Published March 1, 2017 | Version 10006880
Journal article Open

Optimisation of Intermodal Transport Chain of Supermarkets on Isle of Wight, UK


This work investigates an intermodal transportation system for delivering goods from a Regional Distribution Centre to supermarkets on the Isle of Wight (IOW) via the port of Southampton or Portsmouth in the UK. We consider this integrated logistics chain as a 3-echelon transportation system. In such a system, there are two types of transport methods used to deliver goods across the Solent Channel: one is accompanied transport, which is used by most supermarkets on the IOW, such as Spar, Lidl and Co-operative food; the other is unaccompanied transport, which is used by Aldi. Five transport scenarios are studied based on different transport modes and ferry routes. The aim is to determine an optimal delivery plan for supermarkets of different business scales on IOW, in order to minimise the total running cost, fuel consumptions and carbon emissions. The problem is modelled as a vehicle routing problem with time windows and solved by genetic algorithm. The computing results suggested that accompanied transport is more cost efficient for small and medium business-scale supermarket chains on IOW, while unaccompanied transport has the potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of large business scale supermarket chains.



Files (264.8 kB)

Name Size Download all
264.8 kB Preview Download

Additional details


  • A. Grydehøj and P. Hayward, "Social and economic effects of spatial distribution in island communities: Comparing the Isles of Scilly and Isle of Wight, UK," Journal of Marine and Island Cultures, vol. 3, pp. 9-19, 2014.
  • J. Fernie and L. Sparks, Logistics and retail management: emerging issues and new challenges in the retail supply chain: Kogan Page Publishers, 2014.
  • AFerry, "AFerry | Compare & Book Ferries to France, Ireland, Spain.," ed, 2015.
  • M. Á. López-Navarro, M. Ángel Moliner, R. María Rodríguez, and J. Sánchez, "Accompanied versus unaccompanied transport in short sea shipping between Spain and Italy: An analysis from transport road firms perspective," Transport Reviews, vol. 31, pp. 425-444, 2011.
  • J. T. Mentzer, W. DeWitt, J. S. Keebler, S. Min, N. W. Nix, C. D. Smith, et al., "Defining supply chain management," Journal of Business logistics, vol. 22, pp. 1-25, 2001.
  • J. Fernie and A. McKinnon, "The grocery supply chain in the UK: improving efficiency in the logistics network," The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, vol. 13, pp. 161-174, 2003.
  • D. R. Towill, "A perspective on UK supermarket pressures on the supply chain," European Management Journal, vol. 23, pp. 426-438, 2005.
  • D. Burch and G. Lawrence, "Supermarket own brands, supply chains and the transformation of the agri-food system," International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food, vol. 13, pp. 1-18, 2005.
  • G. Moore, "Corporate social and financial performance: An investigation in the UK supermarket industry," Journal of Business ethics, vol. 34, pp. 299-315, 2001. [10] Y. Ge, J. Yang, N. Proudlove, and M. Spring, "System dynamics modelling for supply-chain management: A case study on a supermarket chain in the UK," International Transactions in Operational Research, vol. 11, pp. 495-509, 2004. [11] D. Lowe, Intermodal freight transport: Routledge, 2006. [12] D. C. Mattfeld, The management of transshipment terminals: decision support for terminal operations in finished vehicle supply chains vol. 34: Springer Science & Business Media, 2006. [13] Y.-r. Cheng, B. Liang, and M.-h. Zhou, "Optimization for vehicle scheduling in iron and steel works based on semi-trailer swap transport," Journal of Central South University of Technology, vol. 17, pp. 873-879, 2010. [14] C. R. Houck, Joines, J., and Kay, M. G., "A genetic algorithm for function optimization: a Matlab implementation," NCSU-IE TR, vol. 95, 1995. [15] MathWorks, "Global Optimization Toolbox Documentation," ed, 2015.