A cost-efficient method to optimize package size in emerging markets

A cost-efficient method to optimize package size in emerging markets

By: Christopher Mejía Argueta

October 3, 2015

  • Author(s):
    Gamez-Alban, H. M., Soto-Cardona, O.C., Mejia-Argueta, C. & Sarmiento, A. T.

  • Appeared In: European Journal of Operational Research
  • Volume: 241, 2015
  • Issue: 3
  • Pages: 917 – 926


  • Packaging links the entire supply chain and coordinates all participants in the process to give a flexible and effective response to customer needs in order to maximize satisfaction at optimal cost. This research proposes an optimization model to define the minimum total cost combination of outer packs in various distribution channels with the least opening ratio (the percentage of total orders requiring the opening of an outer pack to exactly meet the demand). A simple routine to define a feasible start point is proposed to reduce the complexity caused by the number of possible combinations. A Fast-Moving Consumer Goods company in an emerging economy (Colombia) is analyzed to test the proposed methodology. The main findings are useful for emerging markets in that they provide significant savings in the whole supply chain and insights into the packaging problem.


Christopher Mejía Argueta

Christopher Mejía Argueta is a Postdoctoral fellow in the Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences department at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in the Netherlands. Prior to joining TU/e, he was the academic leader at the Center for Latin-American Logistics Innovation (CLI) from the MIT SCALE Network in Bogota where he developed dozens of projects with industry, research centers and Latin-American universities related to disaster response, urban logistics, supply chain strategy, packaging, transportation, multicriteria decision making and last-mile delivery in emerging markets.

He holds a MSc. (2009) and a PhD. (2013) in Industrial Engineering from Tecnologico de Monterrey (Mexico) where he carried out research at the Industrial Engineering Research Center and at the Trade and Logistics Innovation Center (ITESM-Georgia Tech alliance). During his graduate studies, he analyzed logistic operations in intermodal transportation networks for the importation of spare parts by using multicriteria optimization, he developed a research regarding workforce optimization at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in Palo Alto and his PhD research work (resulting from a stay at UPC/Universidad de Malaga in Spain) tackled integrated humanitarian logistic operations during the preparation and response phases for frequent floods via multicriteria optimization, heuristics and geographic information systems.

Christopher has given talks for different topics related to applied research, innovation and supply chain management to practitioners, governmental authorities, undergraduate and graduate students in Latin America. He is also an active participant at academic conferences especially in POMS, INFORMS, IFORS, APMOD, MCDM and MIT SCALE. Christopher is referee for a set of Latin-American journals and international journals such as European Journal of Operational Research and Transportation Research in which he has published his research. Additionally he is an associate researcher at CLI and he also serves as a consultant for some governmental committees.