Food Logistics

Transport Vulnerabilities & Disruptions

Delays in fresh fruit logistics do not only cost time, but also can potentially harm the value of products and profits. Nevertheless, transport disruptions are common. Let's assume a bridge is closed. To save a shipment from spoilage, one can either travel on alternative routes (i), switch mode of transport (ii), wait for the disruption to be over (iii) or, in case of a long-term disruption, fulfill demand from a backup supplier (iv), but which option is the best in each particular situation?

Delays in fresh fruit logistics do not only cost time, but also can potentially harm the value of products and profits. Nevertheless, transport disruptions are common. Let’s assume a bridge is closed. To save a shipment from spoilage, one can either travel on alternative routes (i), switch mode of transport (ii), wait for the disruption to be over (iii) or, in case of a long-term disruption, fulfill demand from a backup supplier (iv), but which option is the best in each particular situation?

In a recent work, an agent-based simulation to study the impact of rail disruptions was developed (Publication on ScienceDirect). Although not directly considering food specific characteristics, it shows major impacts not only on the disrupted rail connection, but also on detour routes and terminals due to higher traffic volumes. Consequently, even if a shipment is not directly affected by a disruption, major delays can occur. As a result, in food logistics, where time is often critical, paying special attention to transport disruption and research into corresponding optimization and risk-management procedures is of importance.

Reference:
–          Fikar, C, Hirsch, P, Posset, M, Gronalt M (2016) Impact of transalpine rail network disruptions: A study of the Brenner Pass. Journal of Transport Geography 54, 122-131. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2016.05.018, Kudos: http://goo.gl/j1R9B9

Image: BOKU

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Christian Fikar is a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute for Production Management at Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU). Until May 2018, he was part of the Institute for Production and Logistics at University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU). His research fields include logistics, supply chain management and related decision support systems to investigate and optimize delivery processes, particularly for humanitarian and e-grocery operations.

2 comments on “Transport Vulnerabilities & Disruptions

  1. Pingback: Combining Agent-Based Simulations with Optimization Procedures – Christian Fikar

  2. Pingback: Using GraphHopper within Simulations – Christian Fikar

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