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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2021

Anuj Mittal, Nilufer Oran Gibson, Caroline C. Krejci and Amy Ann Marusak

The purpose of this research is to gain a better understanding of how a crowd-shipping platform can achieve a critical mass of senders and carrier crowd members to yield…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to gain a better understanding of how a crowd-shipping platform can achieve a critical mass of senders and carrier crowd members to yield network effects that are necessary for the platform to grow and thrive. Specifically, this research studies the participation decisions of both senders and carriers over time and the impacts of the resulting feedback loop on platform growth and performance.

Design/methodology/approach

An agent-based model is developed and used to study dynamic behavior and network effects within a simulated crowd-shipping platform. The model allows both carriers and senders to be represented as autonomous, heterogeneous and adaptive agents, whose decisions to participate in the platform impact the participation of other agents over time. Survey data inform the logic governing agent decisions and behaviors.

Findings

The feedback loop created by individual sender and carrier agents' participation decisions generates complex and dynamic network effects that are observable at the platform level. Experimental results demonstrate the importance of having sufficient crowd carriers available when the platform is initially launched, as well as ensuring that sender and carrier participation remains balanced as the platform grows over time.

Research limitations/implications

The model successfully demonstrates the power of agent-based modeling (ABM) in analyzing network effects in crowd-shipping systems. However, the model has not yet been fully validated with data from a real-world crowd-shipping platform. Furthermore, the model's geographic scope is limited to a single census tract. Platform behavior will likely differ across geographic regions, with varying demographics and sender/carrier density.

Practical implications

The modeling approach can be used to provide the manager of a volunteer-based crowd-shipping program for food rescue with insights on how to achieve a critical mass of participants, with an appropriate balance between the number of restaurant food donation delivery requests and the number of crowd-shippers available and willing to make those deliveries.

Social implications

This research can help a crowd-shipping platform for urban food rescue to grow and become self-sustainable, thereby serving more food-insecure people.

Originality/value

The model represents both senders and the carrier crowd as autonomous, heterogeneous and adaptive agents, such that network effects resulting from their interactions can emerge and be observed over time. The model was designed to study a volunteer crowd-shipping platform for food rescue, with participant motivations driven by personal values and social factors, rather than monetary incentives.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 51 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2015

Caroline C Krejci

The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual framework for a hybrid simulation model that can be used to study the decision making and behaviors of humanitarian…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual framework for a hybrid simulation model that can be used to study the decision making and behaviors of humanitarian logistics actors to determine how/whether certain coordination mechanisms enable better relief chain efficiency and effectiveness over time.

Design/methodology/approach

The agent-based portion of the model is used to represent human decision making and interactions in a more realistic way than has been done previously, and the discrete-event simulation (DES) portion of the model allows the movement of vehicles, materials, and information throughout a supply network to be represented in a way that allows for dynamic and stochastic behavior.

Findings

Coordinated efforts by actors in humanitarian logistics operations involve complex interactions and adaptations over time, which can be capture and explored via hybrid agent-based model (ABM)-DES modeling.

Research limitations/implications

This paper describes a framework for a hybrid ABM-DES model. The actual development and implementation of the model, including input data collection and analysis, model development, experimentation, and output data collection and analysis, will be the subject of future work.

Practical implications

The hybrid model framework provides other researchers with a starting point for model development.

Social implications

This paper provides a basis for future modeling and assessment of coordination in humanitarian logistics, an area that is in need of research.

Originality/value

The hybrid simulation modeling framework presented in this paper is a novel application of a new modeling methodology to the problem of coordination in humanitarian logistics.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2021

Aurélien Rouquet, Valentina Carbone and Christine Roussat

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 51 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2020

Ray Grange, Graham Heaslip and Caroline McMullan

The purpose of this paper is to identify how coordination has evolved in humanitarian logistics (HL), what were the triggers for change and how have they been facilitated.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify how coordination has evolved in humanitarian logistics (HL), what were the triggers for change and how have they been facilitated.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper applies a systematic literature review of academic journals.

Findings

This is the first paper to discuss the concepts of network orchestration and choreography in a humanitarian context. The research revealed that network coordination has moved on in the commercial sector to include orchestration and now, choreography concepts which have not been tested in HL literature. This reveals a lag exists between HL research and practice.

Research limitations/implications

This paper represents an exploratory study and provides the basis for further research on the concepts of orchestration and choreography in HL. The paper sets a research agenda for academics.

Practical implications

This paper is the first to discuss the concepts of network orchestration and choreography in a humanitarian context.

Originality/value

The areas of orchestration and choreography have received limited consideration within the humanitarian aid logistics literature to date. This paper is designed to redress this shortfall. As a result, it is hoped that it will act as a catalyst for further research and to widen and deepen the resultant debate with a view to improving the outcome for those affected by current and future disasters.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

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