Editor’s Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to readers, or important in the respective research area. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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21 pages, 3033 KiB  
Review
Sustainable Supplier Selection through Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) Approach: A Bibliometric Analysis
Logistics 2023, 7(4), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7040096 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1807
Abstract
Background: The primary objective of this study was to examine the advancements in sustainable supplier selection through multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) from the years 2013 to 2022. In the recent past, researchers have carried out a significant amount of research in this [...] Read more.
Background: The primary objective of this study was to examine the advancements in sustainable supplier selection through multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) from the years 2013 to 2022. In the recent past, researchers have carried out a significant amount of research in this field over the course of several years; Methods: a total of 121 scientific publications sourced from the Scopus database were chosen for analysis, employing the bibliometric method and graphical visualization of the VOS viewer application to visually analyze and map research networks and collaboration patterns, aiding in the evaluation of scientific impact and knowledge dissemination; Results: the findings of this study indicate that the research trend in sustainable supplier selection through MCDM witnessed its most significant growth in the year 2019. Researchers predominantly disseminated their scientific findings through articles, accounting for 81% of the publications, followed by conference papers at 14%, and book chapters at 2.5%; Conclusions: the primary area of focus in these studies pertains to decision-making processes involved in sustainable supplier selection. The implications and theoretical contributions derived from this research, coupled with the latest advancements, serve as a foundation for further exploration and development of sustainable supplier selection research through MCDM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Supplier, Government and Procurement Logistics)
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19 pages, 3163 KiB  
Article
Deep Learning and Statistical Models for Forecasting Transportation Demand: A Case Study of Multiple Distribution Centers
Logistics 2023, 7(4), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7040086 - 22 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1370
Abstract
Background: Transportation demand forecasting is an essential activity for logistics operators and carriers. It leverages business operation decisions, infrastructure, management, and resource planning activities. Since 2015, there has been an increase in the use of deep learning models in this domain. However, [...] Read more.
Background: Transportation demand forecasting is an essential activity for logistics operators and carriers. It leverages business operation decisions, infrastructure, management, and resource planning activities. Since 2015, there has been an increase in the use of deep learning models in this domain. However, there is a gap in works comparing traditional statistics and deep learning models for transportation demand forecasts. This work aimed to perform a case study of aggregated transportation demand forecasts in 54 distribution centers of a Brazilian carrier. Methods: A computational simulation and case study methods were applied, exploring the characteristics of the datasets through autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) and its variations, in addition to a deep neural network, long short-term memory, known as LSTM. Eight scenarios were explored while considering different data preprocessing methods and evaluating how outliers, training and testing dataset splits during cross-validation, and the relevant hyperparameters of each model can affect the demand forecast. Results: The long short-term memory networks were observed to outperform the statistical methods in ninety-four percent of the dispatching units over the evaluated scenarios, while the autoregressive integrated moving average modeled the remaining five percent. Conclusions: This work found that forecasting transportation demands can address practical issues in supply chains, specially resource planning management. Full article
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12 pages, 288 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Capabilities and Digital Transformation in the COVID-19 Era: Implications from Driving Schools
Logistics 2023, 7(4), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7040081 - 06 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1183
Abstract
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is a worldwide threat that has positioned micro-enterprises under enormous tension to persevere. As a result, these businesses are obligated to respond to the epidemic in an efficacious manner. In order to weather this economic storm, micro-enterprises have implemented [...] Read more.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is a worldwide threat that has positioned micro-enterprises under enormous tension to persevere. As a result, these businesses are obligated to respond to the epidemic in an efficacious manner. In order to weather this economic storm, micro-enterprises have implemented a variety of digital technologies. Methods: The research investigates the connection between the communications technology of driving schools and the public crisis responses of those driving schools using a data set obtained from a survey administered to those schools. Results: The quantitative findings demonstrate that digitalization has made it possible for driving schools to efficiently and successfully respond to the public dilemma by utilizing their resilient functionality. In addition, digitalization can greatly enhance driving schools’ performance. Conclusions: This paper provides drawings for digitalization and crisis responses for driving schools. Full article
20 pages, 3354 KiB  
Article
Analyzing Key Performance Indicators for Mobility Logistics in Smart and Sustainable Cities: A Case Study Centered on Barcelona
Logistics 2023, 7(4), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7040075 - 16 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1866
Abstract
Background: This article identifies and examines key performance indicators (KPIs) related to citizen mobility logistics in smart and sustainable urban areas. It begins with a comprehensive literature review to identify essential KPIs, offering valuable insights for both public and private stakeholders, including [...] Read more.
Background: This article identifies and examines key performance indicators (KPIs) related to citizen mobility logistics in smart and sustainable urban areas. It begins with a comprehensive literature review to identify essential KPIs, offering valuable insights for both public and private stakeholders, including policymakers and mobility service providers. Drawing from various mobility projects in smart cities, the study extracts common KPIs and best practices. The focus of the paper then turns to Barcelona, Spain, where KPIs that matter most are analyzed. Methods: Using open data from the city council spanning from 2017 onwards, the study provides insights into the evolving mobility logistics landscape. KPIs from other European cities are also considered by utilizing similar open data sources. This comparative analysis provides valuable benchmarks and reveals disparities in mobility logistics. Throughout this investigation, the paper emphasizes the role of data quality in KPI selection. Results: Reliable open data significantly influence indicator choices and present challenges when comparing cities. Remarkably, the findings consistently highlight environmental data as an area requiring attention in sustainable mobility logistics. Conclusions: This paper makes contributions by identifying and examining KPIs relevant to citizen mobility logistics in smart and sustainable urban areas. It offers insights by applying these KPIs to Barcelona and conducting comparative analyses with other European cities. These findings serve as a valuable resource for policymakers, city planners, and mobility experts. Full article
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18 pages, 3001 KiB  
Article
Earthquake Decision-Making Tool for Humanitarian Logistics Network: An Application in Popayan, Colombia
Logistics 2023, 7(4), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7040068 - 02 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1385
Abstract
Background: This study presents a comprehensive methodology for enhancing humanitarian logistics planning and management in natural disasters, focusing on earthquakes. Methods: The innovative approach combines a deterministic mathematical model with a simulation model to address the problem from multiple perspectives, aiming [...] Read more.
Background: This study presents a comprehensive methodology for enhancing humanitarian logistics planning and management in natural disasters, focusing on earthquakes. Methods: The innovative approach combines a deterministic mathematical model with a simulation model to address the problem from multiple perspectives, aiming to improve efficiency and equity in post-disaster supply distribution. In the deterministic modeling phase, optimal locations for humanitarian distribution centers and points in Popayan, Colombia, were identified, enabling efficient resource allocation for affected families. Subsequently, the simulation model evaluated scenarios based on real earthquakes in Colombia and Latin America, providing a comprehensive view of the logistics system’s response capacity to different disaster conditions and magnitudes. Results: The results demonstrated that the proposed methodology significantly reduced supply delivery time, achieving a 30% improvement compared to traditional humanitarian logistics approaches. Moreover, it led to a more equitable coverage of affected communities, with a 25% increase in families served in previously underserved areas. Expert validation from the Disaster Risk Management Committee of the study area confirmed the methodology’s usefulness for informed and effective decision-making in real situations. Conclusions: This integrated approach of mathematical modeling and discrete event simulation offers valuable insights to address disaster management and support decision-making in humanitarian crises. Full article
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29 pages, 1390 KiB  
Article
Carbon Emissions Effect on Vendor-Managed Inventory System Considering Displaced Re-Start-Up Production Time
Logistics 2023, 7(4), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7040067 - 22 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1160
Abstract
Background: The classical mathematical formulation of the vendor-managed inventory (VMI) model assumes an infinite planning horizon, and consequently, the solution derived ignored the impact of the first cycle. The classical formulation is associated with another implicit assumption that input parameters remain static [...] Read more.
Background: The classical mathematical formulation of the vendor-managed inventory (VMI) model assumes an infinite planning horizon, and consequently, the solution derived ignored the impact of the first cycle. The classical formulation is associated with another implicit assumption that input parameters remain static indefinitely. Methods: This paper develops two mathematical models for VMI for a joint economic lot-sizing (JELS) policy. Each model considers investment in green production, energy used for keeping items in storage, and carbon emissions from production, storage, and transportation activities under the carbon cap-and-trade policy. The first model underlies the first cycle, while the second underlies subsequent cycles. Results: The re-start-up production time for subsequent cycles commences only at the time required to produce and replenish the first lot, which implies further cost reduction. Mathematical formulations are perceived as important both for academics and practitioners. For example, the base model of the first cycle (subsequent cycles) generates an optimal produced quantity with 18.42% (4.35%) less total system cost when compared with the pest scenario in favor of the existing literature. Moreover, such a percentage of total system cost reduction increases as the production rate increases. Further, the proposed models not only produce better results but also offer the opportunity to adjust the input parameters for subsequent cycles, where each cycle is independent from the previous one. Conclusions: The emissions generated by the system are very much related to the demand rate and the amount of investment in green production. Illustrative examples, special cases, model overview, and managerial insights are given. The discussion related to the contribution of the proposed model, the concluding remarks, and further research are also provided. The proposed model rectifies the base model adopted by the existing literature, which can be further extended to be implemented in several interesting further inquiries related to JELS inventory mathematical modeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability and Reverse Logistics)
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19 pages, 1325 KiB  
Hypothesis
Identifying an Optimal Model for Blockchain Technology Adoption in the Agricultural Sector
Logistics 2023, 7(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7030059 - 05 Sep 2023
Viewed by 2035
Abstract
Background: Blockchain adoption in agriculture is facing challenges. Some of its key challenges include lack of regulatory framework and unclear policies. Methods: This quantitative research based on a survey aims to examine the factors that influence blockchain implementation in the agricultural [...] Read more.
Background: Blockchain adoption in agriculture is facing challenges. Some of its key challenges include lack of regulatory framework and unclear policies. Methods: This quantitative research based on a survey aims to examine the factors that influence blockchain implementation in the agricultural sector. Several theories including the technology acceptance model (TAM), the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), and the technology readiness index (TRI) were drawn upon to determine the factors influencing Blockchain adoption. The study was undertaken in Australia with 358 agricultural supply chain experts. Results: A range of novel findings were generated. While perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and attitude positively influenced Blockchain adoption, discomfort and insecurity were considered deterrents. Conclusions: The results can be used by relevant practitioners to improve the supply chain management for agriculture business. The findings can also inform a new direction for the research on the agricultural supply chain and the literature on logistics. Full article
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18 pages, 688 KiB  
Article
Sport Logistics: Considerations on the Nexus of Logistics and Sport Management and Its Unique Features
Logistics 2023, 7(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7030057 - 28 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1834
Abstract
Background: This paper is the first-ever discussion of sport logistics as an intersection of the academic disciplines of logistics and sport management. Methods: It reviews past literature and states that logistics in sport is widely overlooked in academic literature. It illustrates [...] Read more.
Background: This paper is the first-ever discussion of sport logistics as an intersection of the academic disciplines of logistics and sport management. Methods: It reviews past literature and states that logistics in sport is widely overlooked in academic literature. It illustrates the importance and pervasive nature of logistics in the sport industry and questions how sport logistics can be positioned at the interface of logistics and sport management science. Both disciplines are contrasted under the common lens of Porter’s value chain. Results: Operations, organization and marketing are identified along with economics and strategy as areas of sport management (highly) involved with logistics. Sport logistics is defined as a research area dealing with storage and transportation issues in sport organizations. Conclusions: Based on a case example from practice, athlete equipment logistics, the authors elaborate on the unique characteristics of managing logistics in sport, e.g., low competition, personal relationships and high demand predictability. They call for a broader discourse on sport logistics in academia. Full article
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14 pages, 294 KiB  
Article
Analyzing the Influence of COVID-19 on the E-Commerce Customer’s Retail Experience in the Supermarket Industry: Insights from Brazil
Logistics 2023, 7(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7030053 - 14 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1443
Abstract
Background: E-commerce’s convenience, speed, and ability to overcome geographical barriers have made it increasingly popular across industries. This study analyzed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on customer experience and satisfaction in supermarket retail e-commerce in the Brazilian market. The objective was [...] Read more.
Background: E-commerce’s convenience, speed, and ability to overcome geographical barriers have made it increasingly popular across industries. This study analyzed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on customer experience and satisfaction in supermarket retail e-commerce in the Brazilian market. The objective was to understand how the pandemic influenced satisfaction in this sector. Methods: A survey research method was employed, utilizing the Critical Incident Technique to identify key quality dimensions important to customers. A total of 133 valid responses underwent exploratory factor analysis. Results: Data analysis identified three dimensions significantly affecting overall customer satisfaction. “Presentation of Products in the Application (app)” had the highest correlation, while “Delivery Logistics” had the lowest. However, when considering the COVID-19 factor, “Delivery Logistics” showed the highest correlation. This indicates that the dimension most affected by the pandemic has the least impact on overall satisfaction in supermarket e-commerce. Conclusions: The study emphasizes the significance of understanding customer satisfaction in supermarket e-commerce, not just during the COVID-19 pandemic but also its post-pandemic consequences. Retailers should prioritize improving product presentation in apps, as it greatly influences overall satisfaction. Addressing the pandemic’s impact on delivery logistics is also crucial to ensure competitiveness in the e-commerce market. Full article
11 pages, 228 KiB  
Article
A Comparison of Truck Driver Pre-Employment Hair and Urine Drug Test Efficacy
Logistics 2023, 7(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7030044 - 26 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1639
Abstract
Background: To help ensure roadway safety, the federal government mandates trucking companies to conduct pre-employment urine drug tests before allowing drivers to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Unfortunately, urine testing has a short detection window and is easily thwarted, leading some carriers [...] Read more.
Background: To help ensure roadway safety, the federal government mandates trucking companies to conduct pre-employment urine drug tests before allowing drivers to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Unfortunately, urine testing has a short detection window and is easily thwarted, leading some carriers to employ hair testing. Methods: t-tests were utilized to compare hair and urine pre-employment drug test results provided by seven large U.S. trucking companies. Results: results indicate that hair’s positivity rate is statistically greater than urine for each examined drug and across all drugs combined. Conclusions: This paper is the only supply chain work of which we are aware that assesses the statistical differences between hair and urine testing positivity rates. Results support hair testing’s increased ability to prevent lifestyle drug users from operating commercial motor vehicles and should be considered by public policy makers considering whether hair testing results should be allowed into the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. Full article
21 pages, 3744 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Airfreight-Related Logistics Firms in the City of Cape Town, South Africa
Logistics 2023, 7(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7030038 - 04 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1314
Abstract
Background: Airports are essential drivers of spatial development; hence the placement of logistics facilities relative to airports is a topical subject. Despite the wealth of the literature on the subject, relatively little is known about the airfreight catchment of airports. To contribute [...] Read more.
Background: Airports are essential drivers of spatial development; hence the placement of logistics facilities relative to airports is a topical subject. Despite the wealth of the literature on the subject, relatively little is known about the airfreight catchment of airports. To contribute to the existing knowledge, the paper used the study area of the City of Cape Town municipality, South Africa, to address three research objectives, namely analysis of factors that influence the placement of logistics firms in the municipality, analysis of the linkages of the logistics firms with Cape Town International Airport (CTIA), and analysis of the association between airfreight-related firms and the general attributes of logistics firms in the municipality. Methods: The study hinged on a quantitative design, which included a survey and spatial analysis. A total of 110 logistics firms were sampled through a stratified random sampling technique, and 66 firms participated in the telephonic interviews conducted in October and November 2021. Survey data were analyzed using Stata, and spatial analysis was undertaken using ArcGIS 10.8 and QGIS 3.16. Results: It was discovered that a quarter of the respondent logistics firms utilized CTIA for airfreight purposes. At a municipal scale, the potential airfreight catchment of CTIA extended to about a 20 km radius of the airport. Conclusions: In formulating the spatial plans, the planning authorities are encouraged to take cognizance of the possible extent of the catchment, wherein airfreight-related firms do not necessarily locate near the airport. Full article
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22 pages, 4927 KiB  
Article
Production and Internal Logistics Flow Improvements through the Application of Total Flow Management
Logistics 2023, 7(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7020034 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1808
Abstract
Background: Nowadays, as a result of globalization, markets are more competitive, and customers are more demanding. To respond to these challenges, organizations must develop mechanisms for continuous improvement in order to eliminate waste and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of processes. Thus, the [...] Read more.
Background: Nowadays, as a result of globalization, markets are more competitive, and customers are more demanding. To respond to these challenges, organizations must develop mechanisms for continuous improvement in order to eliminate waste and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of processes. Thus, the present study carried out at an industrial unit responsible for the customization of cork stoppers for wines had as its main objectives to identify and eliminate or at least reduce waste; improve production and internal logistics flows; balance workloads; improve productivity; reduce lead time; motivate employees and promote the spirit of continuous improvement. Methods: The action-research methodology was used, whereby several cycles of data recovery and analysis, identification and implementation of opportunities for improvement, assessment and standardization were carried out. Therefore, the Total Flow Management (TFM) model was implemented, and several methods and tools were used, such as Value Stream Mapping (VSM), work measurement and 5S’s. Results: Several wastes and overloads were identified, and some actions were implemented, such as workload balancing, layout changes, implementation of visual management and supermarkets. That said, it was possible to reduce lead time by 4 days, improve productivity from 26.63 ML (a thousand cork stoppers)/h to 35.75 ML/h, and promote flexibility. In addition, employees were motivated, and a culture of continuous improvement was fostered. Conclusions: This project demonstrated that it is possible to implement improvement actions, with good results, without high investments, as well as motivating employees and taking advantage of their best capabilities. Additionally, it was demonstrated that the use of TFM can be very useful in continuous improvement, with evident improvements in production and internal logistics flows. So, this project demonstrated the practical implementation of TFM regarding basic reliability, production and internal logistics flow, and the simultaneous use of several methods and tools to implement continuous improvement. Thus, significant improvements were possible on the factory floor, as well as improving employee motivation their personal development and encouraging the focus on continuous improvement. Therefore, it responds to the gap identified in the literature. Full article
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17 pages, 3577 KiB  
Review
Analyzing the Implementation of Digital Twins in the Agri-Food Supply Chain
Logistics 2023, 7(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7020033 - 12 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2377
Abstract
Background: Digital twins have the potential to significantly improve the efficiency and sustainability of the agri-food supply chain by providing visibility, reducing bottlenecks, planning for contingencies, and improving existing processes and resources. Additionally, they can add value to businesses by lowering costs [...] Read more.
Background: Digital twins have the potential to significantly improve the efficiency and sustainability of the agri-food supply chain by providing visibility, reducing bottlenecks, planning for contingencies, and improving existing processes and resources. Additionally, they can add value to businesses by lowering costs and boosting customer satisfaction. This study is aimed at responding to common scientific questions on the application of digital twins in the agri-food supply chain, focusing on the benefits, types, integration levels, key elements, implementation steps, and challenges. Methods: This article conducts a systematic literature review of recent works on agri-food supply chain digital twins, using a list of peer-reviewed studies to analyze concepts using precise and well-defined criteria. Thus, 50 papers were selected based on inclusion and exclusion criteria, and descriptive and content-wise analysis was conducted to answer the research questions. Conclusions: The implementation of digital twins has shown promising advancements in addressing global challenges in the agri-food supply chain. Despite encouraging signs of progress in the sector, the real-world application of this solution is still in its early stages. This article intends to provide firms, experts, and researchers with insights into future research directions, implications, and challenges on the topic. Full article
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21 pages, 2566 KiB  
Article
Utilization of Free Trade Agreements to Minimize Costs and Carbon Emissions in the Global Supply Chain for Sustainable Logistics
Logistics 2023, 7(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7020032 - 01 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2008
Abstract
Background: Since global warming is a crucial worldwide issue, carbon tax has been introduced in the global supply chain as an environmental regulation for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Costs, GHG emissions, and carbon tax prices differ in each country [...] Read more.
Background: Since global warming is a crucial worldwide issue, carbon tax has been introduced in the global supply chain as an environmental regulation for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Costs, GHG emissions, and carbon tax prices differ in each country due to economic conditions, energy mixes, and government policies. Additionally, multiple countries have signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). While FTAs result in their economic benefit, they also increase the risk of carbon leakage, which increases GHG emissions in the global supply chain due to relocation production sites from a country with stricter emission constraints to others with laxer ones. Method: This study proposes a mathematical model for decision support to minimize total costs involving carbon taxes with FTAs. Results: Our model determines suppliers, factory locations, and the number of transported parts and products with costs, FTAs, carbon taxes, and material-based GHG emissions estimated using the Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) database. The FTA utilization on the global low-carbon supply chain is examined by comparing the constructed supply chains with and without FTAs, and by conducting sensitivity analysis of carbon tax prices. Conclusions: We found that FTAs would not cause carbon leakage directly and would be effective for reducing GHG emissions economically. Full article
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17 pages, 10657 KiB  
Article
Multiple Linear Regression Analysis of Canada’s Freight Transportation Framework
Logistics 2023, 7(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7020029 - 15 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2568
Abstract
Background: Finding trends in freight transportation activities enables businesses and policy makers to build an understanding of freight transportation patterns and their impact on logistics planning when making investments in a region’s transportation infrastructure and intermodal freight transport system. To the best [...] Read more.
Background: Finding trends in freight transportation activities enables businesses and policy makers to build an understanding of freight transportation patterns and their impact on logistics planning when making investments in a region’s transportation infrastructure and intermodal freight transport system. To the best of our knowledge, there is limited literature and data-driven analysis about trends in transportation mode choices and the influencing factors in Atlantic Canada. Methods: In this study, a data-driven method has been used to analyze the Canadian Freight dataset to identify trends in transportation activities within Maritime, Canada. Freight transportation mode, product categories, distance, number/weight of shipments, and revenue were examined. Results: The results revealed that the top five product categories exported from Atlantic provinces to the rest of Canada, the US, and Mexico are miscellaneous items, food products, forest products, minerals, and other manufactured goods, where Truck for Hire is the most deployed mode of transportation. A multiple linear regression analysis indicated that the weight, distance, and number of shipments are positively and rather strongly correlated with revenue generation. Conclusions: This study provides a unique overview of Canadian Freight Analysis Framework (CFAF) data with a focus on maritime activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Maritime and Transport Logistics)
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32 pages, 5185 KiB  
Article
A Comparative Review of Air Drones (UAVs) and Delivery Bots (SUGVs) for Automated Last Mile Home Delivery
Logistics 2023, 7(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7020021 - 03 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3718
Abstract
Background: UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and SUGVs (Sidewalk Unmanned Ground Vehicles) are two prominent options to revolutionize last mile home delivery. However, there is no literature yet addressing a comprehensive assessment of them. To bridge this research gap, this paper aimed to [...] Read more.
Background: UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and SUGVs (Sidewalk Unmanned Ground Vehicles) are two prominent options to revolutionize last mile home delivery. However, there is no literature yet addressing a comprehensive assessment of them. To bridge this research gap, this paper aimed to compare UAVs to SUGVs in the context of urban parcel delivery from a practical, conceptual, technological, commercial, and environmental perspective. Methodology: Based on structured literature and web research, this paper provided a comparative status quo review of these two delivery concepts. We introduced a parameter-based cost calculus model to estimate the costs per shipment for each technology. To detect the key cost drivers, we applied a one-way sensitivity analysis, as well as a “full factorial design of experiment” approach. Results: These key cost drivers for both operations are the “number of vehicles per operator” and the “average beeline service radius”. From today’s commercial point of view, our model indicated better profitability of SUGVs. However, technical and regulatory developments may render different results in the future. As SUGVs emit significantly less noise than UAVs, we assume that SUGVs have an additional advantage for usage in autonomous urban last mile delivery from a resident’s perspective. Conclusions: Both key cost drivers will significantly influence the commercial viability of unmanned home delivery services. Safety and security aspects will determine regulatory rules on “number of vehicles per operator”. To increase the “average beeline service radius”, UAVs could profit from mothership delivery concepts while SUGV delivery may co-use existing public transport infrastructure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Last Mile, E-Commerce and Sales Logistics)
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25 pages, 329 KiB  
Article
Management Food Waste in Municipality Schools: An Analysis from a Circular Economy Perspective
Logistics 2023, 7(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7020020 - 31 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2394
Abstract
Background: Food waste is a situation that triggers certain controversy, considering that there is still a significant number of people who do not have access to healthy and nutritious food every day. The management of food leftovers from school lunches depends on [...] Read more.
Background: Food waste is a situation that triggers certain controversy, considering that there is still a significant number of people who do not have access to healthy and nutritious food every day. The management of food leftovers from school lunches depends on the creation of measurement mechanisms. Thus, current characteristics of schools should be identified in order to mitigate and better manage these leftovers. This study addresses this gap, that is, it seeks to understand how food waste management is carried out in schools from a circular economy perspective. Methods: Focusing on the management of school lunches in municipal schools, this study aims to build an inductive interpretive theory in order to understand how schools promote food waste management. Results: Loss estimates and their monetization were identified and explained, and alternatives for waste recovery using the ReSOLVE framework were proposed. Conclusions: Therefore, it was assumed that the perspective of circularity is a possible and viable way to manage food waste in school lunches. Stakeholder engagement and awareness raising become necessary premises for success in the food circularity journey. Full article
21 pages, 640 KiB  
Article
Knowledge-Based Human Resource Management, Logistics Capability, and Organizational Performance in Small Finnish Logistics Service Providers
Logistics 2023, 7(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7010012 - 17 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3248
Abstract
Background: In the current knowledge age, the performance of logistics firms increasingly depends on knowledge and capabilities they can leverage in value-creation processes. The objective of this paper is to investigate the relationship between knowledge-based human resource management (HRM) practices and organizational performance [...] Read more.
Background: In the current knowledge age, the performance of logistics firms increasingly depends on knowledge and capabilities they can leverage in value-creation processes. The objective of this paper is to investigate the relationship between knowledge-based human resource management (HRM) practices and organizational performance mediated by logistics capability. Methods: Data from 93 small Finnish logistics service providers was collected by a questionnaire survey. Structural equation modeling and partial least squares analysis were used to test the hypothesized relationships between HRM practices and the organizational performance of logistics companies, as well as the mediating impact of logistics capability. Results: The results demonstrate that logistics capability fully mediates the relationship between HRM practices and the organizational performance of small logistics companies. Each of the three knowledge-based HRM practices—knowledge-based recruitment, training and development, and motivation—significantly influences logistics capability, which is, in turn, associated with the organizational performance of companies. Conclusions: This paper is one of the few among discussing knowledge-based HRM practices in logistics service research. The paper contributes to the literature on logistics by demonstrating the value of knowledge-based HRM practices in acquiring, developing, and leveraging knowledge to create organizational capabilities and ensure organizational performance. This study provides an improved understanding of the role of HRM and the resulting logistics capability in the performance of small logistics service companies. Full article
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27 pages, 4914 KiB  
Article
The Role of the Top 50 US Cargo Airports and 25 Air Cargo Airlines in the Logistics of E-Commerce Companies
Logistics 2023, 7(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7010008 - 01 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 10904
Abstract
Background: The purpose of this study is to analyse the role of the main 50 US cargo airports and 25 air cargo airlines in the logistics of e-commerce companies from 2000 to 2020, to highlight the importance of airports in the logistics and [...] Read more.
Background: The purpose of this study is to analyse the role of the main 50 US cargo airports and 25 air cargo airlines in the logistics of e-commerce companies from 2000 to 2020, to highlight the importance of airports in the logistics and e-commerce industries. Methods: A review of the relevant literature on airports, air cargo carriers, logistics, and e-commerce sectors was undertaken to understand the link between them. The data were collected using four criteria: airport category, airport location, top 25 air cargo carriers, and other relevant data from the Federal Aviation Administration, International Air Transport Association, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, US Department of Transportation, amongst many others. Results: The findings reveal that there is a consolidated relationship between airports, air cargo airlines, and e-commerce, which has been especially evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. Airports and air cargo carriers are identified as the most relevant partners in the e-commerce industry. This is because of the e-commerce sector and its users’ demand for speed and reliability in the interaction between the demand for and supply of products and services. Conclusions: The pandemic has changed the way in which organizations operate and is likely to create new demand from companies and users in the aviation and e-commerce industries. E-commerce companies are highly dependent on the quality and efficiency of air cargo airlines and airports because they need to provide a good shipping service for their products to customers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Last Mile, E-Commerce and Sales Logistics)
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22 pages, 4570 KiB  
Article
Location Allocation of Biorefineries for a Switchgrass-Based Bioethanol Supply Chain Using Energy Consumption and Emissions
Logistics 2023, 7(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics7010005 - 17 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1978
Abstract
Background: Due to the growing demand for energy and environmental issues related to using fossil fuels, it is becoming tremendously important to find alternative energy sources. Bioethanol produced from switchgrass is considered as one of the best alternatives to fossil fuels. Methods [...] Read more.
Background: Due to the growing demand for energy and environmental issues related to using fossil fuels, it is becoming tremendously important to find alternative energy sources. Bioethanol produced from switchgrass is considered as one of the best alternatives to fossil fuels. Methods: This study develops a two-stage supply chain modeling approach that first determines feasible locations for constructing switchgrass-based biorefineries in the state of North Dakota by using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis. In the second stage, the profit of the corresponding switchgrass-based bioethanol supply chain is maximized by developing a mixed-integer linear program that aims to commercialize the bioethanol production while impacts of energy use and carbon emission costs on the supply chain decisions and siting of biorefineries are included. Results: The numerical results show that carbon emissions and energy consumption penalties affect optimal biorefinery selections and supply chain decisions. Conclusions: We conclude that there is no need to penalize both emissions and energy use simultaneously to achieve desirable environmental benefits, otherwise, the supply chain becomes non-profitable. Moreover, imposing emissions or energy consumption penalties makes the optimization model closer to supply sources while having higher land rental costs. Such policies would promote sustainable second-generation biomass production, thus decreasing reliance on fossil fuels. Full article
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26 pages, 5059 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Performance of the Order-Picking Process by Using Smart Glasses: A Laboratory Experimental Approach
Logistics 2022, 6(4), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics6040084 - 08 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2681
Abstract
Background: Order picking process is critical for accurate and efficient order fulfilment. Pick-by-vision is a promising technology that may support order picking process, however there is still a limited amount of research concerning the impact of this technology on the performance of [...] Read more.
Background: Order picking process is critical for accurate and efficient order fulfilment. Pick-by-vision is a promising technology that may support order picking process, however there is still a limited amount of research concerning the impact of this technology on the performance of order-picking. The purpose of this paper is to investigate certain operational and technical parameters that affect the performance of pick-by-vision technology in item-level order picking via a series of laboratory tests. Methods: A systematic literature review is conducted for the identification of parameters that affect pick-by-vision performance. Subsequently, the analytical hierarchy process is adopted to rank these parameters, concerning their impact on order picking. Then, the design of experiment and NASA task load index methodology are implemented for assessing pick-by-vision efficiency and perceived workload. Results: The results reveal the parameters that significantly affect the performance of the pick-by-vision system, as well as the best configuration of parameters for the implementation of the proposed system in real environments. Conclusions: The results obtained are encouraging, showing how pick-by-vision technology can support order picking efficiency. Furthermore, practical implications are presented that deal with the organizational culture, process re-engineering, staff resistance to change, and motivation for maintaining the new way of executing order-picking processes. Full article
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17 pages, 276 KiB  
Article
The Indigenous Logistics System in Africa: The Case of Nigeria, Past to Present
Logistics 2022, 6(4), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics6040080 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3350
Abstract
Background: Centuries after its introduction in Africa, the western-style logistics system has not replicated the same results as it has in other parts of the world. The continent continues to grapple with poor logistics infrastructure and low intra-Africa trade at a time when [...] Read more.
Background: Centuries after its introduction in Africa, the western-style logistics system has not replicated the same results as it has in other parts of the world. The continent continues to grapple with poor logistics infrastructure and low intra-Africa trade at a time when governments in Africa are committed towards the expansion of trade and manufacturing through the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. There is a pressing need, therefore, for the development of a logistics system designed for the African socioeconomic environment and the peculiarities of the people. Methods: This paper examines the operations of the Indigenous Logistics Systems (ILS) in pre-colonial Nigeria and its development over time through qualitative data gathered from the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria and a review of literature. Results: ILS in Nigeria is the cultural creation of the people through the efficient management of available resources and the use of indigenous knowledge. The system derives its strengths and effectiveness from its availability, simplicity, affordability, and trust. Conclusions: The paper concludes that if improved with the application of simple technology, ILS has the answers to the challenges of logistics and Supply Chain Management (SCM) in Africa. Full article
13 pages, 635 KiB  
Article
Challenges to Promoting Resilience in Supply Chains Observed during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Exploratory Study of the Amazon Region Using the TOPSIS Technique
Logistics 2022, 6(4), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics6040078 - 11 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2780
Abstract
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has moved the world in every way, directly impacting supply chains globally and bringing major challenges to management, decision-makers, and companies of all sizes and sectors. This intensifies when it comes to the Brazilian Amazon region, a place that [...] Read more.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has moved the world in every way, directly impacting supply chains globally and bringing major challenges to management, decision-makers, and companies of all sizes and sectors. This intensifies when it comes to the Brazilian Amazon region, a place that historically already lives with several maintenance projects focused on supply chain management (SCM). Methods: Thus, this research aimed to understand the main challenges faced by professionals in the supply chain area in the Amazon region through the development of a survey with professionals in the area. This study conducted a structured questionnaire containing 10 challenges related to SCM during the pandemic period to generate a ranking of these challenges using data analysis using means and comparative ordering using the TOPSIS Multicriteria Technique. Results: It was observed that the most relevant challenges for companies in this region were, respectively, distribution, economic problems, and interruptions in supply and demand. These obstacles promote debates with the literature and foster the expansion of knowledge about the insertion of resilience elements in supply chains in the Amazon. Conclusions: From a theoretical point of view and because it is exploratory research, the results serve as a basis for researchers in the area who aim to understand and expand the debates on this topic through future research. From a practical point of view, the results can help supply chain managers in the Amazon region who work directly in its maintenance and aim to maintain its resilience, since they already have the main challenges for the proper functioning of supply chains identified and ranked. Because it is an exploratory study, the results achieved can contribute significantly to the expansion of debates in the area and in a practical way with managers involved in activities that compose supply chains. Full article
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27 pages, 6553 KiB  
Article
Design and Evaluation of an Integrated Autonomous Control Method for Automobile Terminals
Logistics 2022, 6(4), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics6040073 - 13 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1840
Abstract
Background: Automobile terminals play a key role in global finished car supply chains. Due to their connecting character between manufacturers on the one side and distributers on the other side, they are continuously faced with volatile demand fluctuations and unforeseen dynamic events, [...] Read more.
Background: Automobile terminals play a key role in global finished car supply chains. Due to their connecting character between manufacturers on the one side and distributers on the other side, they are continuously faced with volatile demand fluctuations and unforeseen dynamic events, which cannot be handled adequately by existing planning methods. Autonomous control concepts already showed promising results coping with such dynamics. Methods: This paper describes the causes of dynamics and the terminal systems’ inherent shortcomings in dealing with such dynamics. On this basis, it derives terminal’s demand for novel planning approaches and presents a new integrated autonomous control method for automobile terminals. This novel autonomous control approach combines yard and berth assignments. This paper evaluates the performance of the new approach in a small comprehensive generic scenario. It compares classical planning approaches with the new autonomous control approach, by using a discrete event simulation model. Moreover, it analyses all relevant parameters of the new approach in a full factorial experiment design. In a second step this paper proves the applicability of the combined autonomous control approach to real-world terminals. It presents a simulation model of a real-world terminal and compares the new method with the existing terminal planning approaches. Results: This paper will show that the autonomous control approach is capable of outperforming existing centralized planning methods. In the generic and in the real-world case the new combined method leads to the best logistic target achievement. Conclusions: The new approach is highly suitable to automobile terminal systems and helps to overcome existing shortcomings. Especially in highly dynamic and complex settings, autonomous control performs better than conventional yard planning approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimization and Management in Maritime Transportation)
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21 pages, 1764 KiB  
Article
Impact of Second-Tier Container Port Facilities on Drayage Operation
Logistics 2022, 6(4), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics6040068 - 27 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1988
Abstract
Background: An increasing number of container and chassis staging, “dray-off”, drop yard, and depot facilities are being established outside of North American marine container terminals. The increased use of these “second-tier” facilities implies that there must be some capacity, delivery time, service, [...] Read more.
Background: An increasing number of container and chassis staging, “dray-off”, drop yard, and depot facilities are being established outside of North American marine container terminals. The increased use of these “second-tier” facilities implies that there must be some capacity, delivery time, service, or reliability benefit that offset the additional cost and complexity. Methods: This paper builds on the previously developed integrated drayage scheduling model to determine the impact of second-tier port facilities on drayage operation. It modifies the previously developed model by incorporating the following features: (1) trucks do not have to wait at customers’ locations during the import unloading and export loading operations; (2) drayage operations can include a drop yard (i.e., second-tier facility) for picking up or/and dropping off loaded containers outside the marine container terminal; and (3) a customer is allowed to request any of the following jobs: pick up an empty container, pick up a loaded container, drop off an empty container, and drop off a loaded container. Results: The results indicated that by moving the location of import pickup and export delivery from inside the marine container terminal to a location outside the terminal, the efficiency of drayage operation could increase. Additionally, when import pickup and export delivery take place inside the marine container terminal, the most efficient location for the chassis yard and empty container depot is inside the terminal. However, when the location of import pickup and/or export delivery are outside the terminal, the most efficient location for the chassis yard and empty container depot is also outside the terminal. Conclusions: The modeling results suggest that in addition to adding reserved capacity for marine terminals or as buffers to reconcile the preferred delivery times of importers, the second-tier facilities could also yield operational savings. However, the potential drayage efficiencies depend heavily on shorter queuing and turn time at these less-complex facilities compared to marine container terminals. Lastly, the modeling results suggest that the observed evolution of North American marine container terminals from self-contained entities into multi-tier systems is likely to continue to add additional capacities to accommodate container trade growth. This finding has important implications for regions and communities concerned over the impact of growing container ports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimization and Management in Maritime Transportation)
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23 pages, 1680 KiB  
Article
An Evaluation of Ireland’s Sustainable Freight Transport Policy
Logistics 2022, 6(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics6030065 - 15 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2443
Abstract
Background: The Irish government has put forth sustainable transport policy measures, yet the emphasis is mainly on the active travel and sustainable mobility for passenger transport. Contrariwise, freight transport has not received equal consideration in policy measures, regulatory frameworks, and support schemes [...] Read more.
Background: The Irish government has put forth sustainable transport policy measures, yet the emphasis is mainly on the active travel and sustainable mobility for passenger transport. Contrariwise, freight transport has not received equal consideration in policy measures, regulatory frameworks, and support schemes towards the low-carbon transition. This study seeks to address this imbalance. Methods: The paper proposes an adaptation of the ASI framework for freight transport and assesses the applicability of a number of international sustainable transport measures based on their potential sustainability impact if adopted in Ireland. The research applied a Policy Delphi Method to a heterogeneous expert panel. Results: The findings indicate that the current sustainable freight transport policy measures in Ireland are limited, and the paper suggests 38 measures for supply chains, maritime transport, rail transport and urban freight transport. The analysis further suggests that decarbonisation measures in Ireland should first formulate on the decarbonisation stages ‘avoid’ and ‘shift’, and then move to the ‘improve’ stage, thus leading to a greater impact on decarbonising the freight sector. Conclusions: An ‘ASI for freight transport’ framework is proposed as a taxonomy to systematically compare freight decarbonisation policy measures locally and internationally. This updated framework can serve as a new lens to prioritise sustainable freight policy measures. Recommendations are proposed for developing policy measures for sustainable freight transport in Ireland. Full article
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15 pages, 2313 KiB  
Article
A Particle Swarm Optimization Approach to Solve the Vehicle Routing Problem with Cross-Docking and Carbon Emissions Reduction in Logistics Management
Logistics 2022, 6(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics6030062 - 01 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2292
Abstract
Background: The logistics network design with cross-docking operations enables shipping service providers to integrate the physical flow of products between vendors and dealers in logistics management. The collective goal is to synchronize the goods in both pickup and delivery operations concurrently to [...] Read more.
Background: The logistics network design with cross-docking operations enables shipping service providers to integrate the physical flow of products between vendors and dealers in logistics management. The collective goal is to synchronize the goods in both pickup and delivery operations concurrently to reduce the handling cost, inventory cost, and operation cost generated. Therefore, the optimal vehicle routing plan is crucial to generate a truck routing schedule with minimal total cost, fulfilling the purchasing requirements and the distribution demand. Global warming and climate change are important topics due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable logistics management with optimized routes for trucks can assist in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and easing the effects of temperature increases on our living environment. Methods: A heuristic approach based on Particle Swarm Optimization, called ePSO, was proposed and implemented in this paper to solve the vehicle routing problems with cross-docking and carbon emissions reduction at the same time. Results: Performance comparisons were made with the Genetic Algorithm (GA) through the experiments of several vehicle routing problems with pickup and delivery benchmark problems to validate the performance of the ePSO procedure. Conclusions: Experimental results showed that the proposed ePSO approach was better than the GA for most cases by statistical hypothesis testing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Transportation)
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23 pages, 2611 KiB  
Article
Distinguishing Organisational Profiles of Food Loss Management in Logistics
Logistics 2022, 6(3), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics6030061 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1504
Abstract
Background: Food loss management (FLM), which is discussed at length in the literature, lacks a scientific basis on which to determine the current engagement of actors in the food value chain and what is relevant to derive appropriate measures according to the [...] Read more.
Background: Food loss management (FLM), which is discussed at length in the literature, lacks a scientific basis on which to determine the current engagement of actors in the food value chain and what is relevant to derive appropriate measures according to the circumstances in the organisations concerned. Therefore, this paper aims to derive patterns by which the engagement of actors can be distinguished and, on this basis, to make recommendations for further action. Methods: Based on an online survey of 40 participants, a clustering analysis was conducted using the unsupervised learning method and hierarchical clustering (R and R Studio). Results: Five clusters representing different profiles were derived, showing how actors in the food value chain have addressed FLM in the past. The derived profiles do not represent stages of development but rather characteristics of organisations that have addressed FLM in a certain way in the past. Conclusions: For the five organisational profiles, recommendations for action were given for further engagement with FLM. As the level of engagement with FLM increases, organisations should tackle increasingly complex measures to reduce food losses. At the same time, a shift in measures from the tactical to the strategic planning level was derived. Full article
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17 pages, 1256 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Activities That Make Up the Reverse Logistics Processes and Their Importance for the Future of Logistics Networks: An Exploratory Study Using the TOPSIS Technique
Logistics 2022, 6(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics6030060 - 16 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2581
Abstract
Background: The wide variety of terms that converge in reverse logistics have been more evident and discussed in the current context of the literature, such as reverse channels, reverse supply chain, closed-loop supply chain, and circular supply chain. Regarding this, this paper [...] Read more.
Background: The wide variety of terms that converge in reverse logistics have been more evident and discussed in the current context of the literature, such as reverse channels, reverse supply chain, closed-loop supply chain, and circular supply chain. Regarding this, this paper aimed to investigate the level of uncertainty about the activities that make up the Reverse Logistics process in the opinion of professionals working in this area in Brazil, to develop a discussion relating to the sustainable development goals proposed by the UN and their importance for the future of logistics networks. Methods: Initially, through a detailed systematic review of the literature, the activities that make up the RL processes were identified. Then, a questionnaire was elaborated on regarding such activities, and a survey was developed with professionals in the area. The data obtained were analyzed through a descriptive analysis of means, calculation of Cronbach’s Alpha, and using the multicriteria decision technique TOPSIS. Results: It is possible to see that professionals involved with RL processes in Brazil still have many doubts regarding which activities belong to the RL process. In the opinion of Brazilian professionals, 10 of these activities have generated high levels of uncertainties about their belonging or not to the RL process. On the other hand, with a low level of uncertainty, 3 activities were not considered and 3 were considered to make up the RL process. Conclusions: It is believed that this study can contribute to the generation of knowledge by comparing basic information in the scientific literature with the practical knowledge of professionals belonging to the reverse logistics sector working in the Brazilian context. Full article
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20 pages, 3920 KiB  
Article
Adoption and Influence of Robotic Process Automation in Beef Supply Chains
Logistics 2022, 6(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics6030048 - 12 Jul 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4693
Abstract
Background: This paper aims to critically examine the potential barriers to the implementation and adoption of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in the beef supply chain. The beef supply chain has been challenging due to its complex processes, activities, and management. The beef [...] Read more.
Background: This paper aims to critically examine the potential barriers to the implementation and adoption of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in the beef supply chain. The beef supply chain has been challenging due to its complex processes, activities, and management. The beef industry has relied heavily on the human workforce in the past; however, RPA adoption allows automating tasks that are repetitive and strenuous in nature to enhance beef quality, safety and security. There are considerable potential barriers to RPA adoption as organisations have not focused on trying to eliminate them due to various reasons. Previous studies lack knowledge related to potential barriers to RPA adoption, so this creates a research gap and requires attention. Methods: Statistical data and information are extracted using secondary data relevant to RPA adoption in the beef supply chain. A business process model is formed which uses values or variables using existing statistical data and information. Simulation of the process model is carried out using Simul8 software and analyses of different scenarios help in choosing the best approach for RPA adoption. Results: The results have identified the potential barriers in RPA adoption through the simulation process thus ensuring RPA performs with more potential. Analysis of ‘what-if’ scenarios allow organisational and employee-level improvements along with enhancing RPA’s accuracy. Conclusion: The process model is a generic model for use in real-life scenarios and can be modified by organisations according to their own business needs and requirements. The study contributes in theoretical and practical aspects as it allows decision-makers to adopt RPA in a robust manner and adds to scientific knowledge by identification of potential barriers to RPA adoption. Full article
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12 pages, 447 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Decision Parameters for Route Plans and Their Importance for Sustainability: An Exploratory Study Using the TOPSIS Technique
Logistics 2022, 6(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics6020032 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2171
Abstract
Background: This study aimed to identify the most widespread performance objectives for the vehicle routing problem, the degree of comparative importance attributed to each of these performance objectives in the opinion of professionals in the logistics area working in Brazil and also relate [...] Read more.
Background: This study aimed to identify the most widespread performance objectives for the vehicle routing problem, the degree of comparative importance attributed to each of these performance objectives in the opinion of professionals in the logistics area working in Brazil and also relate them to aspects of sustainability considering environmental, economic and social issues. Methods: To this end, a literature review was carried out in the area and a survey was developed with professionals through a structured questionnaire. The collected data were treated using the TOPSIS multi-criteria technique. Results: The results indicate that the performance objectives in route plans “level of service”, “total number of vehicles” and “total distance travelled” are the ones that, in the opinion of the professionals participating in the research, have greater importance in the planning and elaboration of plan routes and that such objectives directly impact the sustainable results of a given organization. Conclusions: The results can serve as a basis for researchers in the area who aim to broaden the debates on this topic and for logistics operations managers who work directly with planning and elaboration of route plans and who aim to make their operations more sustainable. Therefore, this research addresses the literature gap by identifying which performance objectives should be considered in the elaboration of route plans and how they relate to sustainability guidelines. It is noteworthy that no other study with a similar objective was identified in the literature. Full article
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16 pages, 276 KiB  
Article
Risk Behavior Analysis in Indonesian Logistic Train Level Crossing
Logistics 2022, 6(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics6020030 - 15 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2403
Abstract
Background: At Indonesian level crossings, traversed by logistics trains, there are still frequent cases of accidents. The overall mishaps in 2020 were 199 cases of accidents at level crossings involving road drivers. Mental load factors affect the behavior of drivers on the [...] Read more.
Background: At Indonesian level crossings, traversed by logistics trains, there are still frequent cases of accidents. The overall mishaps in 2020 were 199 cases of accidents at level crossings involving road drivers. Mental load factors affect the behavior of drivers on the road; Methods: this study, field observations and surveys were carried out using the Driver Behavior Question-naire (DBQ) and NASA TLX to measure mental load; Results: The results showed that 62% of drivers had a very high mental load factor. The mental load factors are effort, frustration, and temporal demand. Meanwhile, based on the results of DBQ, the type of behavior that is often carried out is Violation; Conclusions: From the results of field observations, it is also known that there is a significant influence between time and type of vehicle on violations. Thus, it was necessary to improve facilities and systems at level crossings to provide convenience and reduce the volume of transportation going through level crossings to reduce the risk of accidents and violations at level crossings. Full article
17 pages, 1505 KiB  
Article
Transportation-Induced Carbon Emissions Jeopardize Healthcare Logistics Sustainability: Toward a Healthier Today and a Better Tomorrow
Logistics 2022, 6(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics6020027 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3199
Abstract
Background: Logistics operations are considered essential for transporting commodities from one location to another, helping to promote global economic activity. On the other hand, its negative impact eclipses its positive impact, namely the rise in healthcare expenditures due to its ecological footprint. Globally, [...] Read more.
Background: Logistics operations are considered essential for transporting commodities from one location to another, helping to promote global economic activity. On the other hand, its negative impact eclipses its positive impact, namely the rise in healthcare expenditures due to its ecological footprint. Globally, rising out-of-pocket health expenses result from logistic-induced carbon emissions, posing a danger to the long-term viability of healthcare. Methods: Based on this critical fact, this study examined the impact of logistics operations on healthcare costs by controlling for carbon emissions, fuel imports, and economic development across a large cross-section of 131 nations by using the Robust Least Squares Regression. Results: The findings demonstrate a U-shaped association between logistical operations and healthcare expenditures, i.e., if there is a 1% increase in logistics operations, healthcare expenditures decrease by −2.421% initially, while at later stages, healthcare costs would increase by 0.139%. On the other hand, increased fuel imports and economic growth due to logistics activities are increasing healthcare expenditures with an elasticity estimate of 0.087% and 0.147%, respectively. According to the forecasting predictions, logistics-induced carbon emissions, fuel imports, and economic expansion will increase healthcare expenses. Conclusions: A sustainable logistics operation is critical for strengthening healthcare infrastructure and meeting the global carbon neutrality goal. Full article
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19 pages, 925 KiB  
Article
Brazil’s Agribusiness Economic Miracle: Exploring Food Supply Chain Transformations for Promoting Win–Win Investments
Logistics 2022, 6(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics6010023 - 15 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3918
Abstract
Background: For many developing countries, agribusiness has become one of the main economic sectors, with the capacity to mobilize domestic and foreign investments. Despite the potential for development in countries like Brazil, the results of these investments in supply chains have not [...] Read more.
Background: For many developing countries, agribusiness has become one of the main economic sectors, with the capacity to mobilize domestic and foreign investments. Despite the potential for development in countries like Brazil, the results of these investments in supply chains have not yet been systematically assessed. Methods: This study analyses foreign and domestic investments as an explanation for the recent growth of Brazilian agribusiness and evaluates the implications of different investment arrangements for the future development of the sector in the country. The research was based on a literature review of 12 agribusiness supply chains in Brazil. Results: Through a content analysis, the results reveal win–win situations with foreign and domestic investments supporting the streamlining of supply chains, mutually benefiting domestic and international groups and increasing the productivity of the entire sector. However, the results also reveal win–lose cases with chains and segments practically controlled by foreign multinationals in which local groups have practically no share. Finally, there are also cases of lose–win in which groups subsidized by the state are privileged in relation to others, compromising the sector’s growth. Conclusions: The current liberal business environment results in the need for a new vision of development based on win–win opportunities for domestic and foreign investments created by dynamic sectors such as agribusiness. Full article
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16 pages, 1144 KiB  
Article
Integration of Blockchain Technology and Prioritization of Deployment Barriers in the Blood Supply Chain
Logistics 2022, 6(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics6010021 - 04 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2851
Abstract
Background: This research aims to prioritize the blood supply hub for coping barriers of implementation blockchain (BC) in supply chain management (SCM). Nowadays, blood supply is a crucial matter that plays an essential role in people’s lives. Hence, tracing the supply of blood [...] Read more.
Background: This research aims to prioritize the blood supply hub for coping barriers of implementation blockchain (BC) in supply chain management (SCM). Nowadays, blood supply is a crucial matter that plays an essential role in people’s lives. Hence, tracing the supply of blood is very substantial. One of the ways for the SCM of blood supply is a blockchain system. It shows how all traces of the SCM stream can flow from raw material to receiving blood into end users. However, there are many barriers to the implementation of blockchain. None of the companies can design improvement projects to resolve these barriers because of a lack of rare resources, such as human resources (HR), budget, information, etc. Methods: Barriers are first extracted from previous studies and interviews with experts in this study. Then, these barriers are customized for this case study by the Delphi method. Then, these blood supply hubs are ranked by measurement alternatives and ranking according to the compromise solution (MARCOS) method. Since this method needs primary weight, the best–worst method (BWM) is applied to obtain this weight. Result: Results have pointed out that business owners’ unwillingness was the highest priority among the nine barriers. Conclusions: Additionally, implementing blockchain for SCM of blood supply requires paying more attention to business owners’ unwillingness barriers and resolving them. Furthermore, hub 4 is faced with many problems in tackling barriers to implementing SCM blockchain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Logistics Cooperation: Integrated Logistics Services)
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17 pages, 435 KiB  
Review
Which Strategies and Corresponding Competences Are Needed to Improve Supply Chain Resilience: A COVID-19 Based Review
Logistics 2022, 6(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics6010012 - 01 Feb 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 8790
Abstract
Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became evident that supply chains were not as resilient as they should be. To cope with future disruptions or epidemic outbreaks, supply chain resilience should be improved based on lessons learnt from the impacts of COVID-19 to [...] Read more.
Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became evident that supply chains were not as resilient as they should be. To cope with future disruptions or epidemic outbreaks, supply chain resilience should be improved based on lessons learnt from the impacts of COVID-19 to improve supply chain resilience and facilitate the corresponding competences and skills to implement strategic changes. Method: Applying the dynamic managerial capabilities theory lens, an integrative review is conducted focused on (1) the multiple impacts of COVID-19 on the supply chain resilience, (2) multiple strategies to enhance supply chain resilience, and (3) competences needed to implement the strategic changes successfully. Result: During COVID-19, supply chains could not handle supply and demand shocks, which led to a disrupted state of supply chains. To reduce the impacts of the subsequent disruptions, companies should implement specific strategic changes and increase complementary skills and competences levels. A proposed framework indicates which skills and competences need to be developed to implement a strategic change. Conclusion: Companies must shift their focus from (cost) efficiency to creating more resilient supply chains. Additionally, purchasing professionals should develop their skills and competences accordingly to cope with future disruptions. Full article
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25 pages, 901 KiB  
Article
The Logic of Collective Action for Rural Warehouse Condominiums
Logistics 2022, 6(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics6010009 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2732
Abstract
Background: Given several bottlenecks in Brazil in distribution logistics, mainly in transport and warehouse activities, some new forms of collective action have appeared. The Condominiums of Rural Warehouses was conceived of to overcome these bottlenecks and provide better income and competitiveness to small [...] Read more.
Background: Given several bottlenecks in Brazil in distribution logistics, mainly in transport and warehouse activities, some new forms of collective action have appeared. The Condominiums of Rural Warehouses was conceived of to overcome these bottlenecks and provide better income and competitiveness to small producers in agribusiness. This article aims to analyse aspects of collective action with the focus of Rural Condominiums in the context of Brazilian agribusiness. Methods: We conducted exploratory, descriptive and qualitative research under the Theory of Logic of Collective Action lens for this purpose. Besides conducting a literature review, we conducted a semi-structured interview with the managers of the Rural Warehouse Condominiums. We analysed the data through a Categorial Content Analysis. Results: The main results show an approximation of the rural model of the Condominiums of Rural Warehouses with the Theory of Logic of Collective Action, mainly for small producers. Conclusions: We highlight the feasibility of the warehouse structure collectively, as it strengthens and provides greater efficiency to rural business and producers, inserts and integrates the industry into a competitive market environment, provides economic and social benefits, leads to cost reduction, and increased profit. The economic, social and logistical determinants show the product’s commercialisation, logistical gains, and the producers’ association regarding the development and growth of rural collective action. This paper can be helpful for practitioners and researchers interested in this field. Full article
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22 pages, 738 KiB  
Article
Composing Vessel Fleets for Maintenance at Offshore Wind Farms by Solving a Dual-Level Stochastic Programming Problem Using GRASP
Logistics 2022, 6(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics6010006 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2451
Abstract
Background: Dual-level stochastic programming is a technique that allows modelling uncertainty at two different levels, even when the time granularity differs vastly between the levels. In this paper we study the problem of determining the optimal fleet size and mix of vessels performing [...] Read more.
Background: Dual-level stochastic programming is a technique that allows modelling uncertainty at two different levels, even when the time granularity differs vastly between the levels. In this paper we study the problem of determining the optimal fleet size and mix of vessels performing maintenance operations at offshore wind farms. In this problem the strategic planning spans decades, while operational planning is performed on a day-to-day basis. Since the operational planning level must somehow be taken into account when making strategic plans, and since uncertainty is present at both levels, dual-level stochastic programming is suitable. Methods: We present a heuristic solution method for the problem based on the greedy randomized adaptive search procedure (GRASP). To evaluate the operational costs of a given fleet, a novel fleet deployment heuristic (FDH) is embedded into the GRASP. Results: Computational experiments show that the FDH produces near optimal solutions to the operational day-to-day fleet deployment problem. Comparing the GRASP to exact methods, it produces near optimal solutions for small instances, while significantly improving the primal solutions for larger instances, where the exact methods do not converge. Conclusions: The proposed heuristic is suitable for solving realistic instances, and produces near optimal solution in less than 2 h. Full article
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26 pages, 28218 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 Disruption Strategy for Redesigning Global Supply Chain Network across TPP Countries
Logistics 2022, 6(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics6010002 - 24 Dec 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 6444
Abstract
Background: COVID-19 has disrupted and adversely affected supply chains worldwide. A global supply chain network that considers disruptions is needed. This study strategically analyzes the economic and structural effects of disruption on a global supply chain network with customs duty and the [...] Read more.
Background: COVID-19 has disrupted and adversely affected supply chains worldwide. A global supply chain network that considers disruptions is needed. This study strategically analyzes the economic and structural effects of disruption on a global supply chain network with customs duty and the trans-pacific partnership (TPP) agreement. Methods: We present a cost minimization model which helps in understanding the difficulty of supplying materials or products to factories or customers if the supplier’s cities are facing disruption. This enables us to model and evaluate simultaneous considerations of supplier disruption, customs duty, and TPP in redesigning a global supply chain network. This network is modeled and formulated using integer programming, disruption scenarios, and a sensitivity analysis for customs duty. Results: Regarding the impact of disruptions on suppliers, two patterns emerge in the reconfigured network: direct changes due to supplier disruptions and indirect changes due to factory relocation. The sensitivity analysis for customs duty shows that the TPP has a positive impact on cost maintained, even in the presence of disruptions. Conclusions: Suppliers should be switched depending on the scale of disruption; when many distant suppliers need to be switched, the factory should be relocated to the country where these suppliers are located. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Supply Chain Challenges under COVID-19)
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17 pages, 1148 KiB  
Article
Building the E-Commerce Supply Chain of the Future: What Influences Consumer Acceptance of Alternative Places of Delivery on the Last-Mile
Logistics 2021, 5(4), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics5040090 - 17 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4940
Abstract
Background: To cope with the expected further growth in e-commerce and to be able to continue delivering at low costs, new concepts for the last-mile are needed. This paper reviews the literature and qualitatively investigates which factors influence the acceptance of four [...] Read more.
Background: To cope with the expected further growth in e-commerce and to be able to continue delivering at low costs, new concepts for the last-mile are needed. This paper reviews the literature and qualitatively investigates which factors influence the acceptance of four alternative place-of-delivery innovations in a business-to-consumer (B2C) context: (1) parcel lockers, (2) reception boxes, (3) trunk delivery, and (4) home access systems; Methods: The available literature was reviewed. Furthermore, 37 interviews were conducted and analyzed using the deductive category development method. In the following, abductive reasoning can derive detailed research models that may form the basis for future confirmative studies; Results: The research gains more detailed insights into how consumers perceive innovative last-mile place-of-delivery concepts. The study provides a clearer picture of what factors influence the intention to use such alternative services; Conclusions: The results can be used by logistics service providers and e-tailers through targeted communication efforts and lay the groundwork for further confirmatory research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Last Mile, E-Commerce and Sales Logistics)
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20 pages, 1110 KiB  
Article
Intra- and Interorganizational Barriers to Blockchain Adoption: A General Assessment and Coping Strategies in the Agrifood Industry
Logistics 2021, 5(4), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics5040087 - 07 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4414
Abstract
Background: Companies partaking in modern supply chains face numerous intra- and interorganizational barriers when it comes to the adoption of blockchain technology. Empirical research is missing that explores how exactly these barriers can be overcome. In this paper we first explore barriers [...] Read more.
Background: Companies partaking in modern supply chains face numerous intra- and interorganizational barriers when it comes to the adoption of blockchain technology. Empirical research is missing that explores how exactly these barriers can be overcome. In this paper we first explore barriers that organizations need to overcome to successfully deploy blockchain technology. In a second step, we investigate the agrifood industry and highlight differences in coping strategies between incumbents and start-ups. Methods: We conducted a quantitative survey with 190 supply chain experts to identify barriers and an in-depth qualitative study that included 10 expert interviews to better understand the current situation in agrifood organizations. Results: The findings from the quantitative study show that the most relevant organizational barrier to blockchain adoption is the widespread lack of understanding of the technology and its potential benefits. In the qualitative study we illustrate how various intra- and interorganizational barriers can be overcome and how the resources and capabilities differ between incumbents and start-ups. Conclusions: Our results provide academics with a better understanding of the relevant barriers and bridges of blockchain adoption. Practitioners benefit from learning about the resources and capabilities they need to deploy in order to benefit from blockchain technology. Full article
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15 pages, 467 KiB  
Article
The Role of Logistics in Food Waste Reduction in Wholesalers and Small Retailers of Fruits and Vegetables: A Multiple Case Study
Logistics 2021, 5(4), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics5040077 - 04 Nov 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4508
Abstract
Background: There is a lack of studies on the waste of fruits and vegetables covering both distributors and the retail sector. Our study advances from previous ones by proposing the analysis of local retailers of different sizes and wholesalers. Our objective was to [...] Read more.
Background: There is a lack of studies on the waste of fruits and vegetables covering both distributors and the retail sector. Our study advances from previous ones by proposing the analysis of local retailers of different sizes and wholesalers. Our objective was to analyze the logistical practices to reduce the waste of fruits and vegetables in wholesalers and small retailers in Federal District, Brazil. Methods: A multiple case study was conducted with 19 retailers and eight wholesalers. We administered semi-structured interviews and performed documental analysis and direct observation. Results: The findings demonstrated the leading logistical practices of handling, conservation, management and control, and consumer awareness about food waste. The type of retailer was limited to grocery stores and fruit shops, and the type of food covered only fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, we considered the food waste generated in the logistics processes and not that after consumption. Conclusions: More than a third of the food produced worldwide is lost or wasted. A considerable part of the food waste is associated with the lack of an adequate structure of the logistical processes. The results may contribute to the adoption of practices related to reducing food waste by retailers and wholesalers. Full article
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28 pages, 2911 KiB  
Article
Blockchain Technologies in Logistics and Supply Chain Management: A Bibliometric Review
Logistics 2021, 5(4), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics5040072 - 07 Oct 2021
Cited by 51 | Viewed by 15646
Abstract
The emergence of blockchain technology has sparked significant attention from the supply chain management (SCM) and logistics communities. In this paper, we present the results from a thorough bibliometric review that analytically and objectively identifies the intellectual structure of this field, the seminal [...] Read more.
The emergence of blockchain technology has sparked significant attention from the supply chain management (SCM) and logistics communities. In this paper, we present the results from a thorough bibliometric review that analytically and objectively identifies the intellectual structure of this field, the seminal papers, and the most influential scholars. We employ a knowledge domain visualization technique to generate insights that go beyond other review studies on blockchain research within logistics and SCM. The analysis starts with selecting a total of 628 papers from Scopus and the Web of Science that were published during 2016–2020. The bibliometric analysis output demonstrates that the number of blockchain papers has rapidly increased since 2017. The most productive researchers are from the USA, China, and India. The top academic institutions contributing to the literature are also identified. Based on network analyses, we found that the literature concentrates mainly on the conceptualization of blockchain; its potentials for supply chain sustainability; its adoption triggers and barriers; and its role in supporting supply chain agility, trust, protection of intellectual property, and food/perishable supply chains. Besides systematically mapping the literature, we identify several research gaps and propose numerous actionable research directions for the future. This study enriches the extant blockchain literature, provides a timely snapshot of the current state of research, and examines the knowledge structure of blockchain research in logistics and SCM with the help of evidence-based scientometric methods. Full article
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15 pages, 1616 KiB  
Article
Transparency in Global Agribusiness: Transforming Brazil’s Soybean Supply Chain Based on Companies’ Accountability
Logistics 2021, 5(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics5030058 - 25 Aug 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 5260
Abstract
Background: Although agri-food supply chains have become fundamental for food security throughout the world, some are associated with negative environmental and socioeconomic impacts. This study explores the possibilities of transforming the governance in Brazil’s soybean supply chain based on stakeholders’ accountability. Methods: We [...] Read more.
Background: Although agri-food supply chains have become fundamental for food security throughout the world, some are associated with negative environmental and socioeconomic impacts. This study explores the possibilities of transforming the governance in Brazil’s soybean supply chain based on stakeholders’ accountability. Methods: We used secondary data from companies’ reports and statistical yearbooks to identify key stakeholders in the soybean supply chain as well as to explore trade-offs between reducing farming expansion into new agricultural frontiers and increasing investments in agro-industrial sectors. Results: The results reveal that at the global level, multinational corporations along with domestic groups should be held accountable for improving the governance of the soybean supply chain in Brazil since foreign multinationals control 65.4% of it. At the domestic level, losses in Brazil’s farming sector can either be offset by an 11% or 5.2% market share increase in the trading segment or in the whole supply chain, respectively, since Brazilian groups control 93.4% of the farming sector but only 7.1% of the agro-industrial sectors. Conclusions: Global accountability and domestic trade-offs are fundamental for transforming governance in global agri-food supply chains. They serve as a means for overcoming the current strategy of expansion into new farming frontiers. Full article
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18 pages, 1283 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Implications of the London Heathrow Airport Expansion for the Landside Freight Industry
Logistics 2021, 5(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics5030050 - 12 Jul 2021
Viewed by 5024
Abstract
The air cargo industry is hugely important to national economies, trade, and development. Thus far, there has been limited research on the landside freight industry. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to extend the understanding of how alterations in the air cargo [...] Read more.
The air cargo industry is hugely important to national economies, trade, and development. Thus far, there has been limited research on the landside freight industry. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to extend the understanding of how alterations in the air cargo industry impact on its landside freight counterpart. It also seeks to explore the potential opportunities and challenges this presents, as well as the measures that can be taken to mitigate unsustainable development for the landside freight industry. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect the views of key stakeholders, freight industry experts, and other professionals. Our findings show that, if the airport expansion went ahead, the opportunities would generally outweigh the challenges. Increased freight activities and other positive spinoffs would result in the long-term. Increased freight activities and employment were the prime positive implications. Conversely, increased delays due to congestion was the main negative implication. Measures suggested to mitigate the adverse effects of the London Heathrow Airport (LHR) expansion entailed strengthening of consolidation centre efforts, freight collaboration, intelligent booking systems, use of low-carbon technologies, smart scheduling for revising the timetabling of deliveries, and greater use of rail transport for air cargo. The research highlights novel insights regarding existing freight-related issues from industry and academic experts, and further thoughts in relation to increased cargo activities stemming from the LHR expansion. Full article
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16 pages, 316 KiB  
Article
Disorders, Vulnerabilities and Resilience in the Supply Chain in Pandemic Times
Logistics 2021, 5(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics5030048 - 05 Jul 2021
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 6407
Abstract
The economic and social environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has brought additional pressure on supply chains because they now have more pressure to develop and adapt to a context of economic constraint. Delays in the supply chain can bring consequences such as [...] Read more.
The economic and social environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has brought additional pressure on supply chains because they now have more pressure to develop and adapt to a context of economic constraint. Delays in the supply chain can bring consequences such as the lack of food products by retailers, transporters and manufacturers. Thus, this study aims to examine the supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic in small- and medium-sized food companies in the central region of Portugal, identifying potential problems and pointing out the respective solutions. For this purpose, the study uses a qualitative methodology through semi-structured interviews. It was found that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not have a codified supply chain and that generally, these companies have a minimal budget, which requires a constant search for new suppliers that represent a reduction in costs. Moreover, most of the companies surveyed faced unexpected challenges, such as a lack of alternative suppliers. The present paper is original because it studies the supply chain in SMEs in the food sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it allows the ascertainment of practical suggestions for these companies to improve, as well as contributing to the clarification of the literature on the supply chain in times of crisis such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Supply Chain Challenges under COVID-19)
23 pages, 379 KiB  
Article
On Blockchain Integration with Supply Chain: Overview on Data Transparency
Logistics 2021, 5(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics5030046 - 02 Jul 2021
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 7469
Abstract
Data transparency is essential in the modern supply chain to improve trust and boost collaboration among partners. In this context, Blockchain is a promising technology to provide full transparency across the entire supply chain. However, Blockchain was originally designed to provide full transparency [...] Read more.
Data transparency is essential in the modern supply chain to improve trust and boost collaboration among partners. In this context, Blockchain is a promising technology to provide full transparency across the entire supply chain. However, Blockchain was originally designed to provide full transparency and uncontrolled data access. This leads many market actors to avoid Blockchain as they fear for their confidentiality. In this paper, we highlight the requirements and challenges of supply chain transparency. We then investigate a set of supply chain projects that tackle data transparency issues by utilizing Blockchain in their core platform in different manners. Furthermore, we analyze the projects’ techniques and the tools utilized to customize transparency. As a result of the projects’ analyses, we identified that further enhancements are needed to set a balance between the data transparency and process opacity required by different partners, to ensure the confidentiality of their processes and to control access to sensitive data. Full article
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12 pages, 549 KiB  
Article
Towards Digital Twins of Multimodal Supply Chains
Logistics 2021, 5(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics5020025 - 26 Apr 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 6311
Abstract
Both modern multi- and intermodal supply chains pose a significant challenge to control and maintain while offering numerous optimization potential. Digital Twins have been proposed to improve supply chains. However, as of today, they are only used for certain parts of the entire [...] Read more.
Both modern multi- and intermodal supply chains pose a significant challenge to control and maintain while offering numerous optimization potential. Digital Twins have been proposed to improve supply chains. However, as of today, they are only used for certain parts of the entire supply chain. This paper presents an initial framework for a holistic Digital Supply Chain Twin (DSCT) capable of including an entire multimodal supply chain. Such a DSCT promises to enable several improvements all across the supply chain while also be capable of simulating and evaluate several different scenarios for the supply chain. Therefore, the DSCT will not only be able to optimize multi- and intermodal supply chains but also makes them potentially more robust by identifying possible issues early on. This paper discusses the major requirements that such a DSCT must fulfil to be useful and how several information technologies that matured in recent years or are about the mature are the key enablers to fulfil these requirements. Finally, a suggested high-level architecture for such a DSCT is presented as a first step towards the realization of a DSCT, as presented in this work Full article
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15 pages, 453 KiB  
Article
Developing a Sustainable Logistics Service Quality Scale for Logistics Service Providers in Egypt
Logistics 2021, 5(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics5020021 - 12 Apr 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4733
Abstract
The role of sustainability has made it a vital point to measure companies’ financial performances and sustainability practices along the overall supply chain. Logistics service providers (LSPs) are among the supply chain actors that need to consider sustainability practices to present a better [...] Read more.
The role of sustainability has made it a vital point to measure companies’ financial performances and sustainability practices along the overall supply chain. Logistics service providers (LSPs) are among the supply chain actors that need to consider sustainability practices to present a better sustainable service. Therefore, we studied LSPs in Egypt, as Egypt has set sustainability goals in the logistics sector to be achieved by 2030. This research proposes a new sustainable logistics service quality (SLSQ) scale through reviewing the literature on sustainable service quality (SSQ) and logistics service quality (LSQ). While additional semi-structured interviews were conducted with LSP companies in Egypt to formulate the SLSQ scale for this specific region, the Q-sorting technique was used to confirm SLSQ measurements. Hence, we present a scale to evaluate Egypt’s overall LSPs’ service quality. Our research thereby contributes to the theory by proposing a new framework that measures the SLSQ in LSP companies in emerging countries and to the practice by tying the framework to accompany Egyptian law. The results are discussed against previous literature and concluded by showing limitations and potential future research avenues. Full article
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9 pages, 2626 KiB  
Article
Measuring Disruptions in Last-Mile Delivery Operations
Logistics 2021, 5(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics5010017 - 15 Mar 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4237
Abstract
The rapid growth of urbanisation and e-commerce has increased the number of home deliveries that need to be made in retail operations. Consequently, there is also an increase in unexpected incidents, such as adverse traffic, unavailability of parking space, and vehicle breakdowns. These [...] Read more.
The rapid growth of urbanisation and e-commerce has increased the number of home deliveries that need to be made in retail operations. Consequently, there is also an increase in unexpected incidents, such as adverse traffic, unavailability of parking space, and vehicle breakdowns. These disruptions result in delays, higher costs, and lower service levels in the last-mile delivery operation. Motivated by free, innovative, and efficient tools, such as the Google application programming interface (API) and Google OR, we built a model to measure the impact of disruptions in the last-mile delivery operation. Our model considers customers’ geographic information, speed estimation between nodes, routing optimisation, and disruption evaluation. Disruptions are considered here as external factors such as accidents and road works that imply the closure of or slow access to certain roads. Computational experiments, based on a set of real data from three different cities around the world, which contrast in size and characteristics (i.e., Boston, US; Bogotá, Colombia; and Pamplona, Spain), were conducted to validate our approach. The tests consider 50 different instances of up to 100 customers per city and analyse the impact of disruptions in terms of travelled time and distance. Our results provide managerial insights for key stakeholders (i.e., carriers, consumers, and government) to define policies and development plans that improve the resilience and capabilities of cities’ transportation systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Last Mile, E-Commerce and Sales Logistics)
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