Call for papers – Special issue on “Collaborative Logistics”

Dear Colleagues,

The growing call for more sustainability – socially, economically, and environmentally – unveils the limitations of our current logistical system. Despite huge efforts to improve the efficiency of individual company operations, a large gap remains between the performance of the current system and the ambitious goals set by policy makers and corroborated by our society for the near and distant future.

The future vision on logistics is built upon the idea of collaboration, and relies on the integration of logistical operations beyond company boundaries. Through active synchronization of flows within a shared logistical network (often referred to as a ‘physical internet’), companies co-create synergies that could not have been seized by operating individually.

Over the last decade, multiple small-size (up to 3-4 companies) case studies and (theoretical) research simulations have proven the potential of logistics collaboration in terms of cost, CO2 emissions, vehicle utilization, etc. At the same time, collaborative logistics can be associated with new and various challenges such as the need for appropriate cost, benefit or resource allocation models. Existing research, however, remains scarce and scattered. The planning of the logistical operations for a horizontal coalition is generally isolated from the allocation mechanisms and is mainly limited to a unimodal setting, i.e., using only a single mode of transport (typically trucks). Also, aspects related to differences in decision power, the need for more decentralization to guarantee scalability of the network, pricing, and the extension towards multi- or synchromodal environments are some of the aspects that are currently underrepresented (or not considered at all) in the literature.

This special issue aims to contribute to the discussion on how collaborative logistics can catalyze the transition towards a new, more sustainable organization of our logistical system. Authors are cordially invited to submit original research papers, review articles, empirical studies, and case studies for this special issue to Logistics until 1 October 2021. Topics covered are, but are not limited to:

  • Multi-partner logistics
  • Gain sharing / cost allocation methods
  • Collaborative vehicle routing and other collaborative planning/optimization problems
  • Multi-modal / synchromodal networks
  • The physical internet
  • Decentralized decision making in logistics
  • Case studies on collaborative logistics

For more information and paper submission: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/logistics/special_issues/collaborative_logistics. We look forward to your submissions.

dr. Christof Defryn (Maastricht University), Guest editor dr. Lotte Verdonck (Hasselt University), Co-guest editor Prof. dr. Kenneth Sörensen (University of Antwerp), Co-guest editor

Keywords: Collaborative logistics; joint route planning; cost allocation; cooperative games; synchromodality; physical internet

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