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Open AccessArticle

Optimizing Urban Distribution Routes for Perishable Foods Considering Carbon Emission Reduction

School of Economics and Commerce, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China
School of Management and Enterprise, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland 4072, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4387;
Received: 8 July 2019 / Revised: 5 August 2019 / Accepted: 11 August 2019 / Published: 13 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
PDF [798 KB, uploaded 13 August 2019]


The increasing demand for urban distribution increases the number of transportation vehicles which intensifies the congestion of urban traffic and leads to a lot of carbon emissions. This paper focuses on carbon emission reduction in urban distribution, taking perishable foods as the object. It carries out optimization analysis of urban distribution routes to explore the impact of low carbon policy on urban distribution routes planning. On the basis of analysis of the cost components and corresponding constraints of urban distribution, two optimization models of urban distribution routes with and without carbon emissions cost are constructed. Fuel quantity related to cost and carbon emissions in the model is calculated based on traffic speed, vehicle fuel quantity and passable time period of distribution. Then an improved algorithm which combines genetic algorithm and tabu search algorithm is designed to solve models. Moreover, an analysis of the influence of carbon tax price is also carried out. It is concluded that in the process of urban distribution based on the actual network information, path optimization considering the low carbon factor can effectively reduce the distribution process of CO2, and reduce the total cost of the enterprise and society, thus achieving greater social benefits at a lower cost. In addition, the government can encourage low-carbon distribution by rationally adjusting the price of carbon tax to achieve a higher social benefit.
Keywords: low carbon; urban distribution; perishable foods; route optimization; cost low carbon; urban distribution; perishable foods; route optimization; cost
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Lin, D.; Zhang, Z.; Wang, J.; Yang, L.; Shi, Y.; Soar, J. Optimizing Urban Distribution Routes for Perishable Foods Considering Carbon Emission Reduction. Sustainability 2019, 11, 4387.

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