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Home-Delivery-Oriented Agri-Food Supply Chain Alliance: Framework, Management Strategies, and Cooperation Stability Control

1
School of Traffic and Transportation Engineering, Central South University, Changsha 410075, China
2
Faculty of Transportation Engineering, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming 650500, China
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School of Logistics Management and Engineering, Nanning Normal University, Nanning 530001, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6547; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166547
Received: 17 July 2020 / Revised: 7 August 2020 / Accepted: 10 August 2020 / Published: 13 August 2020
The high cost of operation and severe competition in the agri-food e-commerce market make it hard for the small and medium agri-food enterprises (A-SMEs) to operate cost-efficiently and in a sustainable manner. This paper seeks to organize A-SMEs to develop a cooperative organization via collaborative strategies and alliance structures, named as the home-delivery-oriented agri-food supply chain (HASC) alliance, to form a substantive relationship to gain a stable foothold in the emerging e-commerce market. A theoretical framework of the HASC alliance is built with its organizational structure and schematics of the process of implementation strategies that cover the aspects of last-mile chain extension, food transportation, and production/distribution control. Furthermore, a three-step analytical method is proposed to analyze the performance of the alliance with the aim to provide appropriate strategies to hedge against the potential risks of cooperation instability. A hypothetical case is conducted, and the results show that: (1) the performance of the hypothetical HASC alliance with time shows significant variation in the beginning, but it gains stability with the application of stability control strategies; (2) the cooperation stability of HASC alliance is very sensitive to the performance of the strategies that control the customer and environment variations; (3) the factors of trust and market fluctuation have higher effects on membership and environmental stability, respectively; (4) the minimum and maximum cost ranges of control strategies at which the alliance can maintain its stability and performance are 5% and 29%, respectively, of the total operation cost. View Full-Text
Keywords: agri-food e-commerce; strategic alliance; supply chain extension; Multi-temperature Joint Distribution (MTJD); hybrid push-pull strategy; cooperation stability control agri-food e-commerce; strategic alliance; supply chain extension; Multi-temperature Joint Distribution (MTJD); hybrid push-pull strategy; cooperation stability control
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Han, C.; Pervez, A.; Wu, J.; Shen, X.; Zhang, D. Home-Delivery-Oriented Agri-Food Supply Chain Alliance: Framework, Management Strategies, and Cooperation Stability Control. Sustainability 2020, 12, 6547.

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