products are not an exception (Hallman et al., 2015). Bringing food products from distinct
regions across the countries and continents has become a regular routine in today’s time.
Consumers find products not grown or produced locally but brought in from distinct areas,
making food business a global phenomenon.
Several solutions are developed and used efficiently by big distributor companies to
bring food products in large quantities, using the capacity of large vehicles
optimally (Chopra and Meindl, 2007). But when it comes to intra-cities transportation,
or more generally geographically difficult zones, many small and medium enterprises
locatedinthesezonesdemanddeliveryinsmall quantities. Thus, food products are
delivered in large quantities at the distribution centers located on the outskirts but
close to these zones, from where they are transported in smaller quantities to the
customers situated within those zones and vice versa. Big vehicles do not enter in these
zones, they unload the products at the distribution center located at the beginning of city
premises, from where products are delivered by small vehicles in small quantities
(Caenegem et al., 2015). Such distribution is called as hub-and-spoke distribution
(Bryan and O’Kelly, 1999).
The problem of using transport resources optimally in these zones becomes a crucial
issue, because vehicle should not be loaded with less number of products than its full
capacity (less than truckload (LTL) distribution) (Ulku, 2012; Hübner et al., 2016).
Many small product delivery orders need to be shared (order sharing) or grouped for
delivery (capacity sharing) in order to minimize the number of travelings, cost and
especially environmental pollution (Yao and Song, 2013). This problem worsens when the
transport orders concern perishable products.
However, in contrast to other products, food products, due to their perishability, bring
more distribution constraints as weather conditions, tight schedule, short-shelflife, etc.
(Wagner and Meyr, 2015). Due to that, food products can be categorized into different kinds
like frozen, refrigerated, fresh, etc. with their respective constraints and different
Therefore, transportation planning must take into account both food’s perishability and
vehicle’s capacity with its temperature maintaining limits in order to consolidate orders.
Transports are realized by specialized transport companies commonly known as third-party
logistics (3PL) (Marasco, 2008; Mehmann et al., 2016) offering delivery services to their
clients. These carriers may propose to deliver the order of same client, forming a competitive
environment. They also require to collaborate with other carriers in order to deliver the
products outside their limited operational territory.
In this context, both shippers and carriers together form a collaborative environment,
which can be called a marketplace for transport services. Forming this marketplace involves
a good understanding of information exchanged between shippers and carriers and between
various carriers, especially about locations, food product constraints (short-shelflife),
transport resource type (vehicle, train, plane), etc. Every entity in the marketplace has its
own management system and standards. Hence, an interoperable mechanism is required to
understand and transform heterogeneous information between these systems and achieve
This paper presents a solution of a transport marketplace to realize the schedules of
transports for the delivery of food products achieved by the collaboration of heterogeneous
shippers and carriers systems in difficult geographical zones.
In Section 2, the state of the art related to collaborative transportation planning is
discussed. The adequacy of the SCEP (supervisor, customer, environment and producer)
model for transportation is presented in Section 3. Section 4 details the proposed extension
of the SCEP model named Interoperable-Pathfinder, Order, Vehicle, Environment and
Supervisor (I-POVES). Section 5 is dedicated to the application of I-POVES on a case study