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Sustainable Management of Logistic and Supply Chain

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Transportation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 7494

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
The Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy
Interests: logistics; supply chain; intermodal transport; logistics centers; dry ports; humanitarian logistics; e-commerce logistics; multi-criteria decision-making
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Guest Editor
Logistics Department, Faculty of Transport and Traffic Engineering, University of Belgrade, Belgrade 11000, Serbia
Interests: logistics; supply chain; intermodal transport; logistics centers; city logistics; dry ports, humanitarian logistics; e-commerce logistics; multi-criteria decision making
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since the UN promoted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, sustainability has become one of the most important aspects of any business model (Rosati & Faria, 2019). Sustainability has become a key factor for achieving competitive advantage in the market (Bourhis et al., 2013). In addition, society set increasingly strict demands on companies with the aim of developing business practices based on sustainable production, supply and distribution operations (Persdotter Isaksson et al., 2019). Accordingly, the inclusion of sustainable guidelines in the management of logistics and supply chain activities is a topic of growing interest among researchers. Also, sustainable logistics activities, measures, initiatives, concepts, solutions, etc., can greatly contribute towards achieving the goals proposed by the UN. In general, sustainable logistics can be defined as the implementation of all logistics activities in accordance with the principles of ecological, economic and social sustainability.

As a consequence of efforts to make logistics sustainable, the concept of green logistics emerged, which became one of the main development trends of modern logistics. Green logistics is based on the development and application of the concept of circular economy (CE), which implies a closed loop of material flows in the economic system (Seroka-Stolka & Ociepa-Kubicka, 2019). The concept of CE is emerging as a potential solution for achieving supply sustainability through the implementation of closed-loops of material flows based on maintenance, repair, reusing, refurbishing, remanufacturing, and recycling processes (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2014). The purpose of CE is to increase the degree of utilization of existing resources while reducing the input of new resources and the loss of resources in the system (Geissdoerfer et al., 2017).

Having previous in mind the focus of this SI is sustainability research in the context of logistics and supply chain management. The main purpose is to better understand the role of sustainability in the development of logistics and supply chain activities in order to create favorable circumstances for their effective management. SI will make a significant contribution to the expansion of the body of literature in the fields of sustainability, logistics and supply chain. SI includes, but is not limited to the following topics:

  • Sustainable procurement,
  • Sustainable order processing,
  • Sustainable packaging,
  • Sustainable transportation,
  • Intermodal transportation,
  • Sustainable distribution,
  • Sustainable warehousing,
  • Sustainable inventory management,
  • Sustainable reverse logistics,
  • Sustainable business models,
  • Design and control of sustainable supply chain activities,
  • Design and control of closed-loop supply chains,
  • Circular economy in the context of logistics and supply chain management,
  • Green logistics,
  • Green city logistics,
  • Smart logistics,
  • Sustainable mobility.

Dr. Mladen Krstić
Dr. Željko Stević
Dr. Snežana Tadić
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainable logistics
  • sustainable supply chain
  • circular economy
  • smart logistics
  • closed-loop supply chain

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 2436 KiB  
Article
Reverse Logistics Practices: A Dilemma to Gain Competitive Advantage in Manufacturing Industries of Pakistan with Organization Performance as a Mediator
by Khawar Ahmed Khan, Fei Ma, Muhammad Ali Akbar, Mohammad Shariful Islam, Maryam Ali and Shaif Noor
Sustainability 2024, 16(8), 3223; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16083223 - 12 Apr 2024
Viewed by 224
Abstract
Reverse logistics is a known supply chain practice and has been proven effective in recent decades. In developing countries, these practices are already employed and considered beneficial for the business or firms. The reverse logistics concept creates value for customers and firms. Considering [...] Read more.
Reverse logistics is a known supply chain practice and has been proven effective in recent decades. In developing countries, these practices are already employed and considered beneficial for the business or firms. The reverse logistics concept creates value for customers and firms. Considering this, this study intends to highlight reverse logistics practices in Pakistan and examine the reverse logistics impacts on competitive advantage with the mediating role of the firm’s organizational performance in Pakistan’s manufacturing industries. In this study, plastic bottle manufacturing firms working in Pakistan were selected to collect the data. Hence, to collect the data from these firms, a survey technique was sought to determine the impact of reverse logistic practices on competitive advantage with the mediating role of organizational performance. A structured and adapted questionnaire was used in this regard. Organizational performance was assumed as the operational and financial performance of these firms. Data were collected using a convenience sampling technique, and the targeted population was the middle-level employees of bottle manufacturing firms. The statistical tool was adopted as the study was quantitative, and results were extracted numerically. IBM SPSS and AMOS version 24 were used as supporting statistical analysis and interpretation tools. Data analysis demonstrated that out of 219 respondents, 68 were supervisors, and others were middle managers. Statistics show that most females were supervisors, and most males were middle managers. “Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA)” was performed to examine the fit of the three-factor model, showing good fit indices (Chi-square/df = 2.71, CFI = 0.902, TLI = 0.896, RMSEA = 0.081), which indicates that the model fits the data well. According to the study’s findings, a significant impact was examined between reverse logistics and competitive advantage, and a mediating role was confirmed between those variables. This study poses unique strengths in theoretical and practical ways and helped enrich the available literature and findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management of Logistic and Supply Chain)
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20 pages, 962 KiB  
Article
A Novel Two-Stage Methodological Approach for Storage Technology Selection: An Engineering–FAHP–WASPAS Approach
by Nikola Pavlov, Dragan Đurdjević and Milan Andrejić
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13037; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713037 - 29 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 791
Abstract
Storage technology selection is a very important design decision that greatly affects the future performance of a warehouse; for example, it greatly affects its costs. In making this decision, the designer is faced with a complex issue. It is necessary to select the [...] Read more.
Storage technology selection is a very important design decision that greatly affects the future performance of a warehouse; for example, it greatly affects its costs. In making this decision, the designer is faced with a complex issue. It is necessary to select the appropriate option from a wider set of available technologies, taking into account numerous influencing factors. In design practice, solving this problem is primarily based on the experience of designers and the recommendations of manufacturers of these technologies. In the academic literature, this problem has not been properly posed and solved, so there are no papers that comprehensively address this complex design problem. The main goal of this paper is to fill that gap. The presented approach consists of two basic stages. In the first stage, starting from the definition of the project task, potential technologies are generated and critical factors are considered, in order to arrive at a set of acceptable technologies. In the second stage, these technologies are ranked, and a basis for decision making is created. This stage is based on multi-criteria decision making: the Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP) method is used to determine the weights of the criteria, and the Weighted Aggregated Sum Product Assessment (WASPAS) method is used to obtain the rankings. The application of the defined approach is tested on real assignments (distribution warehouse, production warehouse, and holding warehouse) and is proven to be applicable to solving these types of problems. The results obtained for the three tested examples prove the suitability of the application of the proposed approach in terms of the aspects of both the quality of the solution and the speed of obtaining it. Considering the practical application of the suggested and filling the recognized literature gap, evident contributions are achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management of Logistic and Supply Chain)
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19 pages, 5939 KiB  
Article
Sustainable and Secure Transport: Achieving Environmental Impact Reductions by Optimizing Pallet-Package Strength Interactions during Transport
by Saewhan Kim, Laszlo Horvath, Jennifer D. Russell and Jonghun Park
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 12687; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151712687 - 22 Aug 2023
Viewed by 759
Abstract
Increasing quantities of products are being transported across widely distributed supply networks; the sustainability of the packaging used to transport these goods, or unit loads, presents an area of potential concern. The most common type of unit load in the U.S. is wooden [...] Read more.
Increasing quantities of products are being transported across widely distributed supply networks; the sustainability of the packaging used to transport these goods, or unit loads, presents an area of potential concern. The most common type of unit load in the U.S. is wooden pallets supporting various configurations of stacked corrugated boxes. Research into unit load cost optimization revealed that increasing the stiffness of a pallet’s top deck can significantly affect the strength of the assembled, stacked corrugated boxes and provides opportunities to reduce the board grade required for accompanying corrugated boxes. However, there remains a knowledge gap regarding the environmental implications of this type of unit load optimization method. To address this, we conducted a life cycle analysis (LCA) to investigate the environmental implications of optimizing a unit load using this method. The environmental impacts of paired (pallet and box) unit load design scenarios (n = 108) were investigated using varied wood species, pallet top deck thicknesses, corrugated boxes sizes, corrugated flutes, and board grades. Initial and optimized unit load scenarios ensured that the unit loads offered equivalent performance. LCA results indicate that optimizing the unit load can reduce environmental impacts by up to 23%, with benefits accruing across most impact categories primarily due to the reduction in corrugated material used. Ozone depletion, the exception, was mainly affected by the increase in the amount of required pallet materials. This study provides minimum required conditions as preliminary guidance for determining the usefulness of unit load specific analysis, and a sensitivity analysis confirmed these values remain unchanged even with different transportation distances. Through the unit load optimization method, this study demonstrates that an effective way to reduce the overall environmental impact and cost of transported unit loads involves increasing the stiffness of the top decks and reducing the corrugated board grade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management of Logistic and Supply Chain)
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22 pages, 8267 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Aggregation Operators in the Group Decision-Making Process: A Real Case Study of Location Selection Problem
by Goran Petrović, Jelena Mihajlović, Danijel Marković, Sarfaraz Hashemkhani Zolfani and Miloš Madić
Sustainability 2023, 15(10), 8229; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15108229 - 18 May 2023
Viewed by 1182
Abstract
Aggregation methods in group decision-making refer to techniques used to combine the individual preferences, opinions, or judgments of group members into a collective decision. Each aggregation method has its advantages and disadvantages, and the best method to use depends on the specific situation [...] Read more.
Aggregation methods in group decision-making refer to techniques used to combine the individual preferences, opinions, or judgments of group members into a collective decision. Each aggregation method has its advantages and disadvantages, and the best method to use depends on the specific situation and the goals of the decision-making process. In certain cases, final rankings of alternatives in the decision-making process may depend on the way of combining different attitudes. The focus of this paper is the application and comparative analysis of the aggregation operators, specifically, arithmetic mean (AM), geometric mean (GM), and Dombi Bonferroni mean (DBM), to the process of criteria weights determination in a fuzzy environment. The criteria weights are determined using Fuzzy Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (F-MCDM) methods, such as Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (F-AHP), Fuzzy Pivot Pairwise Relative Criteria Importance Assessment (F-PIPRECIA), and Fuzzy Full Consistency Method (F-FUCOM), while the final alternative ranking is obtained by Fuzzy Weighted Aggregated Sum Product Assessment (F-WASPAS). A comparison of aggregation operators is done for the real case of location selection problem for a used motor oil transfer station in the regional center of Southern and Eastern Serbia, the city of Niš. The results obtained in this study showed that the views of different experts and application of a certain aggregation approach may have a significant impact on the values of criteria weight coefficients and further on the final ranking of alternatives. This paper is expected to stimulate future research into the impact of aggregation methods on final rankings in the decision-making process, especially in the field of waste management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management of Logistic and Supply Chain)
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26 pages, 927 KiB  
Article
Smart Material Handling Solutions for City Logistics Systems
by Snežana Tadić, Mladen Krstić, Svetlana Dabić-Miletić and Mladen Božić
Sustainability 2023, 15(8), 6693; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15086693 - 15 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1776
Abstract
Globalization, the growth of the world population, urbanization and the growth of the volume of the flow of goods have generated numerous problems in city logistics (CL). The opportunity to solve them is found in various fields by defining and implementing initiatives, concepts, [...] Read more.
Globalization, the growth of the world population, urbanization and the growth of the volume of the flow of goods have generated numerous problems in city logistics (CL). The opportunity to solve them is found in various fields by defining and implementing initiatives, concepts, measures, modern technologies and scenarios. The efficiency of the solution largely depends on the efficiency of logistics centers, which is one of the key subsystems of CL. The requirements for the reliable delivery of goods to customers in urban areas are conditioned by the efficiency their order fulfillment in logistics centers. Therefore, optimizing material handling (MH) time and costs aimed at reducing delivery errors, minimizing damage to goods and increasing customer service efficiency is directly conditioned by the automation of MH in logistics centers. Accordingly, this paper aims to rank and select smart MH solutions in logistics centers where deliveries are prepared for the supply of the city area. This paper proposes four smart solutions for a real company, and fourteen criteria are selected for the evaluation. A new hybrid Multi-Criteria Decision-Making model that combines the Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process method, used to determine the criteria weights, and the Fuzzy COmprehensive distance-Based RAnking (FCOBRA) method, used to rank the alternatives, is proposed. The application of the model shows that the best alternative is the implementation of an autonomous forklift, which can greatly automate logistics activities and reduce the rate of delivery errors. The main contributions of this research are the definition of smart solutions, a framework for their evaluation and a new model for their ranking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management of Logistic and Supply Chain)
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17 pages, 844 KiB  
Article
Intermodal Terminal Subsystem Technology Selection Using Integrated Fuzzy MCDM Model
by Mladen Krstić, Snežana Tadić, Valerio Elia, Stefania Massari and Muhammad Umar Farooq
Sustainability 2023, 15(4), 3427; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15043427 - 13 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1625
Abstract
Intermodal transportation is the use of multiple modes of transportation, which can lead to greater sustainability by reducing environmental impact and traffic congestion and increasing the efficiency of supply chains. One of the preconditions for efficient intermodal transport is the efficient intermodal terminal [...] Read more.
Intermodal transportation is the use of multiple modes of transportation, which can lead to greater sustainability by reducing environmental impact and traffic congestion and increasing the efficiency of supply chains. One of the preconditions for efficient intermodal transport is the efficient intermodal terminal (IT). ITs allow for the smooth and efficient handling of cargo, thus reducing the time, cost, and environmental impact of transportation. Adequate selection of subsystem technologies can significantly improve the efficiency and productivity of an IT, ultimately leading to cost savings for businesses and a more efficient and sustainable transportation system. Accordingly, this paper aims to establish a framework for the evaluation and selection of appropriate technologies for IT subsystems. To solve the defined problem, an innovative hybrid multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) model, which combines the fuzzy factor relationship (FFARE) and the fuzzy combinative distance-based assessment (FCODAS) methods, is developed in this paper. The FFARE method is used for obtaining criteria weights, while the FCODAS method is used for evaluation and a final ranking of the alternatives. The established framework and the model are tested on a real-life case study, evaluating and selecting the handling technology for a planned IT. The study defines 12 potential variants of handling equipment based on their techno-operational characteristics and evaluates them using 16 criteria. The results indicate that the best handling technology variant is the one that uses a rail-mounted gantry crane for trans-shipment and a reach stacker for horizontal transport and storage. The results also point to the conclusion that instead of choosing equipment for each process separately, it is important to think about the combination of different handling technologies that can work together to complete a series of handling cycle processes. The main contributions of this paper are the development of a new hybrid model and the establishment of a framework for the selection of appropriate IT subsystem technologies along with a set of unique criteria for their evaluation and selection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management of Logistic and Supply Chain)
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