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A joint sustainable order-packing vehicle routing optimisation for the cold chain e-fulfilment

Tsang, Y.P.; Ma, Haoran; Tan, K.H.; Lee, C.K.M.

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Authors

Y.P. Tsang

Haoran Ma

KIM TAN kim.tan@nottingham.ac.uk
Professor of Operations and Innovation Management

C.K.M. Lee



Abstract

Due to the new normal caused by the pandemic, consumer behaviour has now shifted to online shopping not only for general commodities but also for food and other perishable products. Therefore, e-commerce fulfilment is now integrated with cold chain capabilities to satisfy stringent requirements on time-criticality and product quality, leading to the concept of cold chain e-fulfilment. Aiming to achieve the desired insulation effect within a specific timeframe, use of thermal packaging materials could be excessive, which creates an adverse environmental impact on our ecosystem. Aligning with low-carbon business practices, this study proposes a novel joint optimization model, namely the Joint Optimization of Sustainable Order Packing and Multi-Temperature Delivery Problem (JOSOPMDP), for order packing and vehicle routing decisions, where the optimal packaging and distribution solution is achieved through the combinatorial optimisation of two complicated problems, rather than making two independent decisions. It promotes sustainable use of thermal packaging materials without negatively influencing product quality and customer satisfaction. To evaluate its viability and performance, three sets of computational experiments are subsequently conducted. It is found that the proposed model is feasible to strike a balance between order packing and vehicle routing decisions. Compared with the traditional strategy, the average total cost and satisfaction level are improved by 3.26% and 47.88%, respectively. Consequently, this research fosters sustainable thinking in the cold chain e-fulfilment process, minimizing environmental impact.

Citation

Tsang, Y., Ma, H., Tan, K., & Lee, C. (2024). A joint sustainable order-packing vehicle routing optimisation for the cold chain e-fulfilment. Annals of Operations Research, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10479-024-05949-y

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 13, 2024
Online Publication Date Apr 6, 2024
Publication Date Apr 6, 2024
Deposit Date Apr 19, 2024
Publicly Available Date Apr 19, 2024
Print ISSN 0254-5330
Electronic ISSN 1572-9338
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10479-024-05949-y
Keywords Sustainability; Order packing; Last mile delivery; Cold chain; E-fulfilment
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/33837615
Publisher URL https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10479-024-05949-y

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