Reducing Transport Miles Through the Use of Mobile Hubs: A Case Study in Local Food Supply Chains

Sanders, Isabella
Montreuil, Benoit
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Though environmentally friendly in many regards, local supply chains are often inefficient due to lack of proper infrastructure. This paper explores the use and placement of mobile hubs for consolidation and distribution of goods in local supply chains. Specifically, we look at local food supply chains where food typically travels from rural farms to suburban and urban restaurants. Currently, consolidation is minimal and not optimized in these supply chains. This paper computes suitability and location analysis through a novel multi-criterion scoring methodology utilizing kernel density and network analysis. The effectiveness of these mobile hubs is assessed through strategic routing, where the routes are optimized for time and distance. Results indicate that on average mobile hubs do in fact reduce mileage and number of stops, lessening emissions in addition to saving time and money. The proposed methodology can be implemented in other local supply chains to better consolidate and distribute goods.
Location Intelligence Research, food supply chain, location intelligence, logistics hub, mobile hub
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