June 20, 2017 - June 20, 2017
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Benjamin LEGROS, Yann BOUCHERY and Jan FRANSOO
The role of consignees in empty container management
Nowadays, the majority of consumer goods is transported into a maritime container during at least one stage of the journey. Besides the many advantages of containerization, the management of empty containers is a key issue responsible for costly repositioning operations. This article investigates the potential for consignees to manage an inventory of empty containers at their location so as to enable direct reuse of these containers by shippers located in the surroundings. Our model aims at minimizing inventory holding and repositioning costs. These costs are not always linear and often depend on the age of the container in the system. The problem is modeled as a Markov decision process and we use the value iteration method to identify the optimal inventory policy as a threshold policy in the age of the oldest container in stock. We identify closed-form formulas for this optimal threshold. We analyze the impact of this proactive management of empty containers by the consignees on the level of direct container reuse. We show that this practice is very promising to enable a high level of direct reuse, but we also highlight that the consignees have little interest in implementing such a solution in the current settings of container supply chains. We consequently propose remedies illustrated via a series of insights.
Dr. Yann Bouchery is an Assistant Professor at EM Normandie (France). He received a Master Degree in Industrial Engineering and Management from Lund University (Sweden) as well as a Master Degree in Industrial Management and Logistics from Ecole Centrale Lille (France). He obtained a PhD in Operations Management from Ecole Centrale Paris (France) in 2012. His PhD research dealt with sustainable supply chain optimization with a special focus on inventory models. He spent two years at Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands) as a postdoc researcher. His research mainly focused on a Dinalog project called “Cargo driven intermodal transportation”. This project aimed at studying container flows management at the cargo level and focused on both economic and environmental performances optimization. His main research interests are on Sustainable Operations and Hinterland Logistics for Containerized Cargo. He has published articles in academic journals such as International Journal of Production Economics, European Journal of Operational Research and Flexible Service & Manufacturing Journal. He has also co-edited a research-based textbook entitled “Sustainable Supply Chains” in the Springer Series in Supply Chain Management with Prof. Charles Corbett, Prof. Jan Fransoo and Dr. Tarkan Tan. Dr. Yann Bouchery is a member of POMS, EUROMA and INFORMS and he is a board member of the French “Pôle de Compétitivité” Nov@log
Location: TU/e, Building 62, Paviljoen F9. Feel free to join, if you are interested!
Eindhoven University of Technology