14.04.2014 - 13:06:10

Managing Risk and Resilience in Sustainable Logistics and SCM for Urban Supply

Transport Research Area (TRA) 2014

Recent approaches on urban supply are creating a vision for a future where urban environments are cleaner, safer and more responsive to the fast dynamics. The need for sustainable and smart cities increases steadily. Thus, for urban suppliers, dealing with uncertainty in the supply chains day by day, resilience is an evolving concept and design model that differs from traditional risk management. Considering limited forecasting capacities and sometimes non-linear behaviour of complex dynamic systems, managing risk and resilience is a growing topic for all of them.

The Invited Session was organized in the context of LOG4GREEN's Strategic Interdisciplinary Research Agenda (SIRA) and aimed at discussing strategies and approaches for a stronger operationalization in sustainable supply chain management as well as frameworks and tools that measure vulnerabilities and capabilities in urban supply systems.
How can risk and resilience management be integrated into day-to-day decision making?
How is management able to include the ability to react on uncertain events and on changing conditions with transformative strategies?

Experts from research, business, and public authorities came together to discuss possible answers to these questions.
The speakers and panellists were Prof. Alan McKinnon, Kühne Logistics University Hamburg (Germany), Arthur van Gerven, Senior Director Business Development, Menlo Worldwide (Netherlands), Dr. Pierre Laconte, President of the Foundation for the Urban Environment (Belgium), and Prof. Cathy Macharis, Vrije Universiteit Brussels (Belgium). The session was chaired by Klaus Krumme, Executive Director of the Centre for Logistics & Traffic (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany) and Prof. Metin Türkay (Koc University Istanbul, Turkey).
In their initial statements the speakers focussed on Sustainable Logistics Strategies and suggestions for more standardization (McKinnon), approaches for an Urban Supply Chain Resilience Management (van Gerven), the City as a complex System and the challenges to sustainable planning (Laconte).
Opening the panel discussion, Cathy Macharis connected her critical acclaim of the statements with suggesting sustainability measures for companies, such as the internalization of external costs or a company's contribution to programmes like Lean & Green or Green Freight Europe. Avoidance of inner-city traffic, the optimization of routing and the localization of distribution centres were issues discussed by the panelists as well as appropriate measures for analyzing and optimization of resource flows in a circular urban economy. A very important aspect throughout the whole panel discussion was the role of a sustainable and responsible behaviour of both producers and consumers, who increasingly stimulate new demands, creating new markets for sustainable products and services and a new willingness to pay for a sustainable lifestyle. However, examples for the use of e-commerce and the corresponding increasing environmental costs show that there is still potential for improvement. In the end, it is essential to scrutinize the actual needs in the consumer society in order to trigger and to foster a real sustainable lifestyle.