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Competing through the last mile: strategic 3D printing in a city logistics context

Demir, Emrah, Eyers, Daniel and Huang, Yuan 2021. Competing through the last mile: strategic 3D printing in a city logistics context. Computers and Operations Research 131 , 105248. 10.1016/j.cor.2021.105248
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Recently, 3D Printing (3DP) has started disrupting transportation worldwide by providing enormous simplifications to transportation requirements, especially in the context of city logistics. In the near future, the potential exists to replace multi echelon transportation hubs with integrated city logistics and 3D printing manufacturing hubs. This study investigates this integrated concept, particularly for healthcare product distribution (i.e., hearing aids) to customers located within a city environment. We propose an efficient mathematical model to investigate various scenarios of integrated 3DP production and transportation planning and provide insightful analysis. It might seem counter-intuitive that tighter delivery time slots can improve the utilization of capacity and 3DP machines, but this study finds that intelligent selection of production and delivery policies can simultaneously benefit both customer and supplier. By integrating both production and delivery, this study identifies opportunities for firms to survive and thrive in the era of challenging city logistics.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Centre for Advanced Manufacturing Systems At Cardiff (CAMSAC)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0305-0548
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 February 2021
Date of Acceptance: 6 February 2021
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2021 12:29

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