Incorporating food quality in e-grocery logistics optimization

Type Research Project

Funding Bodies
  • WU anniversary foundation

Duration March 1, 2019 - Feb. 29, 2020

  • Institute for Production Management (Taudes) AE (Details)


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  • Fikar, Christian (Former researcher) Project Head

Abstract (English)

Increase in demand and product variety challenge logistics providers in the food industry. In addition to aiming to decrease travel distances and costs, various characteristics of individual food products have to be considered to enable safe and timely deliveries. This project focuses on e-groceries, i.e., deliveries of perishable products to consumers’ premises. Compared to non-perishable products, the logistics of perishables is challenged by many uncertainties due to varying shelf lives, temperature ranges and storage requirements. While multiple works focus on the estimation of food quality, such methods are rarely integrated in logistics optimization procedures. Consequently, this project develops a decision support system to jointly investigate the impact of routing decisions on product quality and costs. Metaheuristic vehicle routing optimization procedures and various food quality models are incorporated within an agent-based simulation. Computational experiments focus on the delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables to investigate the impact of incorporating food quality models and interdependencies among various products types on routing decisions. Results provide managerial implications on how to facilitate sustainable food deliveries while ensuring food quality at arrival.


Journal article

2020 Fikar, Christian, Leithner, Magdalena. 2020. A decision support system to facilitate collaborative supply of food cooperatives. Production Planning and Control. 1-12. open access (Details)
  Fikar, Christian. 2020. Model-driven decision support to facilitate efficient fresh food deliveries. Die Bodenkultur: Journal of Land Management, Food and Environment. 71 (1), 1-9. open access (Details)
2019 Fikar, Christian, Mild, Andreas, Waitz, Martin. 2019. Facilitating consumer preferences and product shelf life data in the design of e-grocery deliveries. European Journal of Operational Research (EJOR). (Details)

Paper presented at an academic conference or symposium

2019 Fikar, Christian. 2019. A bi-objective adaptive large neighborhood search to facilitate a reduction in food waste during e-grocery deliveries. EURO-K 2019, Dublin, Irland, 23.06-27.06. (Details)


  • 5347 Operations research (Details)
  • 5354 Business logistics (Details)