Simulating Fresh Food Supply Chains by Integrating Product Quality
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The logistics of perishable goods differs significantly from non-perishable items due to various uncertainties related to seasonable fluctuating supply and demand. Operational research models represent powerful tools to handle such growing complexity and uncertainties. This work focuses on the integration of product quality and aims to minimize food losses during storage and transport. A generic keeping quality model, which models quality losses based on storage temperatures and durations, is implemented in a discrete event simulation. To test the model, the strawberry supply chain of Lower Austria is investigated. The impacts of integrated shelf life information in stock rotation schemes and tailored delivery strategies are discussed. Results indicate that stock rotation schemes, which integrate product qualities, and tailored delivery strategies substantially reduce food losses.
KeywordsDiscrete event simulation Shelf life Fresh fruits Food loss Food logistics
This work was financially supported by the program Mobility of the Future (grant number 859 148), an initiative of the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology. The authors are grateful for this support.
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