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Whitepapers and Reports

Supply Chain Design

  • Supply chain and logistics optimization is neither easy nor cheap but it is the biggest opportunity for most companies to significantly reduce their cost and improve their performance. For most supply chain and logistics operations there is an opportunity to reduce cost by 10% to 40% by making better decisions.

  • A roadmap for those embarking on supply chain opportunity assessments which is a generic plan that can be expanded or contracted to fit the unique needs of specific industry segments or individuals.

  • This paper is intended for logistics analysts, practitioners, consultants, and other logistics professionals who wish to learn about high-level concepts for logistics modeling and analysis.

  • We conducted a survey on state of the art of commercial software for supply chain design from December, 2008 to August, 2009. We listed major 13 tools to be surveyed which are currently available on a commercial basis and collected and examined information on their latest technologies and functions through questionnaires to the vendors.


  • Today, around 54% of the world's population lives in urban areas. By 2050, this share is expected to go up signifi cantly. As a result, city logistics, which focuses on the efficient and eff ective transportation of goods in urban areas while taking into account the negative e ffects on congestion, safety, and environment, is critical to ensuring continued quality of life in cities. We review and discuss a variety of current and anticipated challenges and opportunities of city logistics. We hope this helps shaping an appropriate research agenda and stimulates more researchers to enter this exciting fi eld.

  • Cities are drivers of economic development, providing infrastructure to support countless activities and services. Today, the world’s 750 biggest cities account for more than 57% of the global GDP and this number is expected to increase to 61% by 2030. More than half of the world’s population lives in cities, or urban areas, and this share will continue to growth. Rapid urban growth has posed both challenges and opportunities for city planners, not in the least when it comes to the design of transportation and logistic systems for freight. But urbanization also fosters innovation and sharing, which have led to new models for organizing movement of goods within the city. In this chapter, we highlight one of these new models: Crowd Logistics. We define the characterizing features of crowd logistics, review applications of crowd-based services within urban environments, and discuss research opportunities in the area of crowd logistics.

  • Being a good partner has become a key corporate asset in the global economy. Here’s a snapshot of the essential ingredients for successful partnerships.

  • Shipping containers used in the import and export process are the building blocks of global trade. But those containers have to be moved from importers who empty them to exporters who fill them and moving empty containers costs the industry billions of dollars annually. Optimizing the process could have a major impact. That’s where street-turns come in.

  • Seamless integration of ride-sharing and public transit may offer fast, reliable, and affordable transfer to and from transit stations in suburban areas thereby enhancing mobility of residents. We investigate the potential benefits of such a system, as well as the ride-matching technology required to support it, by
    means of an extensive computational study.

  • The development and implementation of value-added, information technology-based services and solutions is the best way for 3PLs to differentiate themselves from the competition and reduce downward pressure on margins and profitability. However, the 2006 Eleventh Annual Third Party Logistics Study shows a significant gap between expectations and performance. 3PLs have to invest more in their systems and educate their customers on their IT capabilities to capitalize on the IT value-added services.

  • The presence of different distribution channels in omni-channel retail makes the fulfillment process challenging. When consumers can buy online and pick up their purchased goods at a store, the stores are often visited by a vehicle that supplies the pick-up points (PUPs) and by a vehicle that replenishes the store's inventory. We study the benefit of exploiting any spare capacity in the vehicles replenishing store inventories to reduce online order fulfillment cost by transferring online orders to these vehicles at one or more of the stores visited. This involves choosing transfer locations and the set of stores whose online orders are transferred at these locations so as to minimize the online order fulfillment cost. We present a mixed integer linear programming model as well as an effective and efficient heuristic for solving this problem. An extensive computational study shows that significant benefits can be achieved by sharing capacity across the two channels.


  • Creating the lean supply chain requires a strategic undertaking that demands the same level of vision, planning, and discipline as any other major business initiative. It starts with developing a vision for your supply chain.

Physical Internet

  • As part of the 2010 IMHRC, Montreuil, Meller and Ballot enumerated the type of facilities that would be necessary to operate a Physical Internet (PI, π), which they termed, “π-nodes.” This paper is part of a three-paper series for the 2012 IMHRC where the authors provide functional designs of three PI facilities. This paper covers a PI road-rail hub. The purpose of a PI road-rail node is to enable the transfer of PI containers from their inbound to outbound destinations. Therefore, a road-rail π-hub provides a mechanism to transfer π-containers from a train to another one or a truck or from a truck to a train. The objective of the paper is to provide a design that is feasible to meet the objectives of this type of facility, identify ways to measure the performance of the design, and to identify research models that would assist in the design of such facilities. The functional design is presented in sufficient detail as to provide an engineer a proof of concept.

  • The paper starts with the assertion that the way physical objects are currently transported, handled, stored, realized, supplied and used throughout the world is unsustainable economically, environmentally and socially. Evidence supporting this assertion is exposed through a set of key unsustainability symptoms. Then the paper expresses the goal to revert this situation, thus meeting the Global Logistics Sustainability grand challenge. It suggests exploiting the Digital Internet metaphor to develop a Physical Internet vision towards meeting this grand challenge. The paradigm breaking vision is introduced through a set of its key characteristics. The paper then proceeds with addressing the implications and requirements for implementing the Physical Internet vision as a means to meet the grand challenge. It concludes with a call for further research, innovation and development to really shape and assess the vision and, much more important, to give it flesh through real initiatives and projects so as to really influence in a positive way the collective future. For this to happen, it emphasizes the requirement for multidisciplinary collaboration among and between academia, industry and government across localities, countries and continents. 

  • This paper provides a primer overview of a key subset of the physical elements serving as the foundation of the Physical Internet infrastructure, classified in three categories: containers, movers and nodes. Each element introduced is characterized and illustrated to enable visualization of their innovative nature. The paper helps uncover a wide variety of potent research avenues.


Material Handling

  • A visionary look at how the material handling and logistics industry will change between now and 2025. It identifies both driving trends and the transformations ahead that will make the above scenario a commonplace occurrence.

  • Home of the free Warehouse & Distribution Science textbook by J. Bartholdi and S. Hackman. The site also includes links to related software, tour summaries, class projects and other educational material.

ISyE location map

Georgia Tech Supply Chain and
Logistics Institute
H. Milton Stewart School of
Industrial & Systems Engineering
765 Ferst Drive, NW, Suite 228
Atlanta, GA 30332
Phone: 404.894.2343