Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to authors, or important in this field. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Article
Towards Digital Twins of Multimodal Supply Chains
Logistics 2021, 5(2), 25; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/logistics5020025 - 26 Apr 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Both modern multi- and intermodal supply chains pose a significant challenge to control and maintain while offering numerous optimization potential. Digital Twins have been proposed to improve supply chains. However, as of today, they are only used for certain parts of the entire [...] Read more.
Both modern multi- and intermodal supply chains pose a significant challenge to control and maintain while offering numerous optimization potential. Digital Twins have been proposed to improve supply chains. However, as of today, they are only used for certain parts of the entire supply chain. This paper presents an initial framework for a holistic Digital Supply Chain Twin (DSCT) capable of including an entire multimodal supply chain. Such a DSCT promises to enable several improvements all across the supply chain while also be capable of simulating and evaluate several different scenarios for the supply chain. Therefore, the DSCT will not only be able to optimize multi- and intermodal supply chains but also makes them potentially more robust by identifying possible issues early on. This paper discusses the major requirements that such a DSCT must fulfil to be useful and how several information technologies that matured in recent years or are about the mature are the key enablers to fulfil these requirements. Finally, a suggested high-level architecture for such a DSCT is presented as a first step towards the realization of a DSCT, as presented in this work Full article
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Article
Developing a Sustainable Logistics Service Quality Scale for Logistics Service Providers in Egypt
Logistics 2021, 5(2), 21; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/logistics5020021 - 12 Apr 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
The role of sustainability has made it a vital point to measure companies’ financial performances and sustainability practices along the overall supply chain. Logistics service providers (LSPs) are among the supply chain actors that need to consider sustainability practices to present a better [...] Read more.
The role of sustainability has made it a vital point to measure companies’ financial performances and sustainability practices along the overall supply chain. Logistics service providers (LSPs) are among the supply chain actors that need to consider sustainability practices to present a better sustainable service. Therefore, we studied LSPs in Egypt, as Egypt has set sustainability goals in the logistics sector to be achieved by 2030. This research proposes a new sustainable logistics service quality (SLSQ) scale through reviewing the literature on sustainable service quality (SSQ) and logistics service quality (LSQ). While additional semi-structured interviews were conducted with LSP companies in Egypt to formulate the SLSQ scale for this specific region, the Q-sorting technique was used to confirm SLSQ measurements. Hence, we present a scale to evaluate Egypt’s overall LSPs’ service quality. Our research thereby contributes to the theory by proposing a new framework that measures the SLSQ in LSP companies in emerging countries and to the practice by tying the framework to accompany Egyptian law. The results are discussed against previous literature and concluded by showing limitations and potential future research avenues. Full article
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Article
Measuring Disruptions in Last-Mile Delivery Operations
Logistics 2021, 5(1), 17; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/logistics5010017 - 15 Mar 2021
Cited by 3
Abstract
The rapid growth of urbanisation and e-commerce has increased the number of home deliveries that need to be made in retail operations. Consequently, there is also an increase in unexpected incidents, such as adverse traffic, unavailability of parking space, and vehicle breakdowns. These [...] Read more.
The rapid growth of urbanisation and e-commerce has increased the number of home deliveries that need to be made in retail operations. Consequently, there is also an increase in unexpected incidents, such as adverse traffic, unavailability of parking space, and vehicle breakdowns. These disruptions result in delays, higher costs, and lower service levels in the last-mile delivery operation. Motivated by free, innovative, and efficient tools, such as the Google application programming interface (API) and Google OR, we built a model to measure the impact of disruptions in the last-mile delivery operation. Our model considers customers’ geographic information, speed estimation between nodes, routing optimisation, and disruption evaluation. Disruptions are considered here as external factors such as accidents and road works that imply the closure of or slow access to certain roads. Computational experiments, based on a set of real data from three different cities around the world, which contrast in size and characteristics (i.e., Boston, US; Bogotá, Colombia; and Pamplona, Spain), were conducted to validate our approach. The tests consider 50 different instances of up to 100 customers per city and analyse the impact of disruptions in terms of travelled time and distance. Our results provide managerial insights for key stakeholders (i.e., carriers, consumers, and government) to define policies and development plans that improve the resilience and capabilities of cities’ transportation systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Last Mile, E-Commerce and Sales Logistics)
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Article
Effective Demand Forecasting in Health Supply Chains: Emerging Trend, Enablers, and Blockers
Logistics 2021, 5(1), 12; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/logistics5010012 - 28 Feb 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Health supply chains aim to improve access to healthcare, and this can be attained only when health commodities appropriate to the health needs of the global population are developed, manufactured, and made available when and where needed. The weak links in the health [...] Read more.
Health supply chains aim to improve access to healthcare, and this can be attained only when health commodities appropriate to the health needs of the global population are developed, manufactured, and made available when and where needed. The weak links in the health supply chains are hindering the access of essential healthcare resulting in inefficient use of scarce resources and loss of lives. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and demand forecasting is one of the weakest links of health supply chains. Also, many of the existing bottlenecks in supply chains and health systems impede the accurate forecasting of demand, and without the ability to forecast demand with certainty, the stakeholders cannot plan and make commitments for the future. Forecasts are an important feeder for budgeting and logistics planning. Under this backdrop, the study examines how improved forecasting can lead to better short-term and long-term access to health commodities and outlines market-related risks. It explores further how incentives are misaligned creating an uneven distribution of risks, leading to the inability to match demand and supply. For this purpose, a systematic literature review was performed, analyzing 71 articles from a descriptive and content approach. Findings indicate the emerging trends in global health and the consequences of inaccurate demand forecasting for health supply chains. The content analysis identifies key factors that can pose a varying degree of risks for the health supply chain stakeholders. The study highlights how the key factors emerge as enablers and blockers, depending on the impact on the overall health supply chains. The study also provides recommendations for actions for reducing these risks. Consequently, limitations of this work are presented, and opportunities are identified for future lines of research. Finally, the conclusion confirms that by adopting a combination of approaches, stakeholders can ensure better information sharing, identify avenues of diversifying risks, and understand the implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gaming Simulations in Health Care Logistics)
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Article
A Model for Demand Planning in Supply Chains with Congestion Effects
Logistics 2021, 5(1), 3; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/logistics5010003 - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
This paper is concerned with demand planning for internal supply chains consisting of workstations, production facilities, warehouses, and transportation links. We address the issue of how to help a supplier firmly accept orders and subsequently plan to fulfill demand. We first formulate a [...] Read more.
This paper is concerned with demand planning for internal supply chains consisting of workstations, production facilities, warehouses, and transportation links. We address the issue of how to help a supplier firmly accept orders and subsequently plan to fulfill demand. We first formulate a linear aggregate planning model for demand management that incorporates elements of order promising, recipe run constraints, and capacity limitations. Using several scenarios, we discuss the use of the model in demand planning and capacity planning to help a supplier firmly respond to requests for quotations. We extend the model to incorporate congestion effects at assembly and blending nodes using clearing functions; the resulting model is nonlinear. We develop and test two algorithms to solve the nonlinear model: one based on inner approximation and the other on outer approximation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Supplier, Government and Procurement Logistics)
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Article
Financial Spillover Effects in Supply Chains: Do Customers and Suppliers Really Benefit?
Logistics 2020, 4(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics4010006 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Studies have shown that leading supply chain companies are associated with significantly higher company financial ratios than competitors. In contrast, little research has focused on the financial performance of the affiliated suppliers and customers of such supply chain leader (SCL) companies. Thus, the [...] Read more.
Studies have shown that leading supply chain companies are associated with significantly higher company financial ratios than competitors. In contrast, little research has focused on the financial performance of the affiliated suppliers and customers of such supply chain leader (SCL) companies. Thus, the central purpose of this paper is to determine, from a financial perspective, whether suppliers and customers benefit or lose by participating in a SCL network (so called “financial spillover effects”). Companies that were ranked in the Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 were selected as SCLs. For each selected firm, the five largest suppliers and customers were identified and compared with a control sample from the same industry. In order to elaborate on existing insights into the (financial) outcome of supply chain relationships, we applied an explorative approach with abductive reasoning, while comparing the secondary data for 224 SCL supplier (56 firms) and 168 SCL customer (42 firms) firm-years with 1940 (485 firms) and 1544 (386 firms) control firm-years, respectively. The following insights are made: First, the superior financial performance of SCLs was confirmed. Second, the financial performance of suppliers and customers showed superior liquidity and activity ratios but inferior profitability ratios. Third, suppliers showed much more significant results than customers. Full article
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Article
Future Outlook of Highway Operations with Implementation of Innovative Technologies Like AV, CV, IoT and Big Data
Logistics 2019, 3(2), 15; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/logistics3020015 - 19 Jun 2019
Cited by 18
Abstract
In the last couple of decades, there has been an unparalleled growth in number of people who can afford motorized vehicles. This is increasing the number of vehicles on roads at an alarming rate and existing infrastructure and conventional methods of traffic management [...] Read more.
In the last couple of decades, there has been an unparalleled growth in number of people who can afford motorized vehicles. This is increasing the number of vehicles on roads at an alarming rate and existing infrastructure and conventional methods of traffic management are becoming inefficient both on highways and in urban areas. It is very important that our highways are up and running 24/7 as they not only provide a passage for human beings to move from one place to another, but also are the most important mode for intercity or international transfer of goods. There is an utter need of adapting the new world order, where daily processes are driven with the help of innovative technologies. It is highly likely that technological advancements like autonomous or connected vehicles, big data and the Internet of things can provide highway operators with a solution that might resolve unforeseeable challenges. This investigative exploratory research identifies and highlights the impact of new technological advancements in the automotive industry on highways and highway operators. The data for this research was collected on a Likert scale type online survey, from different organizations around the world (actively or passively involved in highway operations). The data was further tested for its empirical significance with non-parametric binomial and Wilcoxon signed rank tests, supported by a descriptive analysis. The results of this study are in line with theoretical and conceptual work done by several independent corporations and academic researchers. It is evident form the opinions of seasoned professionals that these technological advancements withhold the potential to resolve all potential challenges and revolutionize highway operations. Full article
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Article
Burning Rubber or Burning Out? The Influence of Role Stressors on Burnout among Truck Drivers
Logistics 2019, 3(1), 6; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/logistics3010006 - 07 Feb 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Professional truck drivers are prone to both physical and psychological stress. Such stress can lead to burnout. Drawing on Job Demands Resources literature and stress research, we investigate the relationship between job related role stressors and three components of burnout, among professional truck [...] Read more.
Professional truck drivers are prone to both physical and psychological stress. Such stress can lead to burnout. Drawing on Job Demands Resources literature and stress research, we investigate the relationship between job related role stressors and three components of burnout, among professional truck drivers who are based in the Netherlands. They were surveyed with a time-lagged design (interval of two months). In the first wave, the different potential causes of burnout were measured (role conflict, role ambiguity, quality of sleep, and the perceived emotional intelligence of the dispatcher). In the second wave, the three elements of burnout were measured: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and low personal accomplishment. The results of our study indicate that role conflict relates positively to all three components of a burnout. The emotional intelligence of the dispatcher—as perceived by the truck drivers—was negatively related with the three components of a burnout. Finally, the quality of sleep had an impact on depersonalization and emotional exhaustion. Theoretically, several job specific role stressors are confirmed to play a role in truck driver burnout. However, the top three role stressors all appeared to be related to the trucking industry, instead of a particular employer, and they may therefore require national policy measures. Full article
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Article
Blockchain for and in Logistics: What to Adopt and Where to Start
Logistics 2018, 2(3), 18; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/logistics2030018 - 03 Sep 2018
Cited by 95
Abstract
Despite the claim that blockchain will revolutionise business and redefine logistics, existing research so far is limited concerning frameworks that categorise blockchain application potentials and their implications. In particular, academic literature in transport and logistics to date has not sufficiently distinguished between blockchain [...] Read more.
Despite the claim that blockchain will revolutionise business and redefine logistics, existing research so far is limited concerning frameworks that categorise blockchain application potentials and their implications. In particular, academic literature in transport and logistics to date has not sufficiently distinguished between blockchain adoption (‘what to adopt’) and the identification of the right business opportunity (‘where to start’). In response, this paper (1) uses Rogers’ (2003) ‘attributes of innovation framework’ to identify potential blockchain applications and (2) presents a framework explicating four transformation phases to subsequently categorise the identified areas of application according to their effects on organisational structures and processes. Using academic and practitioner literature, we classify possible applications for adoption and provide a framework to identify blockchain opportunities in the logistics industry, thereby helping managers to systematically assess where to start building organisational capabilities in order to successfully adopt and deploy blockchain-based technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchain in Logistics)
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Article
Use of Bayesian Networks to Analyze Port Variables in Order to Make Sustainable Planning and Management Decision
Logistics 2018, 2(1), 5; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/logistics2010005 - 11 Jan 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
In the current economic, social and political environment, society demands a greater variety of outcomes from the public logistics sector, such as efficiency, efficiency of managed resources, greater transparency and business performance. All of them are an indispensable counterpart for its recognition and [...] Read more.
In the current economic, social and political environment, society demands a greater variety of outcomes from the public logistics sector, such as efficiency, efficiency of managed resources, greater transparency and business performance. All of them are an indispensable counterpart for its recognition and support. In case of port planning and management, many variables are included. Use of Bayesian Networks allows to classify, predict and diagnose these variables and even to estimate the subsequent probability of unknown variables, basing on the known ones. Research includes a data base with more than 40 variables, which have been classified as smart port studies in Spain. Then a network was generated using a non-cyclic conducted grafo, which shows port variable relationships. As conclusion, economic variables are cause of the rest of categories and they represent a parent role in the most of cases. Furthermore, if environmental variables are known, subsequent probability of social variables can be estimated. Full article
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Article
The Social Investment Capital and the Cargo Volume Transported by Sea: A VAR Approach for Vietnam
Logistics 2017, 1(2), 8; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/logistics1020008 - 26 Sep 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
Social investment capital is one of the factors in Vietnam’s economic growth. It also has a broad impact on many manufacturing and service sectors in the national economy, including maritime transport. This article will apply a quantitative method named vector autoregression (VAR) to [...] Read more.
Social investment capital is one of the factors in Vietnam’s economic growth. It also has a broad impact on many manufacturing and service sectors in the national economy, including maritime transport. This article will apply a quantitative method named vector autoregression (VAR) to define the impacts of social investment capital on the quantity of cargo transported by sea. Special attention will be paid to investment from the government and foreign investors. Recommendations will be suggested to improve the current situation of shipping companies in particular, and the shipping industry in general in Vietnam. Full article
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