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Agriculture 2018, 8(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8010005

Modelling the Collection and Delivery of Sheep Milk: A Tool to Optimise the Logistics Costs of Cheese Factories

Department of Agraria, University of Sassari, Viale Italia 39, 07100 Sassari, Italy
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Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 23 December 2017 / Published: 1 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge and Techniques Application in Agriculture)
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Abstract

The milk transformation process, in the last thirty years, moved from on-farm to centralised cheese factories, affecting the management of transport logistics. In Sardinia, the presence of about 12,000 dairy sheep farms, located in rural areas with poor condition of road network, makes collecting milk a significant impact on profit, affecting the costs of milk transportation. Moreover, dairy sheep farming is characterized by seasonal production, this means that the amount of milk that is produced by each farm differs significantly over the year. The objective of this work was to develop a decision support tool that, while optimising milk collection routes, reduced the costs of milk transport, thus improving the density of collection. The tool developed ad hoc in this study used GPS map location and milk volumes of farms to calculate the cost per litre of milk for the regular routing, and to recalculate the same cost for the optimised collecting route. Results showed that this tool improved the efficiency of milk collection, reducing the number of routes and the driving distances. Furthermore, optimising the density of collection, the new routes improved the environmental impact and the transportation costs that are associated with logistic and traceability of raw sheep milk. View Full-Text
Keywords: milk-run; raw milk transport; logistics management; scheduling; vehicle routing problem (VRP) milk-run; raw milk transport; logistics management; scheduling; vehicle routing problem (VRP)
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Caria, M.; Todde, G.; Pazzona, A. Modelling the Collection and Delivery of Sheep Milk: A Tool to Optimise the Logistics Costs of Cheese Factories. Agriculture 2018, 8, 5.

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