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Whitepapers and Reports

Supply Chain Design


  • 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.

  • 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.


  • 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.

  • An introduction to the concept of lean problem solving through eliminating waste at the root cause, understanding process thinking, and seeing problems as opportunities for continuous improvement.

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

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