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.
– 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