromodality is described as a network of well-synchronised and interconnected transportation modes. One of the most important advantages of synchromodality is the development of a sustainable transportation system. Given the numerous stakeholders and network interdependencies within freight transport corridors, achieving efficient coordination and management is complex. In this paper, we regard information exchange as one of the main enablers of collaboration between the infrastructure managers. We developed a digital single-player simulation game called “Modal Manager” comprising logistic service providers and infrastructure managers. Each player takes over the role of an infrastructure manager who must use information provision as a tool to control flows in a network where various planned and unplanned disruptions occur. We include the game in a session where participants are able to interact with the game and with each other. The first gameplay session with Dutch experts revealed that infrastructure managers perceive synchromodality as a way to cope with disruptions more efficiently. On the other hand, the concept of synchromodal corridor management is ambiguous and various legal and governance barriers exist that hinder its implementation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Investment in a Supply Chain in the Big Data Era: An Information Updating Approach
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020403
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 4 February 2018
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Abstract
We are now living in the big data era, where firms can improve their decision makings by adopting big data technology to utilize mass information. To explore the effects of the big data technology, we build an analytical model to study the sustainable
[...] Read more.
We are now living in the big data era, where firms can improve their decision makings by adopting big data technology to utilize mass information. To explore the effects of the big data technology, we build an analytical model to study the sustainable investment in a supply chain, consisting of one manufacturer and one retailer, by using Bayesian information updating approach. We derive the optimal sustainable investment level for the manufacturer and the optimal order quantity for the retailer. Comparing the results with and without the big data technology, we find that whether the manufacturer should make more sustainable investment when the retailer adopts the big data technology depends on the service level at the retailer side. Interestingly, it is not always optimal for the retailer to adopt the big data technology. We identify the conditions under which the manufacturer and retailer are better off with the big data technology. In addition, we investigate the impact of the number of observations regarding the market information and find that the optimal decisions and profits increase in the number of the observations, if and only if the service level is low. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Innovative Business Model for Realization of Sustainable Supply Chain at the Outsourcing Examination of Logistics Services
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010210
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 16 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1561 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The issue of sustainability is becoming more and more important because of the increase in the human population and the extraction of non-renewable natural resources. We can make decisive steps towards sustainability in the fields of logistics services by improvement of logistics processes
[...] Read more.
The issue of sustainability is becoming more and more important because of the increase in the human population and the extraction of non-renewable natural resources. We can make decisive steps towards sustainability in the fields of logistics services by improvement of logistics processes and/or application of new environment-friendly technologies. These steps are very important for companies because they have a significant effect on competitiveness. Nowadays significant changes are taking place in applied methods and technologies in the fields of logistics services as part of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Most companies are not able to keep pace with these changes in addition to carrying out their main activities by using own resources; consequently, in many cases logistics services are outsourced in the interest of maintaining or increasing competitiveness. The currently applied outsourcing examination process contains numerous shortcomings. We have elaborated a new business model to eliminate these shortcomings, namely the basic concept for an outsourcing investigation system integrated in the electronic marketplace. The paper introduces the current process of logistics service outsourcing examination and the elaborated business model concept. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impacts of Power Structure on Sustainable Supply Chain Management
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010055
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 24 December 2017 / Published: 27 December 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (743 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present paper examines the manufacturer’s operational decisions, e.g., wholesale price and product sustainability level, the retailer’s operational decision, e.g., retail margin, and supply chain efficiency under three supply chain power structures: manufacturer Stackelberg, Nash and retailer Stackelberg. As a benchmark, we first
[...] Read more.
The present paper examines the manufacturer’s operational decisions, e.g., wholesale price and product sustainability level, the retailer’s operational decision, e.g., retail margin, and supply chain efficiency under three supply chain power structures: manufacturer Stackelberg, Nash and retailer Stackelberg. As a benchmark, we first obtain the equlibrium price and product sustainability level in a vertically integrated supply chain. Our analysis provides some interesting findings in a decentralized supply chain: (i) a dominant manufacturer (retailer) always benefits from its power; (ii) the entire supply chain earns the most profit from the Nash game, and the least from the retailer Stackelberg game, respectively; (iii) as the power shifts from the manufacturer to the retailer, product sustainability and retail price increase; (iv) dominant manufacturer does not necessarily imply low wholesale price that would benefit the retailer. Managerial insights are provided for the manufacturer and the retailer, respectively. Full article
Open AccessArticle On Production and Green Transportation Coordination in a Sustainable Global Supply Chain
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2071; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9112071
Received: 5 October 2017 / Revised: 3 November 2017 / Accepted: 5 November 2017 / Published: 11 November 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (882 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper addresses a coordination problem of production and green transportation and the effects of production and transportation coordination on supply chain sustainability in a global supply chain environment with the consideration of important realistic characteristics, including parallel machines, different order processing complexities,
[...] Read more.
This paper addresses a coordination problem of production and green transportation and the effects of production and transportation coordination on supply chain sustainability in a global supply chain environment with the consideration of important realistic characteristics, including parallel machines, different order processing complexities, fixed delivery departure times, green transportation and multiple transportation modes. We formulate the measurements for carbon emissions of different transportation modes, including air, sea and land transportation. A hybrid genetic algorithm-based optimization approach is developed to handle this problem, in which a hybrid genetic algorithm and heuristic procedures are combined. The effectiveness of the proposed approach is validated by means of various problem instances. We observe that the coordination of production and green transportation has a large effect on the overall supply chain sustainability, which can reduce the total supply chain cost by 9.60% to 21.90%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Gen2 RFID-Based System Framework for Resource Circulation in Closed-Loop Supply Chains
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1995; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9111995
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 26 October 2017 / Accepted: 27 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
Product recycling has become a mandatory activity under extended producer responsibility. Therefore, it is important to operate a closed-loop supply chain that integrates sourcing, production, delivery, and recycling to achieve not only environmental sustainability, but also economic benefits. However, this goal is affected
[...] Read more.
Product recycling has become a mandatory activity under extended producer responsibility. Therefore, it is important to operate a closed-loop supply chain that integrates sourcing, production, delivery, and recycling to achieve not only environmental sustainability, but also economic benefits. However, this goal is affected by chronic problems caused by uncertainties relating to the return timing, quantity, and quality of returned items. Many studies proved that information visibility could solve these problems. In this context, a system framework for closed-loop supply chain management is proposed that gathers real-time information within a supply chain and product lifecycle by using the Internet-of-Things, including radio frequency identification (RFID). Specifically, the most recent Gen2 RFID protocol, which provides new features to create new positive effects, is considered. Additionally, an information system is designed, including RFID tag encoding, which supports the operation of the proposed system. Finally, the lifecycle benefits are examined, such as counterfeit prevention, real-time monitoring and maintenance in the middle-of-life phase, and reverse process streamlining. The ultimate aim is to design a system that facilitates the profitable and environmentally friendly operation of the closed-loop supply chain. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Synchro-Modality and Slow Steaming: New Business Perspectives in Freight Transportation
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1843; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9101843
Received: 22 August 2017 / Revised: 4 October 2017 / Accepted: 6 October 2017 / Published: 13 October 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1780 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The logistics sector faces substantial challenges in meeting customer demands for higher service quality, speed and flexibility under conditions of continued growth in world trade and worldwide transportation movements, increasing distances and vulnerabilities of the supply chain. Additional challenges relate to the economic
[...] Read more.
The logistics sector faces substantial challenges in meeting customer demands for higher service quality, speed and flexibility under conditions of continued growth in world trade and worldwide transportation movements, increasing distances and vulnerabilities of the supply chain. Additional challenges relate to the economic and environmental sustainability of logistics operations. While a lot of attention was devoted in the past decades to the operational and technical aspects, the business development phase has been put aside, causing the market failure of several projects. The paper presents the SYNCHRO-modal supply chain eco-NET (SYNCHRO-NET) project, which will demonstrate the effectiveness of slow steaming combined with synchro-modality in reducing the cost and the emissions of international supply chains and improving reliability and sustainability through the optimization of the planning process. Differently from other similar projects, SYNCHRO-NET combines operational aspects with a business perspective and represents a stakeholder-driven approach aimed at developing a close-to-market solution over the timeframe of the project. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Shipment Consolidation Policy under Uncertainty of Customer Order for Sustainable Supply Chain Management
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1675; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091675
Received: 26 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract
With increasing concern over the environment, shipment consolidation has become one of a main initiative to reduce CO2 emissions and transportation cost among the logistics service providers. Increased delivery time caused by shipment consolidation may lead to customer’s order cancellation. Thus, order
[...] Read more.
With increasing concern over the environment, shipment consolidation has become one of a main initiative to reduce CO2 emissions and transportation cost among the logistics service providers. Increased delivery time caused by shipment consolidation may lead to customer’s order cancellation. Thus, order cancellation should be considered as a factor in order uncertainty to determine the optimal shipment consolidation policy. We develop mathematical models for quantity-based and time-based policies and obtain optimality properties for the models. Efficient algorithms using optimal properties are provided to compute the optimal parameters for ordering and shipment decisions. To compare the performances of the quantity-based policy with the time-based policy, extensive numerical experiments are conducted, and the total cost is compared. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Green and Traditional Supplier Attributes on Business Performance
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1520; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091520
Received: 5 July 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 26 August 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (999 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Supplier evaluation and selection are fundamental tasks since they are part of the production process and even initiate the supply chain (SC). Despite their importance in the production system, supplier evaluation and selection may be challenging activities to be performed if companies look
[...] Read more.
Supplier evaluation and selection are fundamental tasks since they are part of the production process and even initiate the supply chain (SC). Despite their importance in the production system, supplier evaluation and selection may be challenging activities to be performed if companies look at the wide range of available evaluation techniques and methodologies, which now seek to integrate both traditional and green attributes. In addition, companies may refuse to take into account green attributes during the supplier selection process, because they do not know their impact on commercial benefits. To overcome this limitation, this study examines the Mexican manufacturing sector and measures the impact of supplier traditional attributes and green attributes on business performance, namely production process benefits and commercial benefits. As data collection instrument, we administered a survey to 253 supplier evaluators and selectors; then, using the gathered data, we constructed a structural equation model. The model includes four variables to determine the impact of traditional and green attributes on business performance: green attributes, traditional attributes, production process benefits, and commercial benefits. The results indicate that all the latent variables have positive direct effects on one another. For instance, process benefits show the largest effects on commercial benefits, but the most significant effect is caused by traditional attributes on commercial benefits through green attributes and production process benefits. Full article
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