Title: An efficiency analysis of food distribution system through data envelopment analysis

Authors: Claudia Paciarotti; Maurizio Bevilacqua; Filippo Emanuele Ciarapica; Giovanni Mazzuto; Leonardo Postacchini

Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering and Mathematical Science, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131, Ancona, Italy ' Department of Industrial Engineering and Mathematical Science, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131, Ancona, Italy ' Department of Industrial Engineering and Mathematical Science, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131, Ancona, Italy ' Department of Industrial Engineering and Mathematical Science, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131, Ancona, Italy ' Department of Industrial Engineering and Mathematical Science, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131, Ancona, Italy

Abstract: The specific quality and safety requirements, typical of the food supply chain, force to strong action on implementing distribution networks, reducing transport and delivery costs, improving distribution efficiency and performance, increasing carriers control and flexibility. In this context, the selection and evaluation of third-party logistics has become a crucial aspect in order to realise an efficient food products distribution, with both a high level of service and competitive costs. This paper implements data envelopment analysis theory to analyse the case of an Italian food producer, which distributes its products on the national territory, through several third-party logistic carriers. This study made possible to define the most efficient carrier among those responsible for the distribution process, analysing the retail trade and large-scale retail trade. This paper represents a reference guideline to all the food companies involved in the process of evaluation and improvement of the distribution process.

Keywords: data envelopment analysis; DEA; efficiency measurement; food supply chain; supply chain performance; third-party logistics; food deliveries evaluation; transport logistics; logistics performance; decision-making units; DMUs; carriers ranking; carriers selection; transport of perishable products.

DOI: 10.1504/IJOR.2019.104056

International Journal of Operational Research, 2019 Vol.36 No.4, pp.538 - 554

Received: 17 May 2016
Accepted: 30 Dec 2016

Published online: 07 Dec 2019 *

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