The fit between food product characteristics and logistics solution
Paper in proceedings, 2013
Purpose – This paper develops a conceptual framework for how to identify a fit between food product characteristics and logistics solutions within transportation, warehousing and material handling. Focus is on tactical decisions within an existing supply chain structure.
Design/methodology/approach - The research is based on literature studies, workshops with experts from Swedish Institute for Food Science and examples from companies active in the food supply chain.
Findings – It is identified that product value, demand and supply uncertainty, shelf life and product sensitiveness places requirements on transportation, warehousing and material handling in terms of costs, flexibility, time and quality. A two step framework is developed which identifies what the risks are of conflicting requirements of the product characteristics on the logistics solution.
Research limitations/implications - Limitations of the paper are connected to the conceptual nature of the framework and the use of only four practical examples. Further research is to apply the framework in practice and the use of other perspective as the point of departure, e.g. strategic decisions and supply chain processes such as sourcing, purchasing, and manufacturing.
Practical implications – Food supply chain actors involved in transportation, warehousing and material handling can use the framework in discussions of appropriate logistics solutions within an existing supply chain structure depending on a product’s characteristics.
Originality/value - This paper, in comparison to previous studies within food supply chain management, contributes by taking a wide focus on food products and including all actors in the supply chain. It adds the perspective of transportation, warehousing and material handling to existing frameworks and recognises the importance of the surrounding environment affecting the product quality as the product move through the supply chain.
food supply chain