Optimizing fresh food logistics for processing: Application for a large Chilean apple supply chain
Soto Silva, Wladimir E.
Oliva-Fernández, Marcos A.
Plà-Aragonés, Lluís Miquel
This research paper presents optimization models that deal with three kinds of related decisions in horticulture, which are purchasing, transporting and storing fresh produce. The study is intended to assist in decision making in a fresh apple processing plant in order to ensure its annual supply. First, a fresh produce purchasing model is proposed to minimize purchasing costs, producer administration costs and costs for transport to the classification center while taking into consideration the fresh produce offered by each producer, storage capacity and the type of storage for the fruit. These parameters will aid in selecting the producers providing the best price-storage time-distance combination for the purchase. Second, a fresh produce storage model is proposed for minimizing the cost of storage and transport to the classification center (located in the actual processing plant) for each fresh product purchased. Finally, a third integrated model is proposed to give a joint solution to purchasing, transporting and storing the fresh produce. The models are applied in a real case study in an apple dehydration plant in the Maule region of Chile, where average savings were obtained of about 8% with respect to the real costs of purchasing, storing and transporting the fresh produce during the processing period.