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Title: Sustainable forward and reverse logistics practices across competing supply chains
Author: Triantafyllou, Maria K.
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2012
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In recent years, rapid changes in markets including outsourcing and globalisation of trade and production systems have led to a dramatic upsurge of interest in retail logistics with the aim to minimise operational and logistics costs, improve responsiveness and ameliorate customer services. The notable massification and commodification of production and consumption have created structural changes in traditional urban distribution systems with the establishment of peripheral transshipment and hub systems. In the light of sustainable development, green logistics and transparency on emissions have become a further requirement conforming to the times with a special focus being placed on the logistics of collecting, processing and recycling waste materials. This has increased the need to develop more efficient and effective city distribution plans and to establish optimised logistics models which will integrate the delivery of materials and the collection of waste and returns in order to reduce congestion, costs and emissions. To this end, this thesis aims to investigate opportunities to improve existing delivery mechanisms in a dedicated shopping centre in the UK in order to minimise freight activity and emissions, while optimising the reverse flow system for product returns and waste. Using a substantial database of logistics operations compiled for 92 businesses in Southampton’s shopping centre, the study aimed to understand the current opportunities to better utilise the existing back-load capacity and assess the potential logistical and environmental savings that could arise from the use of a peripheral consolidation centre for core goods and waste. Following statistical analysis on WestQuay managers, logistics providers, waste contractors and head offices responses it was found that the fill rates of delivery vehicles were considerably low and therefore there was a great potential to increase back-load rates and consolidation among loads of different businesses. In examining the waste and return flows it was found that there were already centrally managed collections of general waste and some recyclables and therefore further opportunities to reduce the logistics and environmental impact would lie into the consolidation of forward traffic and the back-loading of specific waste streams such as hazardous materials. The examination however of specific case study examples exhibited the variety in the characteristics and properties of hazardous wastes and the role of material-specific legislation on the way different waste streams should be managed and disposed of which limited the collaboration opportunities among businesses producing different waste streams. Instead the study highlighted the considerable transport, environmental and economic gains that could be achieved by individual businesses through the use of regional waste contractors and recycling sites. With regard to the consolidation of forward flows, the study reviewed a number of existing consolidation schemes and their characteristics to identify potential strengths, weaknesses and risks that would impact on the operation of a consolidation centre in the outskirts of Southampton. Various scenarios regarding the operation of the consolidation scheme were examined considering different take up combinations among different vehicle modes and loads. The scenario analysis suggested that the establishment of the consolidation centre could offer great opportunities to reduce the overall urban freight activity, while mitigating the environmental impacts and cutting down the total costs to businesses.
Supervisor: Cherrett, Thomas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD28 Management. Industrial Management ; HF Commerce ; TE Highway engineering. Roads and pavements