Campus Units

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Proceedings of the 2016 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference

Conference Title

2016 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference

Conference Date

May 21-24, 2016


Anaheim, CA


Regional food hubs help to promote social, economic, and environmental sustainability by helping small-scale farmers distribute food to regional customers. To satisfy the diverse requirements of their entire customer base, food hubs must often work with a large number of farmers, resulting in prohibitive transportation costs. However, if they limit their supply base, they risk gaps in their offerings. To address this challenge, food hubs that are located in the same region can coordinate with one another to increase their supply base and reduce fuel consumption through shared infrastructure. In this paper we assess the value of coordination among four Iowa food hubs by examining their logistics networks and their customers’ product preferences. By analyzing their sales data, we demonstrate how cross-listing different regional products can result in increased business opportunities for the food hubs and farmers, as well as providing customers with greater variety. We propose the implementation of a standardized inventory tracking mechanism, which will enable efficient and effective supply chain coordination among the food hubs.


This is a published proceedings from the 2016 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference. Posted with permission.

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