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Logistics and Operations Modelling and Optimisation for Sustainable Supply Chain

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 August 2023) | Viewed by 15508

Special Issue Editors

Department of Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran
Interests: meta-heuristic algorithm; supply chain management; production planning; sustainability
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Optimization plays an important role in several branches of engineering sciences. Optimization challenges are becoming increasingly complex, especially in supply chain planning; nowadays, traditional methods are not effective enough to solve complex optimization problems. New variants of meta-heuristic algorithms have recently emerged that primarily aim to combine innovative methods to better search for solutions. Many such algorithms have been inspired by nature; the most significant include the Keshtel Algorithm (KA), Red Deer Algorithm (RDA), and Gray Wolf Optimizer (GWO).

Various optimization problems have also been proposed to find suitable, eligible, optimal solutions for sustainability. Furthermore, researchers and decision-makers have developed and widely employed meta-heuristic algorithms for various complex problems. In fact, it can be argued that in the future, almost all aspects of human daily life will be affected by this technology. Experts believe that meta-heuristic algorithms will soon be able to find the best possible solution for supply chains.

This Special Issue, “Logistics and Operations Modelling and Optimization for Sustainable Supply Chain”, enables transparent and rapid communication of research highlighting the role of optimization in multidisciplinary areas across mathematical programming and optimization. The emphasis is on the impact, depth, and originality of new concepts, methods, and observations with respect to novel methods such as meta-heuristic algorithms. This Special Issue seeks to clarify how optimization approaches can be evaluated and implemented in sustainable supply chains.

We welcome submissions highlighting new solutions to sustainable supply chain problems from a broad range of perspectives, which may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Sustainable supply chain network design using approximate optimization methods;
  • Sustainable Production and distribution using novel meta-heuristic algorithms;
  • Transportation optimization using novel meta-heuristic algorithms;
  • Supply chain planning using new emerged meta-heuristic algorithms;
  • Simulation-based optimization for sustainable supply chain planning;
  • Application of meta-heuristics in developing machine learning for sustainable supply chain planning;
  • Application of meta-heuristics in improving the neural networks for sustainable supply chain planning;
  • Application of meta-heuristics in developing clustering methods for sustainable supply chain planning;
  • Logistic network design using data-driven

Prof. Dr. Gerhard-Wilhelm Weber
Dr. Alireza Goli
Dr. Erfan Babaee Tirkolaee
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

  • supply chain management
  • sustainable supply chain
  • meta-heuristic algorithm
  • optimization
  • simulation
  • machine learning

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 188 KiB  
Editorial
Logistics and Operations Modelling and Optimization for Sustainable Supply Chain
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 12727; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151712727 - 23 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 636
Abstract
Optimization plays an important role in several branches of the engineering sciences [...] Full article

Research

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22 pages, 1923 KiB  
Article
Design of an Optimal Robust Possibilistic Model in the Distribution Chain Network of Agricultural Products with High Perishability under Uncertainty
Sustainability 2023, 15(15), 11669; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151511669 - 28 Jul 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 851
Abstract
In this article, the modeling of a distribution network problem of agricultural products with high perishability under uncertainty is discussed. The designed model has three levels of suppliers, distribution centers, and retailers, in which suppliers can directly or indirectly meet retailers’ demand. Due [...] Read more.
In this article, the modeling of a distribution network problem of agricultural products with high perishability under uncertainty is discussed. The designed model has three levels of suppliers, distribution centers, and retailers, in which suppliers can directly or indirectly meet retailers’ demand. Due to agricultural product distribution network unpredictability, robust possibilistic optimization (RPO) has been applied. This model is innovative and takes uncertainty into account. The findings show that uncertainty increases network demand. Supply, distribution, maintenance, and order expenses have grown. By examining the rate of perishability of agricultural products, it has been revealed that, with the growth of this rate, the costs have increased according to the ordering and spoilage of the products. The genetic algorithm (GA), whale optimization algorithm (WOA), and arithmetic optimization algorithm (AOA) have also been applied to analyze the model. The calculations on 10 sample problems in larger sizes show that the AOA has the best performance in achieving near-optimal solutions. Conversely, the WOA has the lowest computing time compared to other meta-heuristic algorithms. Additionally, the statistical test results show no significant difference between the average calculation time and the objective function among the applied algorithms. Full article
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20 pages, 2268 KiB  
Article
Financial and Logistical Service Strategy of Third-Party Logistics Enterprises in Cross-Border E-Commerce Environment
Sustainability 2023, 15(8), 6874; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15086874 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1445
Abstract
As competition in the cross-border logistics-service market intensifies and demand rises, enterprises with third-party logistics (3PL) combine logistical and financial services to provide comprehensive services. This study considers a secondary supply chain consisting of a cross-border e-commerce enterprise and a 3PL enterprise. When [...] Read more.
As competition in the cross-border logistics-service market intensifies and demand rises, enterprises with third-party logistics (3PL) combine logistical and financial services to provide comprehensive services. This study considers a secondary supply chain consisting of a cross-border e-commerce enterprise and a 3PL enterprise. When cross-border e-commerce enterprises lack funds, 3PL enterprises can provide them with inventory pledge loans. Thus, we establish a Stackelberg game model between the abovementioned parties. We consider the stochastic fluctuation of exchange rate and demand, establish a combined decision model of the logistics-service level and financial service pledge rate of the 3PL enterprise when logistics services affect offshore market demand, and prove the existence of an optimal solution. Studies have shown that the optimal logistics-service level and pledge rate increase with an increase in import tariffs and logistics sensitivity coefficients in offshore markets. Meanwhile, they decrease with an increase in the capability coefficient of 3PL enterprises, exchange rate fluctuation, default rate, and price sensitivity factor in offshore markets. In addition, the more capable 3PL enterprises are, the greater the expected profitability of the entire supply chain. We also utilize authentic data to verify the abovementioned inference and establish its validity. Full article
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16 pages, 1882 KiB  
Article
A Robust Optimization Model for Multi-Period Railway Network Design Problem Considering Economic Aspects and Environmental Impact
Sustainability 2023, 15(6), 5022; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15065022 - 12 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1164
Abstract
The railway network design problem is one of the critical issues in the transportation sector due to its significance and variety of necessary applications. The major issue of this field relates to the decision of whether to increase the railways’ capacity or construct [...] Read more.
The railway network design problem is one of the critical issues in the transportation sector due to its significance and variety of necessary applications. The major issue of this field relates to the decision of whether to increase the railways’ capacity or construct a new route to meet demand. Although the budget is a great concern of the managers for making such a decision, environmental factors should be necessarily included in the decision-making process. Therefore, this research proposes a novel robust bi-objective mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) model to simultaneously minimize the total cost and environmental impact under uncertain conditions and within a given time horizon. The proposed problem addresses strategic and operational decisions through railway project selection and product flow determination. To deal with the bi-objectiveness of the model and tackle the complexity of the problem, a nondominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA-II) is employed. The proposed NSGA-II could reach near-optimal Pareto solutions in a reasonable solution time and showed a reliable performance for being employed in large-sized instances. It also indicates that the proposed NSGA-II can be utilized for solving large-sized samples in a very short time. Full article
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18 pages, 3341 KiB  
Article
A New Version of African Vulture Optimizer for Apparel Supply Chain Management Based on Reorder Decision-Making
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010400 - 26 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1299
Abstract
Supply chains may serve as an effective platform for the development of sustainability by encouraging responsible conduct throughout all chain members and stages. Agent technology may greatly aid in decision-making during supply chain management. Due to recent changes in the seasons, fashion trends, [...] Read more.
Supply chains may serve as an effective platform for the development of sustainability by encouraging responsible conduct throughout all chain members and stages. Agent technology may greatly aid in decision-making during supply chain management. Due to recent changes in the seasons, fashion trends, and the requirements of various religions, particularly with regard to the ordering procedure, the supply chain for clothing has become one of the most difficult duties in this area. Because of this, it is crucial to enhance process coordination throughout the whole clothing supply chain and develop a decision-making strategy that functions best in a fluid environment. The Unified Modeling Language (UML) is used in this work to define the relationship between agents and simulate the supply chain process. This research incorporates enhanced African vulture optimizer, a modified bio-inspired approach, and fuzzy inference theory to assist the supply chain agent in determining the appropriate replenishment quantity and reorder point to lower the inventory cost. According to test results, the suggested AAVO-based technique may be successful in determining a target demand ordering amount while reducing the overall cost of the supply chain due to a lowered convergence trend and algorithm accuracy. Full article
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20 pages, 744 KiB  
Article
Does a Buyback Contract Coordinate a Reverse Supply Chain Facing Remanufacturing Capacity Disruption and Returned Product Quality Uncertainty?
Sustainability 2022, 14(23), 15939; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142315939 - 29 Nov 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1629
Abstract
This paper studies a two-echelon reverse supply chain (RSC) involving a remanufacturer and a collector, in which the collector receives the used products by paying a reward to consumers. The reward amount given to customers is crucial for encouraging them to exchange used [...] Read more.
This paper studies a two-echelon reverse supply chain (RSC) involving a remanufacturer and a collector, in which the collector receives the used products by paying a reward to consumers. The reward amount given to customers is crucial for encouraging them to exchange used products. An exchanged item is accepted if it meets the minimum acceptable quality level (AQL). Both the remanufacturing capacity and the quality of exchanged products present uncertainties. Under the buyback contract, the remanufacturer purchases used products at a higher price than in the decentralized and centralized cases from the collector. In return, the collector undertakes to repurchase a certain number of used products sold to the remanufacturer, but not remanufactured due to capacity shortages. Based on the aforementioned uncertainties, this study analyses channel coordination using buyback contracts and optimizes its parameters. By conducting a numerical analysis, we first ensure that under this contract, the risk of uncertainty is divided among the members, and that each party’s profit is higher than when decisions are made individually. Therefore, a buyback contract would guarantee a win-win situation for both of the parties, and coordination for the RSC. A range of percentages of extra items purchased by collectors is derived, as well as the amount the collector pays for each item and the effect of increasing or decreasing these values is examined. Full article
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15 pages, 3572 KiB  
Article
Performance Evaluation of Omni-Channel Distribution Network Configurations considering Green and Transparent Criteria under Uncertainty
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12607; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912607 - 04 Oct 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1782
Abstract
Satisfying customer demand is one of the growing concerns of supply chain managers. On the other hand, the development of internet communications has increased online demand. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for online shopping. One of the useful concepts [...] Read more.
Satisfying customer demand is one of the growing concerns of supply chain managers. On the other hand, the development of internet communications has increased online demand. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for online shopping. One of the useful concepts that help to address this concern is the omni-channel strategy, which integrates online and traditional channels with the aim of improving customer service level. For this purpose, this paper proposes an algorithm for evaluating Omni-channel Distribution Network Configurations (OCDNCs). The algorithm applies an extended Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) model to evaluate OCDNCs based on cost, service, transparency, and environmental criteria; and then, forms a consensus on the evaluation results generated according to different criteria by utilizing an uncertain optimization model. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt in which such an algorithm has been employed to take into account the mentioned criteria in a model to evaluate OCDNCs. The application of the proposed models was investigated in a case study in relation to the Indian retail industry. The results show that the configuration with the most connections among its members was the most stable, robust, and efficient. Full article
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Review

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23 pages, 1888 KiB  
Review
Blockchain-Enabled Cross-Border E-Commerce Supply Chain Management: A Bibliometric Systematic Review
Sustainability 2022, 14(23), 15918; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142315918 - 29 Nov 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 5390
Abstract
Driven by the internet-based advanced information technologies and logistics channel improvement, the cross-border e-commerce industry keeps an increasing trend in Chinese industrial market. Blockchain, as an empowered technology, contributes to the management innovations for industrial sectors. The blockchain technology, due to its transparency, [...] Read more.
Driven by the internet-based advanced information technologies and logistics channel improvement, the cross-border e-commerce industry keeps an increasing trend in Chinese industrial market. Blockchain, as an empowered technology, contributes to the management innovations for industrial sectors. The blockchain technology, due to its transparency, visibility, and dis-intermediation characteristics, helps to improve operations management of cross-border e-commerce supply chain by innovative industrial applications. However, practical applications of the blockchain technique-enabled cross-border e-commerce sector are still in their infancy and still at the proof-of-concept stage. This paper presents a systematic review on blockchain-enabled cross-border e-commerce supply chain management by employing a bibliometric data-driven analysis. All relevant publications from the Web of Science database from 2013 to 2021 were collected as the research samples. Besides, the VosViewer is adopted to conduct the network and co-word study by visualizing collaborative relationships of sampled literatures. Results show that the blockchain technique has substantial applications in the field of cross-border e-commerce supply chain, whose contributions mainly focus on cross-border e-commerce platform, supply chain operations, and data governance and information management. Academic researchers and industrial managers can promote innovative management practices in cross-border e-commerce supply chain by adopting blockchain. Moreover, we hope this study serves as a future direction for both researchers and engineers on leveraging blockchain to improve the supply chain management performance of the cross-border e-commerce. Full article
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