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Logistics and Supply Chain Management Challenges and Opportunities in the COVID-19 World – Smart, Agile and Sustainable Trends, Methods and Practices

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 April 2024 | Viewed by 19863

Special Issue Editors

Faculty of Engineering Management, Poznan University of Technology, Jacka Rychlewskiego 2, 60-965 Poznan, Poland
Interests: automotive engineering; transportation engineering; supply chain management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Head of Research unit on System Modeling for Industry, Department of Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
Interests: optimization; logistics; simulation; heuristics; modeling; scheduling; combinatorial optimization; discrete event simulation; discrete optimization; optimization modeling
Faculty of Engineering Management, Poznan University of Technology, Jacka Rychlewskiego 2, 60-965 Poznan, Poland
Interests: operations management; logistics; production planning; optimization; production; lean manufacturing; production management; production/operations management; simulation production engineering

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue encourages authors to contribute to the current research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on logistics and supply chain management. The supply chain disruptions caused by lockdowns highlighted the need for new strategies and solutions; a large, global transformation also occurred in the shift towards selling directly to customers; and the increased demand for E-commerce motivated the search for contactless, last-mile solutions. New smart technologies facilitated business operations and communications when shortages of staff and movement restrictions began to affect businesses. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on logistics and supply chain management is not fully known. Therefore, we encourage authors to contribute to the scientific discussion on the challenges and opportunities associated with the current COVID-19 climate.

The scope of the proposed Special Issue includes sustainable, agile and smart solutions in the logistics and supply chains in both pandemic and post pandemic applications. The Guest Editors (GEs) welcome high-quality research in the form of literature reviews, research papers and case studies that include, but are not restricted to, the following areas:

  • COVID-19-related disruptions in supply chains;
  • New solutions in logistics dedicated to E-commerce;
  • Contactless last-mile delivery;
  • Pandemic-related uncertainty and countering strategies in supply chains;
  • Post pandemic supply chain resilience;
  • New technologies supporting logistics and supply chain management in a post COVID-19 society;
  • Challenges in the sustainable logistics and supply chain management of a COVID-19 society;
  • Closed loop supply chains (reuse, recycling, remanufacturing) the COVID-19 society;
  • Green mobility in a COVID-19 society;
  • Reverse logistics in a turbulent environment;
  • Sustainability assessment in logistics and SCM in a turbulent environment;
  • Digitalization of logistics and supply chains during the pandemic;
  • Artificial intelligence, data mining and machine learning;
  • IoT applications to support supply chain resilience;
  • Multimodal processes modelling and simulation in logistics and supply chains.

Dr. Paulina Golinska-Dawson
Prof. Dr. Kanchana Sethanan
Dr. Karolina Werner-Lewandowska
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

  • contactless logistics
  • supply chain resilience
  • sustainable supply chain
  • sustainable logistics services
  • supply chain disruptions
  • impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on logistics service sector
  • smart logistics and supply chains
  • artificial intelligence applications in logistics and supply chains

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 1138 KiB  
Article
The Importance of the New Silk Road in the Hungarian Automotive Supply Chain
Sustainability 2023, 15(23), 16439; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152316439 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 680
Abstract
The connection between Europe and Asia has always been important for the flow of materials and intellectual goods. Hungary is in an important position in Central Europe to connect different key ports and logistics hubs. Therefore, this article aims to analyse the opportunities [...] Read more.
The connection between Europe and Asia has always been important for the flow of materials and intellectual goods. Hungary is in an important position in Central Europe to connect different key ports and logistics hubs. Therefore, this article aims to analyse the opportunities and impacts of the New Silk Road initiative on the supply chain and transportation network in Hungary. This result showed that the existence of the New Silk Road gives huge opportunities for different supply-chain-related activities and initiatives, especially for the Hungarian automotive industry. Specifically, the New Silk Road has the potential to enable the advantages and positive impact of rail transport activities in Hungarian automotive supply chains by providing a long-term competitive solution as an alternative to maritime transport while mitigating several related risks and increasing the domestic supply chain’s resilience. Consequentially, the New Silk Road initiative may affect the supply chains and transportation route networks of several European and Asian nations, including Hungary. Full article
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22 pages, 888 KiB  
Article
Role of Logistics Integration Capability in Enhancing Performance in Omni-Channel Retailing: Supply Chain Integration as Mediator
Sustainability 2023, 15(11), 9053; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15119053 - 03 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1475
Abstract
Although the importance and benefits of logistics integration in omni-channel (OC) retailing have been discussed in the literature, the impacts of logistics integration from the dimension of internal and external logistics remain unknown. To fill this gap, this study aims to investigate the [...] Read more.
Although the importance and benefits of logistics integration in omni-channel (OC) retailing have been discussed in the literature, the impacts of logistics integration from the dimension of internal and external logistics remain unknown. To fill this gap, this study aims to investigate the relationships among internal and external logistics integration capabilities, supply-chain integration (SCI), and financial performance (FP) in OC retailing based on the dynamic capability view. An empirical study is conducted based on a survey of 230 OC retailers in China’s market. Factor analysis and regression analysis are conducted to examine the hypotheses of the proposed conceptual model. The quantitative analyses show that the internal logistics integration capability is significantly related to the external logistics integration capability, and they both have positive effects on SCI, while the external logistics integration capability generates a higher impact (i.e., almost 1.5 times that of the internal logistics integration capability). The numerical results also demonstrate that the logistics integration capabilities and SCI have similar positive effects on FP (i.e., all the relevant regression coefficients show values around 0.25), and SCI plays a partial intermediary role in the relationships between logistics integration capabilities and FP. Furthermore, the quantitative evidence addresses the fact that the FP is not influenced by OC retailers’ characteristics, indicating a fair business environment in the OC retail industry. Full article
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19 pages, 9951 KiB  
Article
Impact of Market Drivers on the Digital Maturity of Logistics Processes in a Supply Chain
Sustainability 2023, 15(4), 3120; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15043120 - 08 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2073
Abstract
Logistics processes allow for the movement of goods along the supply chain to the customers. Companies are using digital solutions more widely to support their logistics processes. Current studies focus mainly on the intrinsic perspective of the digital maturity of logistics processes. Rarely [...] Read more.
Logistics processes allow for the movement of goods along the supply chain to the customers. Companies are using digital solutions more widely to support their logistics processes. Current studies focus mainly on the intrinsic perspective of the digital maturity of logistics processes. Rarely do previous studies consider the impact of external factors (e.g., market trends, as external drivers at the strategic level) on the digital maturity of logistics processes. In this paper, our aim is to propose a novel generic approach to measuring the level of adoption of digital technologies in logistics processes. We applied the maturity model theory to provide a generic framework for the assessment of different partners in supply chains (suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, e-tailers, logistics service providers) in a homogeneous way. We propose the five levels (Avoiding, Discovering, Adopting, Improving, Excelling) to measure the frequency of the application of the digital technologies with high intelligence in the domain of logistics processes. Furthermore, we investigate the relationship between the selected market trends, which are external drivers at the strategic level, and the digital maturity of logics processes. We conducted the survey among a group of 38 companies to classify their maturity level and then to test which market trends motivate them to digitalize their processes. We applied Bayesian statistics to test the level of the relationship between the digitalization of logistics processes and four market trends, namely, the sustainability, e-commerce, sharing economy, and speed-orientation of customers. The results show that all the trends tested moderately and positively influence the digital maturity of logistics processes. Full article
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19 pages, 1342 KiB  
Article
Modeling a Reverse Logistics Supply Chain for End-of-Life Vehicle Recycling Risk Management: A Fuzzy Risk Analysis Approach
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2142; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032142 - 23 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3066
Abstract
The automotive industry is one of the largest consumers of natural resources, and End-of-Life Vehicles (ELVs) form bulky wastes when they reach the end of their useful life, hence environmental concerns. Efficiency in recycling ELVs is therefore becoming a major concern to address [...] Read more.
The automotive industry is one of the largest consumers of natural resources, and End-of-Life Vehicles (ELVs) form bulky wastes when they reach the end of their useful life, hence environmental concerns. Efficiency in recycling ELVs is therefore becoming a major concern to address the number of ELVs collected and recycled to minimize environmental impacts. This paper seeks to describe several activities of a closed-loop reverse logistics supply chain for the collection and recycling of ELVs and to identify the related potential risks involved. This study further investigated the potential risks for managing the efficient recycling of ELVs by modeling and viewing the end-of-life vehicle (ELV) recycling system as a reverse logistics supply chain. ELV recycling steps and processes, including collection and transportation, as well as the laws and technologies, were analyzed for risk factor identification and analysis. The major aim of this research is to perform a unified hierarchical risk analysis to estimate the degree of risk preference to efficiently manage the ELV supply chain. This study also proposes a risk assessment procedure using fuzzy knowledge representation theory to support ELV risk analysis. As a result, the identified key risks were ranked in terms of their preference for occurrence in a reverse supply chain of ELV products and mapped into five risk zones, Very Low, Low, Medium-Low, Moderate, Serious, and Critical, for ease of visualization. Hence, with a step-by-step implementation of the presented solution, ELV recycling organizations will see benefits in terms of an improvement in their activities and thus reduced costs that may occur due to uncertainties in their overall ELV business. Full article
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19 pages, 1579 KiB  
Article
Challenges in Micro and Small Food Enterprises during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Ecuador
Sustainability 2022, 14(15), 9576; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14159576 - 04 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2159
Abstract
Micro and small enterprises (MSEs) play a significant role in developing countries such as Ecuador. The food and beverage industry is essential for Ecuador’s economy, contributing approximately 5% to its GDP. Focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on the industry, this mixed research [...] Read more.
Micro and small enterprises (MSEs) play a significant role in developing countries such as Ecuador. The food and beverage industry is essential for Ecuador’s economy, contributing approximately 5% to its GDP. Focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on the industry, this mixed research takes a qualitative and quantitative approach involving four stages: foundation, prefield, field, and reporting. The fieldwork was carried out when Ecuador’s economy reopened in September 2020, which saw demand increase gradually, production capacity recovering, mobility return to normal levels, and curfew restrictions reduced. As far as biosecurity protocols were concerned, communities were allowed to resume pre-pandemic activities, provided they complied with social distancing, permanent mask wearing, and strict cleaning procedures. The effect on each company’s process depends on the activities they adopted to mitigate the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic risk, e.g., service companies experienced, on average, a 22% cost increase due to the purchase of cleaning supplies, while manufacturing companies were more likely to have related measures in place and so the effect on them was on a comparatively smaller scale. Full article
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18 pages, 1250 KiB  
Article
Implications of the Relocation Type and Frequency for Shared Autonomous Bike Service: Comparison between the Inner and Complete City Scenarios for Magdeburg as a Case Study
Sustainability 2022, 14(10), 5798; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14105798 - 11 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1530
Abstract
Finding a sustainable mobility solution for the future is one of the most competitive challenges in the logistics and transportation sector nowadays. Researchers, universities, and companies are working intensively to provide novel mobility options that can be environmentally friendly and sustainable. While autonomous [...] Read more.
Finding a sustainable mobility solution for the future is one of the most competitive challenges in the logistics and transportation sector nowadays. Researchers, universities, and companies are working intensively to provide novel mobility options that can be environmentally friendly and sustainable. While autonomous car-sharing services have been introduced as a very promising solution, an innovative alternative is arising using self-driving bikes. Shared autonomous cargo bike fleets are likely to increase the livability and sustainability of the city as the use of cargo bikes in an on-demand mobility service can replace the use of cars for short-distance trips and enhance connectivity to public transportation. However, more research is still needed to develop this new concept. To address this research gap, this paper examines the on-demand shared-use autonomous bikes service (OSABS) from a fleet management perspective. In fact, such a system requires good management strategies in order to ensure its efficiency. Through an agent-based simulation of a case study in Magdeburg, we investigate various parameters that can influence the performance and the service quality of OSABS such as the rebalancing frequency and the relocation type. Tests were performed for two different operational areas: the inner city and the complete city of Magdeburg. We conclude with different management insights for an optimized functioning of the system. Full article
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23 pages, 2535 KiB  
Article
A Sustainable Supply Chain Network Model Considering Carbon Neutrality and Personalization
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4803; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084803 - 17 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1551
Abstract
The development of a carbon-neutral production and distribution method that minimizes the consumption of input resources and energy and facilitates resource recycling is an important global issue. Therefore, this study aimed to explore a new type of sustainable supply chain network (SSCN) that [...] Read more.
The development of a carbon-neutral production and distribution method that minimizes the consumption of input resources and energy and facilitates resource recycling is an important global issue. Therefore, this study aimed to explore a new type of sustainable supply chain network (SSCN) that focuses on carbon neutrality and personalization. The first significance of the SSCN model is that it combines carbon neutrality and personalization problems into one research framework for the sustainable development of corporate management environments. In addition, evaluation and optimization mechanisms are crucial for decision-making in an SSCN. Thus, in this study, a creative evaluation and optimization mechanism was developed as a second significance for the sustainable development of the supply chain. The model used two evaluation indices (EIs) to measure the performance of the entire network in terms of the degree of personalization and carbon neutrality. The proposed SSCN is formulated as a mathematical model using mixed-integer nonlinear programming, and it is implemented by combining two types of approaches: hypergeometric distribution and a genetic algorithm. The results show the evaluation values and comparisons by the average values of transportation cost, handling cost, fixed costs, carbon dioxide emission cost, total cost, and average processing time. In addition to providing help for mass-customized production enterprises, this study also provided constructive suggestions for the conversion of small or venture enterprises to multi-variety and small-scale production, and it suggests the direction of job creation for such enterprises. Full article
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19 pages, 2106 KiB  
Article
Differential Evolution Algorithm for Optimizing the Energy Usage of Vertical Transportation in an Elevator (VTE), Taking into Consideration Rush Hour Management and COVID-19 Prevention
Sustainability 2022, 14(5), 2581; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14052581 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2259
Abstract
This research aimed to develop an effective algorithm to minimize the energy use of vertical transportation in elevators while controlling the number of passengers in the elevator waiting area and the number of passengers in the elevator during rush hour, thus maintaining social [...] Read more.
This research aimed to develop an effective algorithm to minimize the energy use of vertical transportation in elevators while controlling the number of passengers in the elevator waiting area and the number of passengers in the elevator during rush hour, thus maintaining social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19. A mobile application and Internet of Things (IoT) devices were used to electronically communicate between the elevator’s control system and the passengers. IoT devices were used to reduce the number of passengers waiting for an elevator and passengers’ waiting time, while the energy consumption of the lift was reduced by using passenger scheduling and elevator stopping strategies. Three mathematical models were formulated to represent the different strategies used to cause the elevator to stop. These strategies were normal (allowing the elevator to stop at every floor), odd–even (some elevators are allowed to stop at odd floors and others are allowed to stop at even floors of the building), and high–low (some elevators are allowed to stop at high floors and others are allowed to stop at low floors of the building). Lingo v.11 and the differential evolution algorithm (DE) were used to address the optimal scheduling of the passengers and the elevators. The computational results show that the odd–even strategy had a 13.91–23.71% lower energy consumption compared with the high–low and normal strategies. Furthermore, the use of DE consumed 6.67–7.99% less energy than the use of Lingo.v11. Finally, the combination of DE and the designed application reduced the number of waiting passengers, the average passenger waiting time, and the total energy consumption by 74.55%, 75.12%, and 45.01%, respectively. Full article
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29 pages, 1735 KiB  
Article
A Game-Theoretic Approach for CSR Emergency Medical Supply Chain during COVID-19 Crisis
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1315; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031315 - 24 Jan 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3048
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused high fluctuations in the demand for medical supplies. Therefore, emergency medical supplies enterprises have faced challenges in decision making and need to consider more corporate social responsibility (CSR) in production. At the same time, the government needs to [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused high fluctuations in the demand for medical supplies. Therefore, emergency medical supplies enterprises have faced challenges in decision making and need to consider more corporate social responsibility (CSR) in production. At the same time, the government needs to take considerable measures to support emergency medical supplies enterprises. As such, our paper researches the decision and coordination problems for emergency medical supply chain considering CSR with the government, manufacturer, and retailer. The manufacturer produces emergency medical supplies. It has additional production technological innovation efforts to improve supply efficiency and assume CSR. The retailer faces uncertain demands and is responsible for undertaking CSR to meet the demands. The government must implement a certain degree of subsidies to ease the impact of the pandemic on emergency medical supply chain enterprises. Meanwhile, our paper further explores the obligations of the economy, society, and efficiency of enterprises under the COVID-19 pandemic and the decision making of enterprises for the implementation of CSR. Based on the principle of maximizing social welfare, we discuss decentralized decision making (without government and with government) and centralized decision making, respectively. On this basis, our paper not only designs a wholesale price–cost sharing joint contract coordination mechanism but also proves that a joint contract can achieve supply chain coordination under certain conditions. Through the analysis, we observe: (1) Government subsidies can improve the enthusiasm of supply chain members to undertake CSR; (2) With the improvement of the retailer’s CSR level, the profits of supply chain members and overall performance have improved to a certain degree; (3) To improve supply efficiency and assume social responsibility, the manufacturer implements technological innovation investment. However, it will impose some burden on the manufacturer. Government subsidies allow the manufacturer to balance between social responsibility and its profit. Full article
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