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Food Chain Research


International Journal of Production Economics

Economic and environmental assessment of reusable plastic containers: A food catering supply chain case study


"Economic and environmental assessment of reusable plastic containers: A food catering supply chain case study"

Accorsi R., Cascini A., Cholette S., Manzini R., Mora C.

Increasing concern for sustainability compels citizens and enterprises to reduce waste and encourage recycling, reuse and remanufacturing of end-of-life products. Since packaging is one of the most relevant waste sources, attention to packaging design and management is warranted, especially in sectors where packaging is integral to handling and transportation, i.e. the fresh food supply chain. The analysis of a product's life cycle highlights potential sources of waste throughout the food supply chain (FSC).

This paper proposes an original conceptual framework for the integrated design of a food packaging and distribution network. The framework's generality supports application to different food manufacturing and distribution supply chains. The paper considers fresh fruit and vegetable flow throughout a food catering chain, from vendors to final customers. The paper compares a multi-use system to traditional single-use packaging (e.g. wooden boxes, disposable plastic crates and cardboard boxes) to quantify the economic returns and environmental impacts of the reusable plastic container (RPC). Life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology is used to evaluate the carbon footprint (CF) associated with the life cycle of packages in this distribution network. Sensitivity analysis explores how drivers and parameters (i.e. RPC lifespan, washing rate, waste disposal treatment, network geography) alter the environmental and economic impacts. The paper concludes with implications of the results and suggestions for further investigation.

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Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment

A comparison of shipping containers from technical, economic and environmental perspectives


"A comparison of shipping containers from technical, economic and environmental perspectives"

Accorsi R., Manzini R., Ferrari E.

This paper compares standard, reefer, and thermal liner containers for the long-range transportation of temperature-sensitive products. The thermal liner container is an alternative solution for maritime, rail and truck transportation between the dry and reefer containers.

This study introduces a multi-criteria methodology to assess and compare alternative container solutions that involves technical, economical, and environmental perspectives.

The proposed methodology is applied to four significant instances of maritime shipments, which highlight the performances of alternative container solutions in reducing the transport temperature fluctuations. Economic aspects and transport environmental impacts are also analyzed.

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Journal of Food Engineering



The New Conceptual Framework for Food Supply Chain Assessment

Manzini R., Accorsi R.

Food industry is the first in European Community for revenues, with more than 8 millions of employee. Logistics and supply chain management play a crucial role in food industry.

This paper presents a general and conceptual framework for the assessment of food supply chain (FSC) and logistics of food products in agreement with a multidisciplinary and integrated view. The target of the proposed integrated approach to supply chain design and management is the simultaneous control of quality (1), safety (2), sustainability (3) and logistics efficiency (4) of food products and processes along the whole FSC “from farm to fork”.

A case study focused on package design, distribution issues, and supported by the development of an original close-loop control system is a first exemplifying step towards a new integrated approach on FSC assessment in agreement with the proposed conceptual framework.

Finally, the paper presents a discussion on the most important challenges in FSC for public and private research in industry and in academic institutions.

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Food Supply Chain Framework

WAREHOUSING CENTER

Warehousing Center - Department of Industrial EngineeringThe Warehousing Center at Department of Industrial Engineering provides integrated solutions to logistics problems with a special focus on warehousing and material handling.
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JOURNAL OF FOOD ENGINEERING


The New Conceptual Framework for Food Supply Chain Assessment
Manzini R., Accorsi R.
The New Conceptual Framework for Food Supply Chain Assessment
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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH PART D

A comparison of shipping containers from technical, economic and environmental perspectivesA comparison of shipping containers from technical, economic and environmental perspectivesAccorsi R., Manzini R.,
Ferrari E.
A comparison of shipping containers from technical, economic and environmental perspectives
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