Manufacturing, storage, and transportation processes are typically facilitated by pallets, containers, and other reusable transport items (RTIs) designed to guarantee many cycles along a lifespan of several years. As a consequence, both supply and reverse transportation of RTIs need to be managed to avoid stockout along the supply chain and the unsustainable production of new tools from virgin materials. This paper focuses on the business of pallet management by analyzing the transport operations of a pallet pooling network serving a large-scale nationwide retailer. The pooler is responsible for supplying, collecting, and refurbishing pallets. The combination of the pooler's management strategies with different retailer network configurations results in different pooling scenarios, which are assessed and compared in this paper through a what-if analysis. The logistical and environmental impacts generated by the pallet distribution activities are quantified per each scenario through a tailored software incorporating Geographic Information System (GIS) and routing functionalities. Findings from this analysis suggest how to reduce vehicle distance traveled (vehicles-km) by 65% and pollutant emissions by 60% by combining network infrastructures and pooling management strategies-identifying an empirical best practice for managers of pallet businesses.

Environmental impacts of reusable transport items: A case study of pallet pooling in a retailer supply chain

Accorsi R.;Baruffaldi G.;Manzini R.;Pini C.
2019

Abstract

Manufacturing, storage, and transportation processes are typically facilitated by pallets, containers, and other reusable transport items (RTIs) designed to guarantee many cycles along a lifespan of several years. As a consequence, both supply and reverse transportation of RTIs need to be managed to avoid stockout along the supply chain and the unsustainable production of new tools from virgin materials. This paper focuses on the business of pallet management by analyzing the transport operations of a pallet pooling network serving a large-scale nationwide retailer. The pooler is responsible for supplying, collecting, and refurbishing pallets. The combination of the pooler's management strategies with different retailer network configurations results in different pooling scenarios, which are assessed and compared in this paper through a what-if analysis. The logistical and environmental impacts generated by the pallet distribution activities are quantified per each scenario through a tailored software incorporating Geographic Information System (GIS) and routing functionalities. Findings from this analysis suggest how to reduce vehicle distance traveled (vehicles-km) by 65% and pollutant emissions by 60% by combining network infrastructures and pooling management strategies-identifying an empirical best practice for managers of pallet businesses.
SUSTAINABILITY
Accorsi R.; Baruffaldi G.; Manzini R.; Pini C.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
sustainability-11-03147.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Final Published Version (Open Access)
Tipo: Versione (PDF) editoriale
Licenza: Licenza per Accesso Aperto. Creative Commons Attribuzione (CCBY)
Dimensione 4.41 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
4.41 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/690042
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 15
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 14
social impact