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... The industry is fragmented, resulting in the number of stakeholders involved usually being high: from pallet manufacturers to users, including several Pallet supply chains can involve several tiers and multiple interconnected stakeholders. Figure 1 shows two possible general configurations, an open-loop and a closed-loop system [8], and the stakeholders that are generally involved. ...
... First of all, the choice of a pallet management strategy has economic and environmental implications for the pallet provider that can vary according to the type of supply chain and organizational model chosen. The authors of [8] focus on the challenges related to the design of closed-loop pallet management systems by means of a simulation model, underlining the difficulty related to the integration of forward and reverse flows in the supply chain due to uncertainty in the quantity and quality of reverse flows. By means of a simulation model, they compare a few scenarios with different strategies for pallet recovery (direct or postponed interchange), showing that integrating the direct and reverse flows of pallets through a direct interchange allows them to reduce internal costs. ...
... This strategic decision can apply also to pallet recyclers/repairers, who find little space in the literature, and for which economic and efficiency objectives are completely missing in the studies reviewed: despite the increase in pallet repair practices due to the diffusion of closed-loop systems [8,65], a gap remains in the analysis of the economic performance of pallet repair and recycling operations, considering the variability of the demand and the uncertainty of pallet return flows, as well as in the evaluation of strategic partnerships. ...
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Pallets are among the most used returnable transport items (RTIs), and they are critical assets for a supply chain as they have significant environmental and economic impacts during their whole life cycle. Differently from other packaging products, pallets are specifically designed to be repeatably repaired and reinjected for use. While this environmentally is beneficial as it reduces waste, it can create complex interactions between the stakeholder-involved manufacturers, pallet providers, users and recyclers. Further, the number of different actors is usually high, and the flow of materials among them needs to be coordinated. In addition, different business models can be implemented (such as internal management versus outsourcing) as well as logistics alternatives (closed- versus open-loop). Thus, the aims of this study are first to propose a systematization of design and management decisions regarding the pallet supply chain; next, to review the state of the art models and tools adopted to support each decision process relying on an analysis of the archival literature published between 1978 and 2021 on pallet management, to summarize the main decision problems addressed by the different stakeholders involved in the pallet life cycle and the adopted methods, and, finally, to highlight potential existing research gaps. This effort helps to outline potential contributions towards more sustainable pallet supply chains and can support pallet operators and companies in evaluating solutions to increase the economic and environmental sustainability of their pallet management. Results show that the perspectives of the pallet provider and of the supply chain are the most widely addressed in the existing literature, while those of pallet manufacturers and repairers should be further analyzed.
... If The above linear pallet management strategy may result in negative impact to sustainability on environment and business development without effective measures to handle industrial wastes of pallets, while business image and reputation can, therefore, be affected. Consequently, some researchers have explored the concepts of pallet pooling, which refers to pallet renting business to enhance the sustainability of using pallets in the LSCM [5][6][7]. Pallet management becomes a service provided by a dedicated company to cater for the requirements from routine operations and pallet maintenance. Subsequently, a closed-loop pallet management scheme inspired from the circular supply chains was proposed in order to eliminate industrial wastes by following the initiatives of "reuse", "reduce", and "recycle". ...
... Although the benefits of deploying the pallet pooling strategy, particularly for business and economic sustainability in the logistics industry, are commonly understood, The above linear pallet management strategy may result in negative impact to sustainability on environment and business development without effective measures to handle industrial wastes of pallets, while business image and reputation can, therefore, be affected. Consequently, some researchers have explored the concepts of pallet pooling, which refers to pallet renting business to enhance the sustainability of using pallets in the LSCM [5][6][7]. Pallet management becomes a service provided by a dedicated company to cater for the requirements from routine operations and pallet maintenance. Subsequently, a closed-loop pallet management scheme inspired from the circular supply chains was proposed in order to eliminate industrial wastes by following the initiatives of "reuse", "reduce", and "recycle". ...
... In view of the pallet management in the logistics industry, the strategies can be classified as open-loop and closed-loop pallet management systems, where the reverse pallet logistics are considered in the closed-loop system [5]. Regarding the open-loop system, the exchange of pallets among supply chain parties is performed in two modes, namely (i) single-use expendable mode and (ii) buy-and-sell mode [6]. ...
Article
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Pallet management as a backbone of logistics and supply chain activities is essential to supply chain parties, while a number of regulations, standards and operational constraints are considered in daily operations. In recent years, pallet pooling has been unconventionally advocated to manage pallets in a closed-loop system to enhance the sustainability and operational effectiveness, but pitfalls in terms of service reliability, quality compliance and pallet limitation when using a single service provider may occur. Therefore, this study incorporates a decentralisation mechanism into the pallet management to formulate a technological eco-system for pallet pooling, namely Pallet as a Service (PalletaaS), raised by the foundation of consortium blockchain and Internet of things (IoT). Consortium blockchain is regarded as the blockchain 3.0 to facilitate more industrial applications, except cryptocurrency, and the synergy of integrating a consortium blockchain and IoT is thus investigated. The corresponding layered architecture is proposed to structure the system deployment in the industry, in which the location-inventory-routing problem for pallet pooling is formulated. To demonstrate the values of this study, a case analysis to illustrate the human–computer interaction and pallet pooling operations is conducted. Overall, this study standardises the decentralised pallet management in the closed-loop mechanism, resulting in a constructive impact to sustainable development in the logistics industry.
... Firms, which apply a systems approach, can facilitate the adoption and diffusion of environmentally focused practices (Florida, 1996), and move towards a closed loop supply chain (CLSC). Forward and reverse supply chains form a "closed loop" when managed in a coordinated way (Kleindorfer et al., 2005), and a "cradle to cradle" responsibility, which acknowledges all stages in a product's lifecycle, is increasingly considered a competitive necessity (Das and Posinasetti, 2015;Elia and Gnoni, 2015). ...
... Closed loops increasingly represent a critical activity for firms, with economic and environmental impacts pushing the need to integrate forward and reverse product flows, rather than just "greening" individual production processes. (Elia and Gnoni, 2015). The CLSC is becoming a preferred model for more progressive companies due to its potential for value recovery, positive response to environmental sustainability and growing consumer awareness of environmental issues (Das and Posinasetti, 2015). ...
... The NRBV aligns with currently documented responses to environmental responsibility in supply chains, from a short-term, transactional approach where specific processes are simply "greened" (Ashby et al., 2012), to taking a product lifecycle view, through to a longterm and proactive commitment to minimise the firm's environmental burden as it grows and develops (New and Westbrook, 2004). This final position aligns directly with the CLSC concept, as to succeed it needs to take full account of the environment throughout the firm (Das and Posinasetti, 2015;Elia and Gnoni, 2015), and requires a proactive, networked supply chain, but it is currently under-developed within the field and represents a key research gap. ...
Article
Purpose Forward and reverse supply chains form a “closed loop” when managed in a coordinated way and this “cradle to cradle” responsibility has strong relevance to addressing environmental sustainability in global supply chains. The extensive outsourcing of manufacturing has created highly fragmented supply chains, which is strongly evidenced within the UK clothing industry, and it presents major environmental challenges, particularly around waste and resource use. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how a closed loop supply chain (CLSC) can be successfully developed to address environmental sustainability. Design/methodology/approach The natural resource-based view (NRBV) acknowledges the importance of a firm’s tangible and intangible resources, as well as socially complex relationships, and provides three path-dependent strategies for achieving environmentally based competitive advantage. Via an in-depth case study of the UK-based clothing firm, the NRBV is employed as a framework for understanding the processes that a focal firm needs to engage in to develop a CLSC, and the contribution that is made by its resources and supplier relationships. Findings The findings illustrate the key importance of strategic resources and shared vision and principles between the focal firm and its suppliers, in order to progress from a more reactive pollution prevention strategy to a fully embedded CLSC response to environmental sustainability. The case study highlights the need to extend the current CLSC model to integrate the design function and end customer; the design function ensures that appropriate environmental practices can be implemented, and customers represent a key stakeholder as they enable the reverse flows required to maximise value and minimise waste. Originality/value The NRBV and its three path-dependent strategies are an established framework for understanding environmentally based competitive advantage, but has not previously been explicitly employed to investigate CLSCs. This research, therefore, provides valuable insight into the applicability of this model in the supply chain field, and the key role of tangible and intangible resources and socially complex supplier relationships in developing and achieving a CLSC.
... way to cut costs for most businesses [3]- [5]. Elia and Gnoni proposed a closed-loop pallet pool supply chain [6]. Gnoni & Rollo and Kim & Glock employed RFID (radiofrequency identification) technology to track rental pallets [7], [8]. ...
... The output-oriented integer-valued DEA model with generalized reference sets (OG-IDEA) for the performance evaluation of DMU k (k ∈ V ) can be represented by model (6). ...
Article
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The development of the pallet rental industry is moving at a rapid pace. However, there is no literature on the performance evaluation of pallet rental companies except our previous study. This paper contributes to extending our previous super-efficiency integer-valued DEA (data envelope analysis) model to a group of integer-valued DEA models with generalized reference sets (G-IDEA). According to the proposed approach, the reference sets for decision-making units (DMUs) are composed of proper efficient sample units instead of efficient DMUs. These sample units, which may or may not be the same as DMUs, can be selected by decision-makers according to their demand. The advantages of the G-IDEA models are as follows: (1) they can be applied to find the projections of pallet rental companies with real-valued and integer-valued variables on the efficient frontier; (2) they are able to help the decision-makers in inefficient pallet rental companies make a step by step efficiency improvement scheme. Particularly, we develop a non-oriented integer-valued DEA model with generalized reference sets (NG-IDEA). The NG-IDEA model can be used to figure out how to improve the performance of inefficient pallet rental companies by simultaneously decreasing inputs and increasing outputs. The proposed models are applied to the performance evaluation of ten pallet rental companies. The results of the case study prove the effectiveness of our models. Furthermore, some valuable suggestions on how to improve the efficiency of inefficient pallet rental companies are presented based on the results.
... Closed-loop supply chains have been defined in literature as "a special type of supply chains that consider the return flow of used materials in addition to the downstream flow of products" (Glock, 2017). Specifically, in pallet management, closed-loop systems allow the collection of used pallets at the end-point of the supply chain, for reuse, repair or recycling, as opposed to open-loop schemes, where the pallet remains at the final customer (Elia and Gnoni, 2015). A growing closed-loop model for pallet management is pallet pooling, where a service company (the pallet pooling provider) owns the pallets and manages their flows . ...
... The model explores economic and strategic performance under three scenarios with different operating conditions. Elia and Gnoni (2015) outline the critical factors and KPIs in a closed-loop pallet management system, and develop a simulation model with different pallet interchange scenarios. Finally, implementation of traceability tools in pallet management have been addressed by Gnoni and Rollo (2010), who investigated the use of RFID for plastic and wood pallet tracking, and by Gnimpieba et al. (2015), who propose a collaborative platform based on RFID and Internet-of-Things technologies to manage communication, tracking and data sharing in pallet management. ...
Article
Pallets are fundamental assets critical to worldwide supply chain logistics. This research develops models for closed-loop pallet pooling providers to understand the environmental and economic impact of customer characteristics and design options. First, an analytical model is developed to quantify the effects of repair facility location and pallet service conditions on a pallet pooling system's economic and environmental performance. Next, a simulation model is developed to investigate two common operational policies, crossdocking and take-back, and to quantify the impact of pallet handling and loading conditions and customer network structures on several key performance indicators. Results indicate that pallet handling and loading conditions are the most important factors determining the cost and carbon equivalent emission of a pallet pooling operation. Better pallet handling and appropriate loading increase the percentage of pallets that can be repositioned with little or no repair. This increases the radius within which a closed-loop pallet pooling system is feasible. Under random handling/loading conditions and distances, a crossdocking approach satisfies demand with 28% fewer pallets than a take-back policy. This is due to a quicker reissue time under a crossdocking approach. However, associated costs and emissions of the two policies are nearly identical due to the increased transportation costs associated with crossdocking. The models and insights proposed in this work can help support decision making by pallet pooling providers to determine operational regions and customer selection, among other network design trade-offs.
... RTIs and disposal/one-way packaging coexist in actual supply chains. A CLSC with RTIs is formally defined by Glock (2017) Glock (2017), the existing RTI management studies can be mainly classified into two categories: the comparison of alternative one-way packaging and RTI systems (Capuz and Aucejo 2005, Mollenkopf et al. 2005, Ray et al. 2006, Grimes-Casey et al. 2007, Levi et al. 2011, Menesatti et al. 2012, Pa lsson et al. 2012, Mazeika Bilbao et al. 2011, Zhang et al. 2015, Elia 2015, Carrano et al. 2015, and RTI management system (Tsiliyannis 2005, Thoroe et al. 2009, Atamer et al. 2013, Goudenege et al. 2013, Bottani et al. 2015, Hariga et al. 2016, Ni et al. 2015, Elia and Gnoni 2015, Yusuf et al. 2017. The involved industry of RTI CLSC mainly include the grocery sector, the automotive sector, the consumer goods sector, and the chemistry and floricultural sector (Glock 2017). ...
... RTIs and disposal/one-way packaging coexist in actual supply chains. A CLSC with RTIs is formally defined by Glock (2017) Glock (2017), the existing RTI management studies can be mainly classified into two categories: the comparison of alternative one-way packaging and RTI systems (Capuz and Aucejo 2005, Mollenkopf et al. 2005, Ray et al. 2006, Grimes-Casey et al. 2007, Levi et al. 2011, Menesatti et al. 2012, Pa lsson et al. 2012, Mazeika Bilbao et al. 2011, Zhang et al. 2015, Elia 2015, Carrano et al. 2015, and RTI management system (Tsiliyannis 2005, Thoroe et al. 2009, Atamer et al. 2013, Goudenege et al. 2013, Bottani et al. 2015, Hariga et al. 2016, Ni et al. 2015, Elia and Gnoni 2015, Yusuf et al. 2017. The involved industry of RTI CLSC mainly include the grocery sector, the automotive sector, the consumer goods sector, and the chemistry and floricultural sector (Glock 2017). ...
Thesis
Closed-loop supply chain (CLSC), as an important branch of supply chain, has received increasing attention in recent decades. However, CLSC for perishable food products that is more complex than classic CLSC has been seldom studied in spite of its growing applications in practice. This thesis aims to develop new models and methods for optimizing closed-loop food supply chain with returnable transport items. To this end, three new problems are investigated.Firstly, a closed-loop food supply chain with returnable transport items (CLFSC-RTI) is studied. This problem involves a single manufacturer and a single retailer. Outsourcing is permitted and RTI purchasing budget is limited. The objective is to maximize the total profit of the supply chain. The problem is formulated as a mixed integer linear program (MILP) and it is proved to be NP hard. To solve the problem, an improved kernel search-based heuristic is designed. Computational experiments on a real case study and extensive random instances demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed model and heuristic.Secondly, a bi-objective closed-loop food supply chain with returnable transport items (BCLFSC-RTI) is investigated. The two objectives are to maximize the total profit and to minimize carbon emissions, simultaneously. The studied problem considers multiple retailers. For this complex bi objective problem, a bi-objective MILP is proposed for its modelling, and an iterative ε-constraint method is applied to solve it. Then, an improved kernel search-based heuristic is developed to solve the transformed single objective problem in each iteration of the ε-constraint method. Computational results based on various randomly generated instances show that the performance of the proposed method is comparable to that of a state-of-the-art commercial optimization solver CPLEX.Finally, a closed-loop food inventory-routing problem with RTIs (CFIRP-RTI) is addressed. In this problem, a vehicle routing problem is integrated and returnable transport items with different protective levels are considered. An appropriate MILP is proposed to formulate the problem, and the problem is proved to be NP-hard. Numerical experiments are carried out to validate the proposed model.
... Reverse logistics of pallets exists in some organizations. Elia and Gnoni [18] utilized an observation approach to analyze the reverse supply chains of pallets. The authors studied thirty Italian LSPs. ...
... The authors studied thirty Italian LSPs. The reverse supply chain models in these thirty companies stipulated that the LSPs could choose to return empty pallets if they wish, but the reverse flows of empty pallets have to be managed from downstream companies to upstream ones [18]. Multiple applications of empty pallets could allow the companies to reduce replenishment costs as well as contribute to the reduction of the overall environmental impacts of pallets logistics systems. ...
Article
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In this paper, the reverse logistics of plastic pallets in Canada, particularly in Nova Scotia, is investigated using different methods, including reviewing the literature and searching appropriate databases. Information such as the typical supply chains of plastic pallets, and the manufacturing processes of these products is gathered and analyzed. In addition, the best practices for the reverse supply chains of plastic pallets are identified and analyzed with a focus on recovery options, such as reusing, remanufacturing, and recycling. In addition, we find and analyze strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threat factors related to a specific company that is active in the wooden pallets industry and is establishing a plastic pallet reverse logistics system. Furthermore, we provide an optimization model that determines the best locations in a pallet reverse logistics network. Finally, managerial insights and recommendations are provided based on the analysis. The results of this paper have economic and environmental benefits for companies that are interested in the reverse logistics of plastic pallets.
... Forward and reverse supply chains form a 'closed loop' when managed in a coordinated way and can enable environmental sustainability (Kleindorfer et al., 2005). A 'cradle to cradle' responsibility, which acknowledges all stages in a product's lifecycle, is increasingly considered a competitive necessity and has strong relevance to addressing environmental responsibility (Elia andGnoni, 2015, Das andPosinasetti, 2015). CLSC research has evolved from a focus on remanufacturing in the 1990s and represents a rich and significant area for research. ...
... Together with RL closed loops increasingly represent a critical activity for firms, with economic and environmental impacts pushing the need to integrate forward and reverse product flows (Elia and Gnoni, 2015); it makes both economic and environmental sense to maximise resources. The CLSC is becoming a preferred model for more progressive firms due to its potential for value recovery, positive response to environmental sustainability and growing consumer awareness of environmental issues (Das and Posinasetti, 2015), but is still far from being an industry norm. ...
Conference Paper
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Forward and reverse supply chains form 'closed loops' when managed in a coordinated way (Kleindorfer et al., 2005); this 'cradle to cradle' responsibility has relevance to addressing sustainability in supply chains. An in-depth case study is presented of a firm possessing strong environmental commitments and applying Closed Loop Supply Chain (CLSC) principles. The Resource Based View (RBV) is employed, as it focuses on organisational resources, and the socially complex relationships that generate them (Barney and Hesterley, 2008). The findings indicate that CLSCs are not just the implementation of tangible processes; tacit resources and shared commitments enable environmental principles to be embedded.
... El trasiego de mercancías a nivel mundial se realiza con tarimas; cada día, este producto cobra mayor importancia porque agiliza las labores de manipulación, reduce costos y mejora la eficiencia en las labores de logística, dado que permite mover mayor cantidad de producto en una sola operación (Elia y Grazia, 2015). Las tarimas o pallets son plataformas rígidas fácilmente manejables y movilizables por medios mecánicos que se utilizan para colocar, almacenar, apilar, maniobrar y transportar mercancías embaladas o sueltas. ...
... Las tarimas o pallets son plataformas rígidas fácilmente manejables y movilizables por medios mecánicos que se utilizan para colocar, almacenar, apilar, maniobrar y transportar mercancías embaladas o sueltas. Para su elaboración se utilizan materiales como madera, metal, plástico y otros; las de madera son las más comunes (Elia y Grazia, 2015). Se elaboran en diferentes diseños, de acuerdo con los requerimientos de los productos a colocar. ...
Article
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[Introducción]: El Análisis de Ciclo de Vida (ACV) es una metodología robusta y reconocida para determinar la magnitud de los impactos ambientales de un producto. [Objetivo]: El objetivo de la investigación fue evaluar el impacto sobre el cambio climático de las tarimas de madera. [Metodología]: Los límites del sistema van desde la preparación del terreno para establecer las plantaciones, hasta la puerta de llegada a la empacadora de fruta. Se evaluaron dos unidades funcionales: a) una tarima con dimensiones comerciales para la manipulación y trasiego de productos agrícolas y b) un metro cúbico de madera para producción de tarimas. La temporalidad de los datos comprendió al periodo 2014-2017 y la de los resultados del Análisis de Ciclo de Vida un ciclo de rotación de 12 años para plantaciones de melina (Gmelina arborea Roxb). Se evaluaron dos sistemas de producto: con biomasa en el tratamiento térmico y con gas LP. [Resultados]: El primero presentó un impacto potencial levemente menor. En ambos casos, la combustión de diésel asociada al transporte de madera rolliza fue la etapa más intensa en emisiones, libera cerca de 1.61 kg CO2-eq tarima-1 y 43.22 kg CO2-eq m-3. El diésel, en todas las etapas del ciclo de vida, es la principal fuente de emisión de gases de efecto invernadero, ya que libera 2.31 kg CO2-eq tarima-1 y 86.57 kg CO2-eq m-3. [Conclusiones]: Las oportunidades de mejora en el desempeño ambiental del producto se encuentran en el uso de vehículos de carga más eficientes y en la reducción de la distancia entre las plantaciones forestales y la planta de aserrío.
... Presently, there are many researchers focusing on addressing major issues of pallets, namely: product design problem, pallet loadings and pallet logistic design problem. The pallet product design problem focuses on how the materials and technologies for producing pallets can improve their performance and the pallet packing problem aims to identify an optimal configuration of pallets to reduce the transportation costs (Elia and Gnoni, 2015). The transport and freight costs make up a significant portion of fruit export, so there is a need to maximise the profits of the commodity without deteriorating the quality of the fruit. ...
... Pallets are usually made of several materials such as woods, metals and plastic (Elia and Gnoni, 2015) and wooden material are most commonly used in industrial applications (Buehlmann et al., 2009). Nearly 400 million wooden pallets are produced annually, which accounts for 86% of all the pallets sold worldwide (McCoy, 2003). ...
Thesis
The ineffective utilisation of refrigerated container's (RC) space is a pressing problem for the South African fruit industry. Current packaging systems do not optimally make use of the refrigeration unit for airflow distribution and cooling efficiency of fruit. This results in heterogeneous airflow circulation and ineffective cooling of fruit. The aim of this research was to develop a validated computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model. The model was then used to explore novel packaging system for improved RC space utilisation and cooling performance. Both cooling and space utilisation aspects of the container need to be improved simultaneously, as market trends are increasingly demanding higher-quality fresh produce at lower costs. Firstly, a 3D CFD model of a fully packed RC was developed and validated experimentally. Pallets were considered as a porous media, and their directional loss properties were experimentally determined. A functional refrigeration unit was incorporated in the model to account for the dynamic cooling modes of the container. The resulting model predicted acceptable results with respect to airflow and temperature. Modelling prediction error was 17% for airflow distribution and 11% for the temperature prediction. Subsequently, the developed CFD model was used to evaluate conceptual packaging systems for space utilisation and cooling efficiency. Numerical simulations were performed to characterise the airflow distribution and cooling performance of the packaging system in a fully loaded refrigerated container. A multi-parameter approach was used to evaluate the performance of five loading scenarios, namely: Standard A, Standard B, Standard C, Hex and Tes in a fully loaded refrigerated container. The average convective heat transfer coefficient (CHTC) relative standard deviation (RSD) of the Standard packaging system is 47% higher than the Hex design and 51% higher than the Tes design. Overall, Tes design shows significant improved performance for space utilisation and quality preservation of packaged fruit. The results thus highlighted the substantial improvements that are possible concerning shipping costs and quality preservation if alternative packaging system designs are considered in the future. Lastly, the pallet stack ventilation requirements of the Standard packaging system in a refrigerated container was characterised. The influence of packaging system directional loss properties (i.e. the pallets ventilation) on airflow patterns within the pallet stacks was demonstrated. This has significant implications on the cooling uniformity and quality preservation of packaged fruit. The study further provides, for the first time, a benchmark for the design of ventilation in fresh produce packaging towards improved usage of refrigerated containers.
... The authors proposed a mathematical model that describes this system and used a genetic algorithm to solve it. Elia and Gnoni (2015) proposed a discrete event simulation model to support the management of closed-loop systems for pallets (RTIs). The authors investigated a scenario where a producer uses pallets for transporting products to its customers. ...
... Secondly, the role service providers play in shipping loaded and collecting empty RTIs needs to be studied in greater detail. The only two works contained in our sample that assumed that a service provider is responsible for transporting RTIs are the ones of Kroon and Vrijens (1995) and Elia and Gnoni (2015). Interesting aspects that have not been investigated so far include the coordination of the manufacturer's (sender's) production cycle with the service provider's preferred delivery schedule or the buyer's (recipient's) preferred consumption cycle. ...
Article
This paper reports the results of a systematic literature review of decision support models for the management of closed-loop supply chains involving returnable transport items (RTIs). RTIs are a special type of reusable packaging materials, such as pallets, trays, boxes, or crates, and they represent an important corporate asset in many industries today. Decision support models for RTI closed-loop supply chains facilitate an efficient management of RTI usage, and they ensure that the finished product reaches the customer at the least total cost and/or with a minimal environmental impact. The paper first reports the methodology of the literature review and then descriptively analyzes the papers found during the literature search. The sampled papers are then assigned to one of four content categories, and subsequently they are discussed in detail. Finally, suggestions for future research opportunities are proposed.
... A pallet is a "portable, rigid platform used as a base for assembling, storing, stacking, handling and transporting goods" [1]. The application of pallets covers a wide spectrum of industries, just some of which are the food and beverage, automotive, mining, manufacturing, and chemical and pharmaceuticals sectors. ...
... In the United States of America alone, 1.9 billion pallets are used in various industries [1], [2]. Considering the prominence of pallets, improving their performance should improve operations in most of these industries. ...
Article
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Although pallets have traditionally been constructed from wood, there has been a shift towards making them from plastic and other composite materials. Subsequently, the storage and transportation industry has been inundated with questions about ‘the best’ pallet material type in relation to a supply chain. In addition, in a rapidly changing global manufacturing and storage environment, industry players have difficulty justifying the high capital cost of adopting new state-of-the-art pallets. This paper seeks to build a model to identify the best pallet material-of-construction (MOC) as perceived by the end consumer. The approach used for this was based on different stages of building an assistive multi-criteria decision model. This included modelling the decision framework using the analytic hierarchy process and undertaking an independent case study as the baseline for the modelling.
... They find that a management strategy that interchanges empty pallets without a pallet voucher is most effective when supply chain coordination of the echelons exists. Elia and Gnoni (2015) develop a discrete-event simulation model to analyze the effect of both forward and reverse flows of pallets on the cost performance of closed loop pallet management systems. Their analysis consider both direct and postponed pallet interchange conditions. ...
Article
The existing industry strategies for managing pallets, (single-use expendable pallets, buy/sell programs, and leased pallet pooling programs), are analyzed and compared using push and pull inventory control policies. A two-stage integrated framework is developed that combines cost relationship models with data gathered in industry with multi-echelon inventory performance measures. For the base case, the single-use expendable pallet approach presents the least cost of all strategies, but the leased pallet pooling programs outperform the buy/sell programs in terms of total cost. The intervals where each strategy is most attractive are shown with respect to pallet cost, salvage cost, dwell fees, effective issue fees, retention rates, and transportation costs.
... Pallet rental service providers (pallet rental companies) need to ensure that their customers always have enough high-quality pallets available wherever and whenever the customers need them, which is not an easy task. In order to support the rapid development of pallet rental industry, many scholars have researched on relative topics including pallet pool supply chain [15], pallet tracking [16], [17], pallet allocation optimization [18], [19], and pallet rental pricing [20]. However, as far as we know, there is no literature on how to measure the performance of pallet rental companies. ...
Article
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Pallets play an important role in logistics. It is well known that pallet rental is beneficial to both pallet users and society, and the pallet rental industry is very large nowadays. A non-oriented super-efficiency integer-valued DEA (data envelopment analysis) model for the performance evaluation of pallet rental companies is presented. The method differs from traditional models in that (1) it can be used to accurately estimate the performance of efficient pallet rental companies with integer-valued and real-valued variables; (2) it is an alternative approach to providing numerical super-efficiency scores for efficient pallet rental companies when input-oriented or output-oriented VRS (variable returns to scale) super-efficiency models are infeasible for them. A case study of nine pallet rental companies proves the advantages of the proposed model, and it shows that the efficiency gap among pallet rental companies is very large. Based on the results, some suggestions on the development of the pallet rental industry are proposed. The methodology and results would provide valuable contributions to the decision-making processes of both pallet rental companies and their customers.
... As companies strive to reach sustainability goals, the need for environmental assessment and improvement of pallet operations increases. However, only a few efforts in the literature focus on effective pallet management models for sustainability [4]. ...
Conference Paper
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The use of pallets is crucial in handling and transportation processes and wooden pallets represent the most common packaging type in the US and in Europe. This work focuses on the environmental impact of wooden pallet reverse logistics, exploring the advantages of preemptive remanufacturing policies. Preemptive schedules allow the service provider to allocate transportation emissions across multiple pallet components, increasing the environmental efficiency of the transportation process. This advantage has to be compared to the lost opportunity of repairing a usable component earlier than required. An integer linear optimization model analyzes this trade-off and the benefits of a preemptive remanufacturing schedule are described. The impact of transportation distance on the efficiency of preemptive policies is explored through a sensitivity analysis.
... In deep study of A Robotic Palletizer Control Strategy Redesign author contributed towards simplification of process for pallet pattern generation, palletizer configuration according to required pattern and shown the way to connect sub systems with help of Human Machine Interface (HMI). It became helpful to understand the method of connecting subsystems like conveyor to palletizer [9]. ...
... Ray et al. [6] (2006) established cost variable categories for two pallet load systems and simulation modeling of each pallet system was performed. Elia and Gnoni [7] (2015) analyzed pallet management systems and developed a simulationbased tool to support logistic managers to design effective organizational scenarios for pallet management systems. Roy et al. [8] (2016) analyzed the existing industry strategies for managing pallets. ...
Article
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Relying on the express freight network, the dispatching of empty pallets based on the pallet pool mode is studied to reuse pallets with the minimum transport cost, enhance the pallet utilization rate, reduce the waste of resources, and save the cost of logistics. Considering the influence of transport efficiency for different modes in transportation process, differences of transportation cost, carbon emissions, and transportation timeliness of demand points required, an optimization model is constructed. The objective of the model is to minimize the total cost including transportation cost, inventory cost, lease cost, and loss cost. According to the structural characteristics of the model, genetic algorithm and improved cloud clonal selection operation is used to solve the model. Finally, the validity and rationality of the optimization model are verified by a case study. The result shows that the total dispatching cost of considering time requirement is 1.8 times the cost without considering the time requirement, respectively, both less than the total cost of pallets leasing. Moreover, when there are 3 supply points and 2 demand points and the number of iterations is 100, after the algorithms are run for 30 times, the worst values are 9305 and 8317 for genetic algorithm and the improved cloud clonal selection operation, respectively. Therefore, the efficiency of the improved cloud clonal selection operation is higher than genetic algorithm.
... In the scientific literature, however, the focus has been on the overarching choice of the pallet management system so far [1], [9], [10]. The economic perspective generally results in a comparison of pallet management systems with the aim of selecting the most cost-effective system [11], [12]. Operational considerations are less in the focus of scientific research than strategic decision-making aids for the selection of a pallet management system. ...
Conference Paper
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In the pallet exchange system, consignees, shippers and forwarders all bear large financial burden regarding the exchange of pallets. Thus, efficiency and costs are strongly influenced by the individual behaviour of the participants. The aim of this study is to focus on the influences of these factors. Of special interest is the reasonable allocation of pallets. The pallets shall be kept in good condition as long as possible to avoid costs for repairing and replacing defective pallets. Thereby, the predictable depreciation in value can be reduced by a reasonable selection of pallets depending on the wear trait of the transported goods.
... This system is evaluated with the aid of a computational model. DES has already been applied in several RL studies, such as Ebner et al. (2016), Elia and Gnoni (2015), Zolfagharinia et al. (2014), Umeda (2014), Berruto et al. (2013), Altekin and Akkan (2012), and Yu and Wu (2010). These studies show that DES is more practical for modeling when there is a high number of variables involved and when there is a need to insert interdependence among them. ...
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This article aims to evaluate municipal solid waste (MSW) management schemes in order to promote sustainability and eco-efficiency, core elements in global mitigation strategies in both public and private policies. A discrete event simulation (DES) approach was used to integrate the economic, environmental, and social aspects related to aseptic carton packages (ACP) in Itajuba, Brazil. The simulated scenarios consider three alternatives for disposing ACP: landfills, recycling, and incineration with energy recovery. According to our findings, incineration alternatives are preferred from an eco-efficiency perspective, given the potential greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions and due to the possibility of energy recover, which reinforces the contribution of this technology to promote sustainability as largely found in the international literature. Given the context of MSW management in Brazil, this represents a significant opportunity to increase the effectiveness of mitigation strategies adopted in the country. Taking into account that this is by far the least applied technology, the authors strongly advocate that global strategies for mitigation consider different approaches to integrate carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reductions related to the entire MSW management system and its alternatives, thus advancing from a waste disposal-oriented system to a life cycle–oriented system.
... Specifically, the latter were the first to estimate the carbon footprint of a wood pallet life cycle. Elia and Gnoni [18] used discrete-event simulation to aid in the design of a CLN for pallet management in order to meet cost and time efficiency targets. The environmental impact and the cost of pallets were measured by Bilbao et al. [11], who supported the selection of pallet management systems and of the materials composing pallets. ...
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Manufacturing, storage, and transportation processes are typically facilitated by pallets, containers, and other reusable transport items (RTIs) designed to guarantee many cycles along a lifespan of several years. As a consequence, both supply and reverse transportation of RTIs need to be managed to avoid stockout along the supply chain and the unsustainable production of new tools from virgin materials. This paper focuses on the business of pallet management by analyzing the transport operations of a pallet pooling network serving a large-scale nationwide retailer. The pooler is responsible for supplying, collecting, and refurbishing pallets. The combination of the pooler’s management strategies with different retailer network configurations results in different pooling scenarios, which are assessed and compared in this paper through a what-if analysis. The logistical and environmental impacts generated by the pallet distribution activities are quantified per each scenario through a tailored software incorporating Geographic Information System (GIS) and routing functionalities. Findings from this analysis suggest how to reduce vehicle distance traveled (vehicles-km) by 65% and pollutant emissions by 60% by combining network infrastructures and pooling management strategies—identifying an empirical best practice for managers of pallet businesses.
... Several studies research on pallet supply chain management. Elia and Gnoni designed a closed loop system for pallet management [10]. Zhao proposed a supply chain information service frame model for pallet management based on XML [11]. ...
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Pallet is a very important innovation in logistics industry. Pallets are so widely used that we can find them in nearly every logistical operation scenario. In order to manage pallets efficiently, researchers have developed several pallet management strategies (PMS). The most common and widely accepted PMS includes extensive management of pallets (EMP), transfer of pallet’s ownership (TPO), and pallet rent (PR). This paper addresses mainly on how to help pallet managers choose a certain kind of PMS from the perspective of supply chain cost. Firstly, cost models of three kinds of PMS are presented. Secondly, all parameters involved in the models are valued based on data that is collected from industry survey. The results show that the cost of PR is constantly lower than EMP, and also lower than TPO when the operation period is no more than 37 months. Finally, the effect of several important parameters on the cost is studied by sensitivity analysis. The selection strategies of PMS are proposed based on the results.
... In this study, it was possible to address this difficulty and solve it with the use of DES, which aligns with the studies of Diabat et al. (2015) and Golebiewski et al. (2013) who applied simulation to propose changes in systems involving several parties. In addition, DES proved to be a tool to help managers make decisions based on environmental and cost variables, provided by other consortium operating arrangements, as also found in studies by Nujoom et al. (2018), Selvaraj et al. (2016), Elia and Gnoni (2015), and Altekin and Akkan (2012). ...
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Tires require adequate disposal at the end of their useful life due to the environmental damage that improper disposal can cause. Since the 1990s, Brazilian legislation has laid out specific rules for tire disposal. This brought about results in 2017, when 93% of the target was met for environmentally correct tire disposal, according to the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources. To reach this index, consumers, business people, city halls, and manufacturers had to work together. However, cities with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants continued to encounter difficulties to carry out the process efficiently. Thus, the objective of this study is to propose new alternatives so that small cities can plan and implement reverse logistics management for unusable tires. The tool used to verify improvement was discrete event simulation, which allowed for the creation of scenarios, experimenting with changes to the consortium’s operation. The analysis confirms that the consortium of cities can have a more efficient process in the destination of tires, with the possibility of reducing costs by 15%, emission of pollutant gases by 71%, and CO2 by 57%.
... As pallets are moving through the whole supply chain, it is important to manage supply chain and information efficiently. Elia & Gnoni [27] designed a closed-loop pallet pool supply chain, which consists of pallet suppliers, pallet recyclers, and upstream and downstream customers. Xu [28] studied on the method of pallet pool supply chain management and designed an information system based on RFID. ...
Article
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Development of sharing economy has brought new opportunities to the development of green logistics. Pallet pooling is a typical type of sharing economy. It has been recently promoted in almost every country in the world. Researchers have reached a common agreement that establishing an effective pallet pool is of great importance to the pallets use efficiency. It is also believed that the implementation of pallet pool will substantially contribute to the economic and social development. Detailed analysis of pallet pooling such as benefit analysis, mode choose, pallet allocation model & algorithm, quality control, etc. are discussed in this paper. Based on literature review, several important problems are listed for future study. These problems are information management, supply chain management, rental pricing, pallets tracking and allocation, quality control, sustainable development (carbon emissions), and “internet plus pallet pooling”. Some suggestions on China’s pallet pooling development are proposed as well.
... If the QC is not assigned, the container loading and unloading operations are not fulfilled. (11,12) The process shown in Fig. 2 can be described in more detail as follows. There are two container terminal operations. ...
... identified: the first problem is to address is the possibility of coordinating forward and reverse flows in last-mile logistics, combining the delivery to the final customer with the collection of EOL products, which can be convenient if both the operations are managed by the same actor. This coordination is already in place in several business-to-business (B2B) contexts: to name a few examples, new tires distribution to mechanic's workshops is often combined with the collection of used ones; a similar dynamic can be found in pallet management models where direct interchange of new and used pallets is put in place (Elia and Gnoni 2015). The "one-to-one" service operated by retailers of electric and electronic equipment for big devices (e.g. ...
Conference Paper
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The scientific and technical interest towards sustainability issues is increasing in the industrial sector; thus, closed-loop supply chains are getting more and more diffused. As recycling and remanufacturing strategies are becoming a common practice, the importance of reverse logistics is nowadays increasing. Practitioners need to face with both strategic and operational level decisions related to the coordination of direct and reverse logistic flows. While several reviews are available on reverse logistics and closed-loop supply chains, a summary of scientific literature on integrated forward and reverse logistics is still missing. This paper proposes a review of the literature focused on how to integrate forward and reverse logistics in the industrial sector. The main purpose is to identify advantages and criticalities of current tools highlighted by researchers on this topic, with particular attention to modelling and simulation tools. A critical analysis on the benefits and challenges of the main methods identified is proposed. A discussion about potentialities provided by simulation modelling is also discussed.
... Gnoni and Rollo [13], Kim and Glock [14], and Ren et al. [15] researched how to develop an advanced tracking system using RFID. Elia and Gnoni [16], Xu [17], and Li et al. [18] also made the effort to understand how to efficiently manage pallets taking advantage of information technology. Ren et al. [19], Doungpattra et al. [20], Zhou et al. [21], and Kesen and Alim [22] developed some optimization models for empty pallet allocation. ...
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Pallets are the most common equipment for transporting and storing goods. More and more companies are willing to rent pallets. Pallet rental companies need to transport pallets from their pallet rental service stations to customers and take these pallets back when they are unloaded. Hence, managers should scientifically configure vehicles for their pallet rental service stations. The fleet size, which indicates the amount and types of vehicles, can significantly affect the efficiency and costs of empty pallet allocation. Therefore, an optimization model for fleet sizing and empty pallet allocation is proposed using the methods of mixed-integer programming and stochastic programming. The objectives of this model are to maximize the profits of pallet rental companies and minimize carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from vehicles. A particle swarm optimization algorithm with inertia weight (IPSO) is developed to solve the proposed model because IPSO can avoid becoming trapped in local optima and is able to find a globally optimal solution within a reasonable number of iterations. A numerical example proves the effectiveness of the proposed model and IPSO. The results of numerical tests show that the amount of CO2 emissions from vehicles can affect the decision on fleet sizing and empty pallet allocation. However, if the price, rental fees, or idle costs of the vehicles with low CO2 emissions are too high, managers would not choose them.
... Kim, Glock and Kwon [31] pointed out that return lot size and time of RTIs influence deterioration rate of products in the CLSC. Elia and Gnoni [32] proposed a discrete event simulation model to support the management of closed-loop systems for pallets. Bottani et al. [33] conducted optimization of the asset management process in a real CLSC, consisting of a pallet provider, a manufacturer and seven retailers. ...
Article
Pallet pooling has been widely recognized as an important part of the green supply chain. The development of pallet pooling is an essential component for the transformation and upgrade of the logistics industry in China. Pallet pooling can, however, lead to a conflict over potential benefits among the players. One of the main problems of pallet pooling in China is the reasonable benefit allocation mechanism has not been formed. The pallet pooling system (PPS) with participation of the third-party platform (PPSWPTPP) is one of the pilot modes of pallet pooling in China. Based on evolutionary game theory and a penalty mechanism for breach of contract, this paper constructs a tripartite evolutionary game model of the PPSWPTPP. Eight propositions are set in two basic scenarios regarding whether pallet pooling is adapted to the logistics market to study the stability and dynamic evolution process of the players in the PPSWPTPP. Theoretical and numerical simulation results indicate that these will affect the smooth development of the PPS. The suitable setting of penalties and bonuses, the precise estimation of the pooling benefits, the intention intensity of the players to the pallet pooling, and whether to adapt to the logistics market demand are explored.
... As for the circular management of (secondary) packaging, all the actors agreed on one specific factor, i.e. the importance to optimise the inbound and return trips for the refrigerated containers. Closed loop pallet management systems are a challenging domain which calls for attention from the academic word (Elia and Gnoni 2015). The shift towards the innovative technology would require the logistics provider to invest even more intensively on optimised routing algorithm for closed loop management of refrigerated containers. ...
Article
There is a need for the dairy supply chain to improve its environmental performance. Intermodal rail-road transportation can be a way to reduce CO2 emissions. However, despite technological innovations in the realm of cooling technology, which could enable a shift to intermodal transportation, the use of intermodal rail-road in the dairy supply chain is still low. A blueprint is needed to foster the application of intermodal transportation in the sector. Literature provides little guidance in this sense. Therefore, this paper investigates how to ease the shift to intermodal rail-road transportation in the dairy supply chain through multiple case studies, performed at different stages of the supply chain. A set of enablers of the shift is discussed, along with a blueprint for innovative technology, and logistics and business models. The plan takes into account all the actors of the dairy industry, as well as other players, i.e. technology providers, academia and institutions. This paper enriches literature, thanks to its multi-stage research, providing managers with a practical tool to support the shift to intermodal transportation in the dairy industry. The main limitations lay in the choice of the sample, i.e. only Italian companies and no small retailers and farmers have been involved. © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
... More importantly, the structure of renting contracts for reusable packages, which could lead to various renting periods, payment schemes, and claim management is the subject that has not been investigated in the literature (to the best of our knowledge). Second, the role of third-party logistics in shipping loaded packages and collecting empty ones needs to be explored more; see Kroon and Vrijens (1995) and Elia and Gnoni (2015) as some examples in this regard. To this end, the selection of an appropriate third-party logistics is an important practical question that is worthy of further research consideration. ...
Article
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The pivotal shift from single-use to reusable packaging has recently challenged the concept of packaging ownership. Extant literature have studied supply chain systems using reusable packaging for bundling (known as secondary packaging) or transportation (known as tertiary packaging) of products. Although using reusable packaging for containing products (known as primary packaging) has been tested by more than two dozen of the world’s biggest brands (e.g., Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Procter & Gamble), it has not received much attention in studies concerning supply chain systems yet. In this paper, we aim to review the extant literature in light of (1) the environmental and economic costs of reusable packaging, (2) the design of reusable packaging logistics systems, and (3) the implications of operations management for reusable packaging. Based on our analysis of existing studies, we then deliver insights and potential opportunities for future research on reusable packaging.
... These strategies are analyzed by Hellström and Johansson (2010) through a case study, where the aim is to reduce cost of RTI management and transport. A good strategy for RTI management is the interchange between suppliers and customers (Elia and Gnoni 2015), i.e., suppliers deliver products in RTIs and customers return them empty. However, such interchange cannot be done simultaneously because pickups are only possible when deliveries have already been made and the vehicle is empty (Koç and Laporte 2018). ...
Article
The vehicle routing problem with backhauls integrates decisions on product delivery with decisions on the collection of returnable items. In this paper, we analyze a scenario in which collection of items is optional—but subject to a penalty cost. Both transportation costs and penalties associated with non-collecting decisions are considered. A mixed-integer linear model is proposed and solved for small instances. Also, a metaheuristic algorithm combining biased randomization techniques with iterated local search is introduced for larger instances. Our approach yields cost savings and is competitive when compared to other state-of-the-art approaches.
... Scheduling problem of returnable container with respect to production was solved by mathematical programming approaches (Mensendiek, 2015). Elia & Gnoni (2015) studied to analyze critical factor in designing closed loop pallet management system. studied RTI availability to avoid stockouts with safety measures such as safety stocks, safety return times and their combinations under stochastic return times of RTI. ...
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The aim of the paper is to develop a system dynamics model for hub & spoke container network's capacity & transportation planning policy selection of which objective is to maximize the long term earnings. The system dynamic modelling approaches are used to compare the policies associated with some performance indicators including capacity utilization, service level, return on investment. The main contribution of the study is to compare the policies by including the interactions of container system processes from a broad perspective for balancing capacity utilization and market share with the proposed approaches with system dynamic modelling approaches. Keywords: Returnable Transport Items, Container Management, Capacity & Transportation Planning, System Dynamics
Chapter
In such a variant market, establishment of fixed warehouses for a company remains very risky. Short or medium-term rental warehousing is therefore an effective solution. In this study, we are working on the optimization of reusable containers management in Closed-Loop Supply Chain where warehouses localization is variable during a multi-period planning horizon. We proposed an integer-linear-programming model considering, in an original way, the reusable containers management as Assignment Problem, Dynamic facility Location Problem and Dynamic Lot-sizing Problem. The numerical results show the accuracy of the model and the advantage of considering variable warehouses.
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Recommendation systems are a part of the personalization of access to information, to give user items that correspond to his expectations, to simplify the navigation, make it fast and to guide the customer to the most relevant elements. In This article we highlight on the different types of approaches already used in recommendation systems, like collaborative filtering, content-based approach, demographic and hybrid recommendation. We discuss the conception of our recommendation system that combine many approaches such as demographic filtering, sentiment analysis in social media navigation traces to upgrade the performance of our system.
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Rural medical facilities in Zimbabwe have consistently faced energy-related challenges particularly in powering machines that are critical in their operations. The situation has been further worsened by the inconsistent supply of electricity from the national grid. This study aimed to investigate the supply chain challenges associated with the use of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) in rural medical facilities in Zimbabwe. The research followed a quantitative approach in which 97 respondents were surveyed. The respondents consisted of medical and maintenance staff drawn from selected provincial medical facilities in Zimbabwe, private LPG suppliers as well as non-governmental organisations involved in the procurement and supply of LPG. The collected data were analysed with the aid of the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS version 24.0).
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Reusable transport items (RTI), as a sustainable solution to the increasing packaging wastes generated along with the ever-growing globalized supply chains, create both challenges and opportunities to organizations for their management. A trend of organizations outsourcing their RTI activities explains the rapid emerging of a third-party RTI pooler. Yet few research studies have been conducted from the perspective of the RTI pooler for optimizing their customer allocation, and few on the decision support model for a practical case in the developing economies. This research intends to fill in this gap. Motivated by a case study of a leading RTI pooling company in China, this research proposes to implement a sharing strategy into the daily planning operation of distribution and routing. A decision support framework is developed to optimize the distribution flows and dispatching vehicle routes by the use of a two-stage solution process. Empirical results demonstrate an economic savings of 28.1% in the transportation costs along with environmental and social advantages implicated by the shortened travel distance of vehicles.
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Given the huge number of products transported worldwide every day, it would be advantageous to use lightweight pallets made of readily recyclable materials that are easy to clean, durable, and cheap to maintain. However, the design process for new metal pallets does not follow any specific code, which makes the transition to products with improved characteristics more challenging. This paper describes the development of a new modular steel pallet that combines blocks and deck boards to produce a range of configurable geometries for use in transportation (forklifting) and stationary (racking, stacking) conditions alike. Analytical and numerical analyses using the 3D finite element method (FEM) were carried out. Experimental tests were performed to evaluate ultimate strengths and deformations for different loadings. The experimental results used to validate the numerical models showed that these pallets performed well in terms of stiffness, deformation, and stresses. A comparative life cycle analysis (LCA) was also carried out to identify the main environmental impacts of the life cycle of pallets made from different materials. The results of a “cradle-to-gate with options” model suggest that the new proposed pallet performs better than its wood, plastic, and aluminium counterparts.
Research
The pursuance for sustainability has been a topic debated among managers and academics around the world. Economic activities generate environmental impacts resulting from its operations, and also the logistics industry. This topic has attracted considerable attention from the international scientific community, however, studies on that issue in Brazil are incipient. The structured literature review mapped out green initiatives undertaken only by Logistics Service Providers (LSPs), and classified in the form of a framework as internal and external to the organization. In this context and according to the state-of-the-art of the research field pointed out, the aim of this research was to identify environmental sustainability initiatives practiced by some Brazilian LSP companies, and analyze the scope of the initiatives. The chosen research method was an exploratory study, with semi-structured questionnaire, and survey data collection. With the support of the NVivo10 software, it was possible to understand the companies studied, since it facilitated the analysis allowing to plan and classify information from three other open questions composed in the questionnaire, as well to search for patterns in respondents' answers. The results indicate that the surveyed companies have carried out several actions in favor of environmental sustainability, however some of them not with all potential. And most of the carried out initiatives are intraorganizational, when compared to the interorganizational ones.
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Nowadays, pallets are the most widely used shipping facility in supply chain system. In fact, pallets are essential assets for all firms, especially for logistics service providers (LSPs). Analyzing Pallet Management Systems From a logistical perspective, a new research trend has emerged in recent decades. Open or closed loop networks are currently used worldwide for pallet logistics. Closed loop systems are complex networks because of the design and management of recursive logistics processes, but on the other hand, they are the most environmentally and economically effective networks available. The purpose of this research is to describe important factors (such as pallet logistics network, switching system) in the design of closed loop pallet management systems. This study seeks to present a mathematical model to optimize the number of pallets purchased in a closed-loop supply chain, taking into account the constraints available. Finally, the proposed model is solved using GAMS 24.7.3 software
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The use of transport pallets is now ubiquitous in the distribution of an extensive range of products worldwide. This study focuses on comparisons of the potential environmental impacts of two main types of transport pallets, based on a life cycle assessment (LCA); those made from wood and those made from primary or recycled plastic. Both the weight and volume of the transported cargo were selected as basis for functional unit selection, as well as was the transport distance over which the pallet is used. The ReCiPe 2016 characterization method for the expression of environmental impacts was applied. Wood pallet were found to be more environmentally friendly than primary plastic pallet if energy recovery takes a place at the end of its life cycle. If secondary plastic is used for pallet production, their environmental impacts are lower in several impact categories than wood pallets without energy recovery at their end-of-life. If a wood pallet is disposed of in a landfill, its environmental benefits are substantially lower; however, it is still more environmentally friendly than a primary plastic pallet. An important factor in assessing the environmental impact of the pallet life cycle is its weight. Pine wood when used as an alternative to spruce for pallet production was found to have fewer environmental impacts. The weight of the pallet increases the overall weight of the transported cargo, which in turn is reflected in the overall environmental impact of the shipment. The following groups of processes, identified as having significant adverse effects on the environment, are significantly involved in the environmental impacts of wood pallets: disposal, transport to processing, length and shape forming of logs, sawdust collection and chipping, production of trees with bark, and internal transfer of wood logs. For plastic pallets, the processes most involved in environmental impacts were: melting and molding of the plastic, primary plastic production, transport to processing, and cooling of the plastic.
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The efforts of this review paper are twofold: to provide an insightful examination of various contributions to knowledge surrounding simulation methods within an end-to-end supply chain and to guide research agenda by indicating generic elements required to model such systems using simulation. The authors examined 255 publications from 21 peer-reviewed journals in the field of an end-to-end supply chain and simulation using a systematic literature review approach. Each publication was thoroughly reviewed to capture best practices and key characteristics relative to simulation modelling techniques used in the context of complex end-to-end supply chain systems. This allowed for identification of generic elements required to model such systems, which were grouped into Structural, Computational and System Organization pillars. This research contributes to the body of knowledge by defining generic aspects of simulation modelling techniques used to study properties and attributes of complex end-to-end supply chains. The paper advances the theoretical understanding of the simulation methods used and applicability of simulation methodology in modelling end-to-end supply chain systems. The research presents the key findings from the use of simulation in modelling end-to-end supply chains and the main ways in which this modelling technique has informed research and practise.
Conference Paper
Pallets are returnable transport items and of great importance for supply chains. They ensure efficient storage, transport, and handling processes. The pallet cycle, however, is associated with a substantial effort. In addition to administrative costs, extra trips and detours must often be taken by forwarders to retrieve pallets or buy new pallets. In this paper, a fictitious cross-actor pallet exchange platform is analyzed, which manages pallet debts and receivables between the different actors of a supply chain. A claim transfer is performed, and the actors no longer owe pallets to each other, but to the system. This provides greater flexibility, as actors with open claims can collect pallets from all actors that have a negative balance according to the system. Our analysis shows that with such a system, additional trips can be reduced by 70 %, thus making the management of pallets more efficient.
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A logística reversa vem ganhando cada vez mais relevância em sua implantação devido a fatores ecológicos, de competitividade, estratégico e econômico que visam alavancar o sucesso e crescimento das empresas. Para isto foi feita uma pesquisa aplicada, de abordagem qualitativa, através de um estudo de caso. Este artigo tem por objetivo sugerir uma melhoria na forma de controle de paletes e chapatex da empresa Vonpar Refrescos S/A, a fim de conseguir um processo mais eficaz de recolhimento destes materiais e uma redução de custo com novas aquisições. Através deste estudo, com as melhorias sugeridas para redução de custo, a empresa conseguiu ter um maior controle dos bens cedidos, uma melhor relação de confiança e comprometimento entre as partes envolvidas no processo, o inventário dos bens se tornou mais preciso e melhor aplicado podendo ser feito em periodicidade menor, além da redução do número de compras feitas desses materiais, gerando economia financeira para a empresa.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify and systematically discuss generic forms of contract logistics services and their distinct underlying approaches for fulfilling their respective value propositions. A general frame of reference is developed that addresses the value proposition, as well as the value creation architecture that leads to generic business model configurations for contract logistics services. The framework is built upon the basic notions of service theory, competence research and the resource based view. Design/methodology/approach – The paper combines service theory with work of organizational theory and develops an analytical framework based on conceptual considerations. First empirical results are additionally used to support and illustrate the key outcomes. Findings – Combining the dimensions of integration power and intangible knowledge creation, the authors are able to specify generic types of contract logistics services. Thereby the authors deducted for every type the distinct requirements for service fulfilment and present this in a specific frame of reference. Research limitations/implications – The illustrated empirical results are still limited due to a limited sample size for the interviews. Additional empirical work on the whole third party logistics (3PL) market is suggested. Practical implications – The paper provides generic types of 3PL services and a characterization of properties and architectures of respective business models. Combined with first empirical results, the paper's results offer insights for practitioners to rethink their value propositions and potentially redesign their service architectures. Originality/value – The paper delivers a set of distinct business models for 3PL services reflecting the customer's, as well as the service provider's point of view. It addresses specific aspects of the generation/production of required services that are so far mostly neglected.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of the product residual value (PRV) and the loss of value over time of returned products in the reverse supply chain configuration. It also examines whether or not the distinction of Fisher's functional and innovative products holds for the reverse supply chain. Design/methodology/approach – In order to identify the relevance of the Fisher model, the model needs to be recast in terms of PRV, which, in this context, is considered the independent variable in the reverse logistics arena. Products defined as innovative in Fisher's taxonomy correspond to disposed products with high residual value, whereas functional products correspond to disposed products with low residual value. Furthermore, the PRV and the speed at which returned products lose their value are considered in order to determine the configuration of the reverse supply chain that allows for recapturing most of the PRV. These notions have then been tested by analyzing two reverse supply chains with a case study research methodology. Findings – The findings show that low PRV is associated with second-class recovery options (recycling and energy recovery) and that high PRV is associated with first-class recovery options (reconditioning and remarketing). When the recovery option is recycling, time is not relevant, the primary objective is cost reduction (efficiency), the chain is centralized, and actors and phases of the reverse chain are determined by the specificity of the recycling process. When the recovery option is reconditioning, time is primarily relevant, tradeoffs between costs and time efficiency are necessary, the chain presents a centralized structure, and the presence of other types of actors and phases influences the structure of the reverse supply chain. Research limitations/implications – The focus is restricted to the industry of electrical and electronic products. Practical implications – Based on the outcome of the study, managers are able to determine the basic prerequisites for the design of their reverse supply chains. Originality/value – Previous literature suggests that when the PRV is high, early product differentiation is necessary, and the chain is therefore decentralized. The paper demonstrates that this is not confirmed in the case of low returned volumes and high reconditioning quality standards.
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Reverse logistics has evolved to assist companies in recognizing potential benefits and overcoming challenges associated with its operations and strategies. Reverse logistics has a considerable influence both on production planning and management and on the determination of optimal production and storage capacities. Product recovery, which encompasses reuse, remanufacturing and materials recycling, requires a structured reverse logistic network in order to collect products efficiently at the end of their life cycle. Present work describes simulation modelling of reverse logistics networks for collection of EOL products for XYZ Limited Company of North India. This company is involved in production of acid batteries for commercial use. Simulation model presented in this work, allows the user to analyze the future performance of the network and to understand the complex relationship between the parties involved. The findings from the simulation suggest that the model calculates cycle time, transfer time, transfer cost, and resource utilization in a predictable manner. Simulation model was developed using Arena 11.0 simulation package.
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Based on environmental, legal, social, and economic factors, reverse logistics and closed-loop supply chain issues have attracted attention among both academia and practitioners. This attention is evident by the vast number of publications in scientific journals which have been published in recent years. Hence, a comprehensive literature review of recent and state-of-the-art papers is vital to draw a framework of the past, and to shed light on future directions. The aim of this paper is to review recently published papers in reverse logistic and closed-loop supply chain in scientific journals. A total of 382 papers published between January 2007 and March 2013 are selected and reviewed. The papers are then analyzed and categorized to construct a useful foundation of past research. Finally, gaps in the literature are identified to clarify and to suggest future research opportunities.
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Pallet management, which involves direct and reverse logistic models, may represent a critical activity for logistics provider firms. Pallets are needed in order to ship products from the produc-ers/distributors to the retailers. Recently, pilot projects have demonstrated that performances of pallet management system could be improved by an advance tracking system based on Radio Frequency IDenti-fication (RFID). RFID systems can increase effectiveness in acquiring data about properties of any entity – such as pallet – that can be physically identified and traced. In this paper, an effective model, based on the well known Activity Based Costing (ABC) technique, is proposed to evaluate economic feasibility of different design decisions regarding the whole pallet management system of a logistics provider. The model has been applied to different operational scenarios in a real case study: The scenario analysis aims to compare different configurations of pallet management systems based on RFID applications. Results obtained highlight how an RFID application is economically sustainable to reduce the overall cost of pal-let management activities in different operational conditions. Finally, based on cost structure previously evaluated by the ABC model, an investment evaluation based on traditional indexes (e.g. ROI, Net Present Value, etc.) has been carried out. Therefore, the integration of the ABC model with traditional investment analysis has improved the effectiveness and the reliability of the feasibility study for evaluating RFID investments in pallet management.
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During the last decade, the stringent pressures from environmental and social requirements have spurred an interest in designing a reverse logistics network. In this paper, we address the problem of designing and planning a multi-echelon, multi-period, multi-commodity and capacitated integrated forward/reverse logistics network. Returned products are categorized with respect to their quality levels, and a different acquisition price is offered for each return type. Furthermore, the reservation incentive of customers, the expected price of customers for one unit of used product described by uniform distribution, is applied to model the customers’ return willingness. Due to the fact that the remaining worthwhile value in the used products is the corporation’s key motivation for buying them from customers, a dynamic pricing approach is developed to determine the acquisition price for these products and based on it determine the percentage of returned products collected from customer zones. The used products’ acquisition prices at each time period are determined based on the customers’ return willingness by each collection center. A novel mixed-integer linear programming is developed to consider dynamic pricing approach for used products, forward/reverse logistics network configuration and inventory decisions, concurrently. The presented model is solved by commercial solver CPLEX for some test problems. Computational results indicate that the effect of a dynamic pricing approach for used products versus a static pricing one, and the linearization of pricing concept for this model have the acceptable solution. In addition, sensitivity analysis is conducted to show the performance of the proposed model. Keywords: Supply chain management; Integrated forward/reverse logistics; Quality levels; Dynamic pricing approach; Mixed-integer linear programming
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An efficient management of product returns is a strategic issue. Nowadays, customer expect manufacturer to develop a reverse logistics system so that the returned products can be recovered. With the development and advancement of reverse logistics practice, the selection of reverse logistics operating channels becomes more important. There are three operating channels of reverse logistics; Manufacturer Operation, Third Party Operation, Joint Operation. In this paper a hybrid methodology based on Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) under fuzzy environment is proposed for the selection and evaluation of reverse logistics operating channels. An example is included to validate the proposed method. This method helps the decision maker to select the best technology that meets the requirement.
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This paper deals with the production planning and control of a single product involving combined manufacturing and remanufacturing operations within a closed-loop reverse logistics network with machines subject to random failures and repairs. While consumers traditionally dispose of products at the end of their life cycle, recovery of the used products may be economically more attractive than disposal, while remanufacturing of the products also pursues sustainable development goals. Three types of inventories are involved in this network. The manufactured and remanufactured items are stored in the first and second inventories. The returned products are collected in the third inventory and then remanufactured or disposed of. The objective of this research is to propose a manufacturing/remanufacturing policy that would minimize the sum of the holding and backlog costs for manufacturing and remanufacturing products. The decision variables are the production rates of the manufacturing and the remanufacturing machines. The optimality conditions are developed using the optimal control theory based on stochastic dynamic programming. A computational algorithm, based on numerical methods, is used for solving the optimal control problem. Finally, a numerical example and a sensitivity analysis are presented to illustrate the usefulness of the proposed approach. The structure of the optimal control policy is discussed depending on the value of costs and parameters and extensions to more complex reverse logistics networks are discussed.
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Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate how the use of information technology (IT) and supply chain management initiatives (information sharing and collaboration) impact a company's performance in reverse logistics (RL). Design/methodology/approach – A survey based on a previous exploratory research and literature review was sent out to 600 US companies having substantial activities in RL. Issues addressed in the survey, such as IT types deployed, IT operational attributes, information sharing, and collaboration, involve multiple parties in multi-tier RL networks, extending beyond a simple buyer-supplier dyad. Findings – The results revealed that the type of IT used per se did not have a differential impact on a company's performance in RL. However, IT operational attributes positively affected RL performance and information sharing and collaboration are critical to RL performance. Practical implications – Investment in IT alone cannot improve a company's performance; managers should take full account of IT attributes when deciding IT in RL. IT operational attributes tend to support one another – an improvement in one would lead to improvements in the others. With no exception in RL, companies need to share information and collaborate with their partners. Originality/value – The paper reports an empirical survey of the IT use and collaboration practices in RL, and provides insights into the relationships and impacts of IT, RL operational attributes, information sharing, and collaboration on one another as well as on RL performance.
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The authors investigate a three-stage supply chain of a multinational firm in the automotive components industry. Factories, located in Italy, carryout the manufacturing process of components for braking equipment. The first two manufacturing sites provide the final assembly site with components for original equipment (OEC); they also produce components for the aftermarket (AMCs). The demand for OECs is dynamic and is deterministically known on a one-year horizon. On the other hand, the demand for AMCs is uncertain and is distributed according to probability density functions. To face such complexity in evaluating the supply chain performance, a dynamic and stochastic simulation model is proposed. Two different scenarios are investigated according to whether the manufacturing sites are onsidered as independent business units or as units that obey strict production requirements of the supply chain. The results obtained confirm the effectiveness of the model, which reveals a suitable tool for tactical/strategic decision making.
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Purpose – This paper seeks to frame and model the environmental issues and impacts associated with the management of pallets throughout the entire life cycle, from materials to manufacturing, use, transportation to end‐of‐life disposal. Design/methodology/approach – A linear minimum cost multi‐commodity network flow problem is developed to make pallet‐related decisions based on both environmental and economic considerations. Findings – This paper presents a review of the environmental impacts associated with pallets by life cycle stage. The types of materials used to fabricate pallets, the methods by which they are treated for specific applications, and various pallet management models are described with respect to embodied energies, toxicity and emissions. The need for companies to understand the cost, durability, and environmental impact tradeoffs presented by pallet choices is highlighted. The paper introduces a model to assist in choosing both how pallets are managed and the material they are constructed of that balances these tradeoffs. Originality/value – There is limited research on the environmental impact of different management approaches of large‐scale pallet operations. The proposed model and approach will provide companies seeking to engage in more sustainable practices in their supply chains and distribution with insights and a decision‐making tool not previously available.
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Purpose – This research aims to conduct an exploratory analysis into current industrial reverse logistics practice in business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer relationships (B2C), and determine the financial and operational impact of customer non-compliance in returning distribution equipment back to their source. Design/methodology/approach – The analysis was conducted over multiple industry sectors using qualitative research techniques. The research sample included seven industry sectors, providing a response rate of 72 per cent (53 sources approached). The focus was on both B2B and B2C relationships to determine similarities and differences in financial and operational repercussions. Findings – The research findings indicate that the efficacy of the reverse logistics system can be undermined by lack of customer compliance, with losses of up to £140 million (B2B). Research limitations/implications – In both B2B and B2C relationships, there is evidence of suppliers suffering financial loss due to customer non-compliance. Due to the small scale of the analysis and the breadth of the industry sectors investigated, these results are not generalisable, but do indicate that this is an area, which could undermine supply chain effectiveness. Practical implications – Non-compliance of this nature carries a direct and highly applicable cost for manufacturers and distributors in the practitioner arena. Suppliers within industry need to acknowledge this issue and manage their reverse logistics more effectively. Originality/value – This paper adopts an innovative focus on an understated feature of the reverse logistics cycle, i.e. the recycling of distribution equipment used to transport outbound and returned products. The paper identifies a range of options, which practitioners can use as guidance when managing the returns system.
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Goal, scope and backgroundThe industrial packages sector has great importance for the transport sector in Europe. These containers, mainly wooden pallets and spools, are subject to European legislation, which promotes their reuse and recycling. This study uses life cycle assessment (LCA) to assess the environmental impact of the current management system in this sector and the benefits and drawbacks of different reuse intensities as a waste prevention strategy as opposed to the recycling option. Materials and methodsIn this paper, four case studies located in Spain and representative of the wooden package sector in Europe are analysed: high reuse pallet, low reuse pallet, low reuse spool and null reuse spool. For the LCA study cases, the functional unit is that required to satisfy the transport necessity of 1,000t by road. The impact and energy consumption assessment methods used are CML 2 Baseline 2000 and Cumulative Energy Demand. Data are mostly provided by the leading enterprises and organisations in this sector. ResultsThe paper provides, as a first result, a comprehensive inventory of the systems under study. Secondly, our assessment shows that the systems with higher reuse intensity show a reduction in energy and wood consumption and all the environmental impact categories except for the global warming potential from 34.0% to 81.0% in the pallet study cases and from 50.4% to 72.8% in the spool ones. This reduction is at the expense of the maintenance stage, which on the contrary increases its impact, although it is still relatively small—less than 7% in all the impact categories and flow indicators of the study cases. The highest impact stages are transport, raw material extraction and the process chain. The final disposal and maintenance stages are the lowest impact, contributing at most to less than 30% of the impact in the pallet study cases and 10% in the spool cases. DiscussionWood consumption (WC), directly related to the number of containers needed to satisfy the functional unit, is the main factor in determining the impact of the stages, especially in the raw materials extraction and process chain stages, assuming that these are undertaken with the same technologies in all the case studies. Other variables, such as the management system, the maintenance index and the final disposal scenario, affect the impact of the remaining stages: transport, maintenance and final disposal. The global warming potential results obtained demonstrate the environmental benefits of using containers made of a renewable resource such as wood instead of using other materials, but these results are not expected to prioritise the lower reuse systems because of their better performance in this category. ConclusionsReuse, a strategy capable of reducing the environmental impacts of the wooden container systems, is preferable to recycling, while the package maintenance tasks are still feasible. Therefore, reuse, combined with recycling as final disposal, should be encouraged to reduce the demand for natural resources and the waste generated. RecommendationsBased on these results, attention should be paid to the maintenance stage, which, being the lowest-impact one, could substantially reduce the impact of the remaining stages.
Working Paper
Attention with reverse logistics networks has increased during the last decade since their economic impact has been increasingly important and as environmental legislation has been becoming stricter. In this paper, A multi-period multi-echelon forward–reverse logistics network design under risk model is developed. The proposed network structure consists of three echelons in the forward direction, (suppliers, facilities and distribution centers) and two echelons, in the reverse direction (disassembly, and redistribution centers), first customer zones in which the demands are stochastic and second customer zones in which the demand is assumed to be deterministic, but it may also assumed to be stochastic. The problem is formulated in a stochastic mixed integer linear programming (SMILP) decision making form as a multi-stage stochastic program. The objective is to maximize the total expected profit.
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One of the major users of thin, unsurfaced hardwood lumber is the pallet manufacturing industry. Almost all manufactured products spend part of their life cycle on a pallet during transportation, This makes pallets a critical component of both the transportation and manufacturing sectors of the economy. Many newly constructed wooden pallets, however, are not currently manufactured to deliver the best performance (strength, durability, and safety)-despite interest by pallet users and pallet manufacturers-because manual grading and sorting of parts is impractical due to processing speeds and volume, labor costs, and laborer skill. This paper describes initial work aiming to create an automated grading/sorting system for hardwood pallet parts using ultrasonic. Experiments were conducted on yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera, L.) and red oak (Quercus rubra, L.) deckboards using pressure-contact, rolling transducers in a pitch-catch arrangement. Sound and unsound knots, cross grain, bark pockets, holes, splits, and decay were characterized using six ultrasound variables calculated from the received waveforms. Our scanning system shows good data-collection repeatability, and scanning rate has little effect on the calculated variables. For each defect type, at least one ultrasonic variable demonstrated significant capability to discriminate between that defect and clear wood. Energy loss variables exhibited the greatest sensitivity to many defect types. Based on the empirical relationships identified in this study, we are now developing models to classify defects using ultrasonic signal characteristics. Scanning properties of the prototype apparatus suggest that it can readily be translated into a commercial product.
Article
Reverse logistics (RL) practices represent an important and emerging trend in China's manufacturing practices. An increasing number of Chinese manufacturers have integrated RL practices in their operations to develop sustainable competitive advantage. There are six broad aspects of practicing RL which include waste management, recycling, reuse, reprocessing, materials recovery, and design for RL. The literature remains unclear, in particular Chinese manufacturing context, as to how these Rh practices are related to organizational bottom line with respect to operational, financial, and social performance outcomes. Using survey data collected from Chinese export-oriented manufacturers, we applied seemingly unrelated regressions to determine if these six RL practices contribute to these three performance parameters simultaneously. The theory of production frontier is used to characterize the RL practices adoption and the performance implications. Our results indicate that the adoption of RL practices by Chinese manufacturers generates substantial environmental and financial gains, but not social benefits. This study extends the frontier of managerial knowledge for Chinese manufacturers by highlighting the emerging trends in RL practices and providing evidence on the business value of adopting RL practices.
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Despite the challenges of creating innovation in third-party logistics (TPL) provider–customer relationships, little is known about how TPL providers and customers engage in joint innovation projects and the benefits that can be obtained from such innovation activities. Therefore, this exploratory study investigates contingency factors that are important in joint TPL provider–customer innovation projects, and the project outcomes for TPL providers and TPL provider–customer relationships. The study applies a multiple case study research design to examine four TPL provider–customer innovation projects. Cross-case analysis reveals that several contingency factors (e.g., high integration with customer, establishing links to customers insisting on new services, complementary relationship-specific investments, agreement of benefit sharing) influence the joint TPL provider–customer innovation projects. Furthermore, the analysis shows that such innovation projects allow the TPL providers to upgrade their positioning, intensify customer relationships and lead to higher performance. Furthermore, this research underlines that innovation in logistics services can be a source of sustainable competitive advantage for TPL providers.
Purpose ‐ This paper aims to explore the perceived impact of packaging logistics on the efficiency of freight transportation (EOT), and examine the interaction and relationship between packaging logistics and EOT. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper set up the conceptual model with seven hypotheses from the findings of previous literatures, and this model was tested with data and SEM. Findings ‐ The paper provided empirical insights about the perceived impact of packaging logistics on EOT and clarified the relative impact levels in the relationship between packaging logistics and EOT. Research limitations/implications ‐ In spite of the chosen research approach, the perceived impact of information system on EOT may lack generalisability. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to test the proposed propositions in further studies. Practical implications ‐ Findings of this study can be used by practioners to improve EOT and by researchers to investigate further studies. Originality/value ‐ The paper fulfilled a need from previous literatures to clarify the interaction and relationship between packaging logistics and EOT.
Article
This paper studies a closed-loop supply chain that uses containers for transporting products from a supplier to a retailer. At the retailer, used containers are collected and returned to the supplier. The supplier inspects returned containers, and either repairs and reuses or disposes them. This paper studies the case where the fraction of containers that are returned to the supplier is stochastic, and where an RFID system can be used to support the tracking of container positions in the supply chain. The use of RFID leads to improved information on the return of containers and better return predictability as well as higher return rates, which we model as an increase in the mean return rate of containers and a reduction in return variance. The paper first develops a mathematical planning model for this scenario, and it then studies how the use of RFID impacts the performance of the system. In addition, it analyzes under which conditions the use of RFID is economical, and in which situations traditional container systems should be preferred.
Article
Backward on-line job change scheduling, referring to the on-line job change scheduling of a current processing step to satisfy the job change schedule of the subsequent processing step, is a common problem in modern Fabs. In this research, the production system-based simulation methodology is proposed to solve the backward on-line job change scheduling problem. This simulation is processed by the state change that is caused by an execution of the operator, and it finds the schedule with the best handle values considering the current status. Several simulation runs with diverse handle values were required to find the best values because the status of the shop floor can change dynamically. To validate the simulation, this production system-based simulation is applied to the on-line job change scheduling of a tire belt processing step as part of the tire manufacturing process.
Article
This article discusses a study on reverse logistics in which a returnable packaging model was developed in order to minimize waste generation and increase the competitiveness of the company studied by reducing costs and resource consumption and minimizing environmental impacts. The objective of this study is to present a case study on reverse flow of returnable packaging to replace a disposable packaging system used by a company located in Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil to export machined engine heads to Peterborough, UK. As a result, the returnable packaging model consumed 18.00% less material than the disposable packaging model, reducing costs. Furthermore, the model developed provided greater protection to the products exported and minimized waste generation at the final customer. Other logistic benefits were reduction in the volume occupied and weight of empty packaging during reverse flow and a cycle time of 105 days. Additionally, the unit cost of the returnable packaging was R$ 13.57 per engine head, a satisfactory outcome for the company studied. With regard to environmental performance, the returnable packaging model proved the best alternative since it has less environmental impacts compared to those of the disposable packaging model. The practice of reverse logistics has shown benefits that contribute technically, economically, and environmentally to business sustainability.
Article
For pallet loading operations, it is found that space optimization does not necessarily lead to profit optimization, which is the ultimate goal of forwarders after numerous site evaluations and end-user feedbacks. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, there are only a few research studies related to profit optimization in this area. This paper presents a hybrid approach, using heuristic and genetic algorithms (GA), for solving the profit-based multi-pallet loading problem which was mathematically formulated as a nonlinear integer programming problem. The major novelties in this paper are the simultaneous consideration of priority for loading more profitable cargoes and cargo stability in heuristic and innovatively designed crossover and mutation operations in GA to suit the profit optimization. To validate the approach, simulations were carried out with 10 weakly and 10 strongly heterogeneous sets of cargoes. The simulation results obtained by our proposed GA were compared with those obtained by two other stochastic search methods, namely simulated annealing (SA) and Tabu search (TS), as well as a nonlinear integer programming-based method, branch-and-bound (BB). The results showed that GA can search more profitable solutions than SA, TS and BB in this multi-pallet loading problem.
Article
Due to growing economic environment and the introduction of new technologies in marketing, another topic of great interest to logistics today is the use of contract or third party services. In the complicated business world, the company is involved in reuse, recycling, and remanufacturing functions using a third party logistics provider which has an impact on the total performance of the firm. In the development of the reverse logistics concept and practice, the selection of providers for the specific function of reverse logistics support becomes more important. After scanning the surplus of literatures, it was concluded that multiple dimensions and attributes must be used in the evaluation and selection of 3PRLP.The attributes play an important role in selecting a third party reverse logistics provider (3PRLP). Interpretive structural modeling (ISM) methodology is adopted in this model, which can be used for identifying and summarizing relationships among specific attributes for selecting the best third party reverse logistics provider among the ‘n’ 3PRLPs.
Article
Logistic network design has an important and strategic platform in an efficient and effective supply chain management, and usually involves multiple and conflicting goals, such as cost/profit, resource balance, customer responsiveness, quality, and the like. Besides, due to the implementation of government legislation, environmental concern, social responsibility and customer awareness, companies have been forced by customers not only to supply environmentally amicable products but also to be responsible for the returned products. Hence, this paper presents a stochastic multi-objective model for forward/reverse logistic network design under a uncertain environment including three echelons in forward direction (i.e., suppliers, plants, and distribution centers) and two echelons in backward direction (i.e., collection centers and disposal centers). We demonstrate a method to evaluate the systematic supply chain configuration maximizing the profit, customer responsiveness, and quality as objectives of the logistic network. The set of Pareto optimal solutions is obtained and also financial risk relevant to them is computed in order to show the tradeoff between objectives. The results give important insight for fostering the decision making process.
Article
The last few years have seen increasing recognition of the work of logistics service providers, as well as the significance of functioning supply relationships. This paper proposes an alternative view of supply management that builds on the observation that traditional supply chain management focuses on logistics clients rather than the service providers themselves. The paper utilizes the 4 Resource Interaction tool to illustrate how a logistics service provider faces different idea structures and activated structures than its clients in three different markets. The resulting resource perceptions and preferred resource combinations create tensions and tradeoffs between the logistics service provider and its clients. Unchaining logistics from the conventional chain structures achieves a more comprehensive understanding of interactions between shippers and logistics service providers.
Article
Purpose – In a growing number of competitive sectors with closed-loop supply chains, the reverse component has become an inherent part of the business, not to mention a core competence; hence the need to have performance measures that can be used to provide an accurate diagnosis of the state of the supply chain by addressing both its forward and its reverse components. It is also important to identify the level of existing integration between parties, as this has been associated with supply chain performance. This paper seeks to address this issue. Design/methodology/approach – Elements gathered from the literature reviewed are used to present a set of measures that can be applied for auditing purposes in: the forward supply chain; product returns and reverse logistics; flows of materials and information and integration between supply chain tiers. To illustrate the use of the proposed set of measures for auditing purposes a case study involving a major European mobile phone network operator was analysed using the operator's own brand of handsets characterised for having a closed-loop supply chain. Findings – The proposed set of measures for auditing purposes provide an overall picture of the performance of a closed-loop supply chain by revealing high levels of stock for the products analysed, consequence of the difficulty to generate accurate forecasts and the accumulation of high quantities of product prior to launch. Also the methodology presented in this paper identifies links between product returns (faulty and non-faulty) to operations in the forward component of the supply chain (design, sourcing, manufacturing and forecasting) and also indicates how performance is affected because of integration. Research limitations/implications – The proposed set of measures for auditing purposes is relevant to closed-loop supply chains which are related to products with short life cycles and during their lifetime can experience faulty and non-faulty returns. The scope of the study presented may look limited; however, the application of the performance measures presented in this research can become a fundamental component of larger audit exercises. Further research should be carried out with supply chains on products with lifetime cycles that span long periods of time. Practical implications – For industry sectors with closed-loop supply chains, the availability of a set of measures that address the forward and reverse components plus integration can provide a detailed picture of the performance of value streams over traditional approaches to measurement that focus on only one component of the supply chain. The set of measures has the potential to be used to achieve better customer service and reduction in costs involving shipping, warehousing, labour and call centres. Originality/value – The contribution of this research on closed-loop supply chains is a methodology that defines performance measures for auditing purposes of the forward and reverse components of supply chains and assists in assessing the importance of integration between different tiers of supply chains.
Purpose – The purpose of this study is to identify the critical components of the reverse logistics (RL) disposition decision-making process and suggest a decision framework that may guide future investigation and practice. Design/methodology/approach – The authors utilized a problem-driven content analysis methodology. RL literature from 2000 through 2010 was content analyzed to determine which components may impact a firm's RL disposition decision. Findings – The authors extrapolated seven RL disposition decision components from a compilation of 60 variables identified in the literature. Practical implications and suggestions for future research are offered, and a RL disposition decision-making framework is presented. Research limitations/implications – Although methodological techniques were carefully followed, the nature of a content analysis may be subject to author bias. Future investigation and use of the framework presented will verify the findings presented here. Practical implications – This study identifies seven components that should be considered when deciding which RL disposition alternative should be adopted and integrates these components into a decision-making framework. Supply chain professionals who refer to this framework during the decision process will benefit from a more comprehensive analysis of potential RL disposition alternatives. Originality/value – Congruent with recent assertions suggesting that RL research is evolving from an operational-level focus to a holistic business process approach for maximizing value recovery, this study synthesizes operational-level research to develop a practical framework for RL disposition decision-making.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify and systematically discuss generic forms of contract logistics services and their distinct underlying approaches for fulfilling their respective value propositions. A general frame of reference is developed that addresses the value proposition, as well as the value creation architecture that leads to generic business model configurations for contract logistics services. The framework is built upon the basic notions of service theory, competence research and the resource based view. Design/methodology/approach – The paper combines service theory with work of organizational theory and develops an analytical framework based on conceptual considerations. First empirical results are additionally used to support and illustrate the key outcomes. Findings – Combining the dimensions of integration power and intangible knowledge creation, the authors are able to specify generic types of contract logistics services. Thereby the authors deducted for every type the distinct requirements for service fulfilment and present this in a specific frame of reference. Research limitations/implications – The illustrated empirical results are still limited due to a limited sample size for the interviews. Additional empirical work on the whole third party logistics (3PL) market is suggested. Practical implications – The paper provides generic types of 3PL services and a characterization of properties and architectures of respective business models. Combined with first empirical results, the paper's results offer insights for practitioners to rethink their value propositions and potentially redesign their service architectures. Originality/value – The paper delivers a set of distinct business models for 3PL services reflecting the customer's, as well as the service provider's point of view. It addresses specific aspects of the generation/production of required services that are so far mostly neglected.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of the product residual value (PRV) and the loss of value over time of returned products in the reverse supply chain configuration. It also examines whether or not the distinction of Fisher's functional and innovative products holds for the reverse supply chain. Design/methodology/approach – In order to identify the relevance of the Fisher model, the model needs to be recast in terms of PRV, which, in this context, is considered the independent variable in the reverse logistics arena. Products defined as innovative in Fisher's taxonomy correspond to disposed products with high residual value, whereas functional products correspond to disposed products with low residual value. Furthermore, the PRV and the speed at which returned products lose their value are considered in order to determine the configuration of the reverse supply chain that allows for recapturing most of the PRV. These notions have then been tested by analyzing two reverse supply chains with a case study research methodology. Findings – The findings show that low PRV is associated with second-class recovery options (recycling and energy recovery) and that high PRV is associated with first-class recovery options (reconditioning and remarketing). When the recovery option is recycling, time is not relevant, the primary objective is cost reduction (efficiency), the chain is centralized, and actors and phases of the reverse chain are determined by the specificity of the recycling process. When the recovery option is reconditioning, time is primarily relevant, tradeoffs between costs and time efficiency are necessary, the chain presents a centralized structure, and the presence of other types of actors and phases influences the structure of the reverse supply chain. Research limitations/implications – The focus is restricted to the industry of electrical and electronic products. Practical implications – Based on the outcome of the study, managers are able to determine the basic prerequisites for the design of their reverse supply chains. Originality/value – Previous literature suggests that when the PRV is high, early product differentiation is necessary, and the chain is therefore decentralized. The paper demonstrates that this is not confirmed in the case of low returned volumes and high reconditioning quality standards.
Article
In this study, we focus on pricing and production decisions in utilizing reusable containers with stochastic customer demand. We consider a manufacturer that sells a single product to the customers in reusable containers with two supply options: (i) brand-new containers and (ii) returned containers from customers. The return quantity depends on both customer demand and the acquisition fee determined by the manufacturer. The unit cost of production using brand-new containers is different than the unit cost of reusing returned containers. The customers are indifferent between brand-new and recovered products. We also consider resource restrictions on the production operations. In this setting, we investigate the optimal pricing and production decisions in order to maximize the manufacturer's profit. We characterize the optimal acquisition fee and the optimal order quantity of brand-new containers analytically and investigate the effect of parameters through an extensive computational study.
Article
a b s t r a c t In this paper, a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) formulation is developed for the design and planning of supply chains with reverse flows while considering simultaneously production, distribution and reverse logistics activities. It is also considered products' demand uncertainty using a scenario tree approach. As main goal the model defines the maximization of the expected net present value and the results provide details on sizing and location of plants, warehouses and retailers, definition of processes to install, establishment of forward and reverse flows and inventory levels to attain. The model is applied to a representative European supply chain case study and its applicability is demonstrated. Ó 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Article
We propose a branch and cut algorithm for the Pallet Loading Problem. The 0-1 formulation proposed by Beasley for cutting problems is adapted to the problem, adding new constraints and new procedures for variable reduction. We then take advantage of the relationship between this problem and the maximum independent set problem to use the partial linear description of its associated polyhedron. Finally, we exploit the specific structure of our problem to define the solution graph and to develop efficient separation procedures. We present computational results for the complete sets Cover I (up to 50 boxes) and Cover II (up to 100 boxes).
Article
This paper investigates a number of operational and environmental performance measures, in particular those related to transportation operations, within a closed-loop supply chain. A mathematical model in the form of a linear programming formulation is used to model the problem, which captures the trade-offs between various costs, including those of emissions and of transporting commodities within the chain. Computational results are presented for a number of scenarios, using a realistic network instance.
Article
The growing importance of logistics activities that span the boundaries of supply chain firms has put an emphasis on supply chain relationship management. Based on the existing marketing concept on relational benefits and the supply chain management literature on consumer satisfaction, this research evaluates logistics service performance from the eyes of manufacturers. Using data collected from US manufacturing firms, the study has identified the factors that influence manufacturer's satisfaction, as well as the key to understanding the benefits-satisfaction-loyalty triads in supply chain relationships. The contribution of the paper includes developing a conceptual model, adding new theoretical insights into benefits-satisfaction-loyalty triad that has been applied by manufacturers and LSPs, and providing some meaningful perspective on how to strategically assess the use of logistics providers so as to transform a logistics firm from a tactical service provider to a hand-in-glove strategic partner.
Article
This paper describes an Integer Programming model for generating stable loading patterns for the Pallet Loading Problem under several stability criteria. The results obtained during evaluation show great improvement in the number of stable patterns in comparison with results reported earlier. Moreover, most of the solved cases also ensure optimality in terms of utilization of a pallet.
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This paper presents a new heuristic algorithm for the pallet loading problem, the problem of packing the maximum number of identical rectangular boxes onto a rectangular pallet. The problem arises in distribution and logistics and has many practical applications. We have developed a tabu search algorithm based on new types of moves. Instead of moving individual boxes, we propose moving blocks, sets of boxes with the same orientation. We have tested our algorithm on the whole sets Cover I and Cover II, usually taken as a reference for this problem, and we obtain excellent results in very short computing times.
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This paper presents an investigation into the improvement of existing design and materials for pallets used in material handling applications. The objective was to develop a pallet design made from alternative materials such as composites of recycled corrugated paperboard and plywood for cold room lifting needs. Several new designs are proposed and analysed using the finite element method (FEM) and related information of weight, loading and safety conditions. Among these, five designs are recommended – one is made of plywood, two are made of corrugated paperboard, and two are made of specially constructed composite materials. The selection process aimed to ensure pallets were