Sustainable operations in reusable food packaging networks

Forskningsoutput: Kapitel i bok/rapport/Conference proceedingKapitel samlingsverk


This chapter explores the processes of a typical logistics network for the management of reusable packaging for food products. While the
impacts associated with packaging waste in the food sector are well known, the adoption of reusable crates or handling systems for food
items entails many logistics processes such as storage, transportation, and cleaning, whose impact needs to be quantified and assessed
with cost-benefit analysis. This chapter thus presents a methodology and a decision-support tool used to quantify the logistic and environmental
impacts associated with packaging distribution in the closed-loop network between growers, retailers, and the pooler.
This methodology allows quantifying of the performance of the as-is scenario and predicting the savings of choosing intermodal
transport solutions (i.e., railways, seaways) for the delivery and collection of reusable plastic crates (RPCs) for fruits and vegetables.
The methodology is applied to a multiscenario what-if analysis of a case study provided by an Italian pooler operating in the retail food
supply chain. The results are generated through a decision-support tool, which embeds a geographic information system (GIS) and
realizes data-driven assessment of storage and distribution operations experienced by RPCs.
We quantified some categories of impacts among the set of greenhouse gases emissions (GHGs) resulting from transportation and
associated costs. The results showcase a total transportation cost reduction of 11.7% in the to-be scenario, while the number of kilograms
of CO2eq decreases by 9.2%.
The contribution of this chapter lies in the investigation of the environmental sustainability of a packaging closed-loop network (CLN)
for food products. Moreover, we decided to limit the boundaries of the analysis to the transport process, which is often neglected and
underrated in typical life cycle assessment (LCA). Findings from this chapter represent practical suggestions and strategic guidelines for
managers and practitioners of reusable package systems toward more sustainable operations.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • University of Bologna

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Transportteknik och logistik
Titel på värdpublikationSustainable Food Supply Chains
Undertitel på gästpublikationPlanning, Design, and Control through Interdisciplinary Methodologies
FörlagAcademic Press
Antal sidor304
ISBN (tryckt)978-0-12-813411-5
StatusPublished - 2019 jun 12
Peer review utfördNej