Concepts for Sustainable End Consumer Movements in City Supply Chains: Sustainability-Related Requirements

Concepts for Sustainable End Consumer Movements in City Supply Chains: Sustainability-Related Requirements

Oana Stefana Mitrea, Kyandoghere Kyamakya
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0001-8.ch005
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Traffic chaos, stress, congestion, environmental pollution, as well as the social problems resulting from the uncoordinated shopping trips of private citizens and companies and online deliveries represent key problems of the modern cities. In our opinion, their solving requires an intelligent coordination of the end-consumer supply-chain-related actions and movements, which should be based on mutual visibility, self-organization, and cooperation of the involved actors. This chapter presents and comments from a sustainability perspective several IT concepts that can optimize the modern ECM (end-consumer movements) related logistics. They rely on the intelligent coordination of end-consumers demands (ranging from short-term to long-term), the resulting reduction of supply-chain-related traffic, and the networking of social resources involved in such city supply chains. The focus is placed on the creation of multidimensional synergies among the involved actors on all scales and the support of the participative supply-chain networks, which are driven by end-users.
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Definition Of Key Concepts

The normative concepts “sustainability” and “sustainable development” have emerged from the growing concerns of society, economy, and politics about the persistent global environmental, development, and energy crises. At the present the reference to environmental, social, and economical dimensions in sustainability – the so called “three bottom line of sustainability” - has become the standard of any approach to sustainability and the basis for concrete actions (Weltgipfel Rio, 2015, Agenda 21, 2015).

In the context of the sustainable growth it is emphasized that: “curbing mobility is not an option” (European Commission, 2011, p. 8). The recent socio-economic changes such as globalization, flexibilization of work, and societal individualization have boosted people’s and goods’ mobility: larger volumes of fright and greater numbers of travelers are expected for the next decade. This does call for innovative solutions for their transport to the destination by the most efficient (combination of) modes (EC, 2011, p. 8).

Logistics and particularly fright transport have received much attention in the recent sustainability debate which involves a variety of concepts such as green logistics, lean logistics, supply chain management (Macharis et al., 2014).

Logistics can be defined as: “the integrated management of all the activities required to move products through the supply chain. For a typical product this supply chain extends from a raw material source through the production and distribution system to the point of consumption and the associated reverse logistics. The logistical activities comprise freight transport, storage, inventory management, materials handling and all the related information processing.” (, para. 1). While green logistics mainly focuses on the reduction of the environmental effects, sustainable logistics strongly considers the economic and social implications of activities as well (Macharis. et al., 2014). For an extensive review of the literature on sustainable supply-chain performance and optimization, see Bouchery (2012), concerning the modeling and performance assessment of the Green Supply Chains, see Aref, Helms & Sarkis (2005).

Depending on the type of goods transported and the purpose of trips, there is a distinction in logistics between the transport services of professional carriers (freighters, postal companies, international delivery services), which trips mainly concern the first or the last mile delivery within a longer transport chain; fright transport carried by the producers or traders (such as Pizza companies); transport of goods and tools to carry out certain services (ex. communal services) and private trips associated with the transport of goods (Reiter & Wrighton, 2014). Reiter and Wrighton (2014) emphasize that although “private trips associated with the transport of goods (by a delivery service or by private individuals themselves) are often not considered as logistics”, they do belong to this category. (Reiter and Wrighton, 2014, p. 1) Private logistics consists of shopping as well as the transport of goods in the area of leisure traffic (Reiter & Wrighton, 2014, p.1). Because the individual trips for shopping and daily errands occupy a central place in the unchained mobility of goods in cities (Russo & Comi, 2012) they are particularly relevant for a sustainable city logistics.

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