Publications

Sarraj, R., E. Ballot, S. Pan, D. Hakimi, B. Montreuil (2013), Interconnected logistic networks and protocols: simulation-based efficiency assessment, in International Journal of Production Research (2013).


Abstract : Logistic networks intensely use means of transportation and storage facilities to deliver goods. However, these logistic networks are still poorly interconnected and this fragmentation is responsible for a lack of consolidation and thus efficiency. To cope with the seeming contradiction of just-in-time deliveries and challenging emissions targets, a major improvement in supply networks is sought here. This new organisation is based on the universal interconnection of logistics services, namely a Physical Internet where goods travel in modular containers for the sake of interconnection in open networks. If from a logical point of view, merging container flows should improve efficiency, no demonstration of its potential has been carried out prior to the here reported research. To reach this potentiality assessment goal, we model the asynchronous shipment and creation of containers within an interconnected network of services, find the best path routing for each container and minimise the use of transportations means. To carry out the demonstration and assess the associated stakes, we use a set of actual flows from the fast-moving consumer goods sector in France. Various transportation protocols and scenarios are tested, revealing encouraging results for efficiency indicators such as CO2 emissions, cost, lead time, delivery travel time, and so forth. As this is a first work in the field of flows transportation, the simulation model and experiment exposes many further research avenues.
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Montreuil, B., R.D. Meller, C. Thivierge, C., and Z. Montreuil (2012), Functional Design of Physical Internet Facilities: A Unimodal Road-Based Crossdocking Hub, in Progress in Material Handling Research: 2012, MHIA, Charlotte, NC (2012).


Abstract : As part of the 2010 IMHRC, Montreuil, Meller and Ballot proposed a set of facility types that would be necessary to operate a Physical Internet (PI, π), which they termed π-nodes. This paper is part of a three-paper series for the 2012 IMHRC where the authors provide functional designs of three PI facilities. This paper covers a unimodal road-based crossdocking hub designed specifically to exploit the characteristics of Physical Internet modular containers so as to enable the efficient and sustainable transhipment of each of them from its inbound truck to its outbound truck. The objective of the paper is to provide a design that is feasible to meet the objectives of this type of facility, identify ways to measure the performance of the design, and to identify research models that would assist in the design of such facilities. The functional design is presented in sufficient detail as to provide an engineer a proof of concept.
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Ballot, E., B. Montreuil & C. Thivierge (2012), Functional Design of Physical Internet Facilities: A Road-Rail Hub , in Progress in Material Handling Research: 2012, MHIA, Charlotte, NC (2012).


Abstract : As part of the 2010 IMHRC, Montreuil, Meller and Ballot enumerated the type of facilities that would be necessary to operate a Physical Internet (PI, π), which they termed, “π-nodes.” This paper is part of a three-paper series for the 2012 IMHRC where the authors provide functional designs of three PI facilities. This paper covers a PI road-rail hub. The purpose of a PI road-rail node is to enable the transfer of PI containers from their inbound to outbound destinations. Therefore, a road-rail π-hub provides a mechanism to transfer π-containers from a train to another one or a truck or from a truck to a train. The objective of the paper is to provide a design that is feasible to meet the objectives of this type of facility, identify ways to measure the performance of the design, and to identify research models that would assist in the design of such facilities. The functional design is presented in sufficient detail as to provide an engineer a proof of concept.
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Meller, R.D., B. Montreuil, C. Thivierge & Z. Montreuil (2012), Functional Design of Physical Internet Facilities: A Road-Based Transit Center, in Progress in Material Handling Research: 2012, MHIA, Charlotte, NC (2012).


Abstract : In their 2010 IMHRC paper, Montreuil, Meller and Ballot proposed a set of facility types that would be necessary to operate a Physical Internet, which they termed “π-nodes.” This paper is part of a three-paper series for the 2012 IMHRC where the authors provide functional designs of three PI facilities. This paper covers a road-based transit center, or road-based π- transit. The mission of a π-transit node is to enable the transfer of π- carriers from their inbound to outbound destinations. Therefore, a road based π-transit provides a mechanism to transfer π-trailers from one truck to another. The objective of the paper is to provide a design that is feasible to meet the mission of this type of facility, identify ways to measure the performance of the design, and to identify research models that would assist in the design of such facilities. The functional design is presented in sufficient detail as to provide an engineer a proof of concept.
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Hakimi, D., B. Montreuil, R. Sarraj, E. Ballot & S. Pan (2012). Simulating a Physical Internet enabled mobility web: the case of mass distribution in France. Proceedings of MOSIM’2012, International Conference of Modeling, Optimization and Simulation, Bordeaux, France, 2012/06/06-08.


Abstract : What if instead of packing products in pallets and boxes of different size, shapes and materials, they are packed in smart, standardized, and modular containers? What if these containers are the only unit loads dealt with by transportation systems and logistics facilities? What if the storage and distribution facilities, regardless of which company they belong to, are open to receive, handle, and store containers from any other company? The Physical Internet suggests that if such a context exists, it enables a Logistics Web that will contribute to address the problem of the economic, environmental, and social inefficiency and unsustainability resulting from the way physical entities are currently moved, handled, stored, supplied, realized and used across the world. In this paper, we report on research aiming to enable the exploration of the potential of such a Logistics Web through simulation based investigation. The research is anchored around a collaborative French-Canada-Switzerland project aiming to assess the potential of altering the French distribution system for fast-moving consumer goods from its current state towards a Physical Internet enabled France-wide open logistics web. This web is notably comprised of an open mobility web and an open distribution web. Specifically, we focus on the design challenges associated with architecting and developing a large-scale agent-based simulator enabling the French Logistics Web experiment.
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Montreuil B., R.D. Meller & E. Ballot (2012). Physical Internet Foundations, Proceedings of INCOM 2012 Symposium, Bucharest, Romania, 2012/05/23-25.


Abstract : This paper provides insights on the foundations of the Physical Internet that has been introduced as a solution to the Global Logistics Sustainability Grand Challenge of improving by an order of magnitude the economic, environmental and social efficiency and sustainability of the way physical objects are moved, stored, realized, supplied and used across the world. It first addresses the fact that the Physical Internet aims to enable an efficient and sustainable Logistics Web. It then explains the foundations embedded in the definition of the Physical Internet: an open global logistics system founded on physical, digital and operational interconnectivity through encapsulation, interfaces and protocols. It finally highlights the foundation of its perpetual evolution: technological, business and infrastructural innovation.
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Montreuil B., E. Ballot & F. Fontane (2012). An Open Logistics Interconnection Model for the Physical Internet, Proceedings of INCOM 2012 Symposium, Bucharest, Romania, 2012/05/23-25.


Abstract : Computer networks have been interconnected through the last decades with huge advantage into a worldwide Digital Internet. Unlike their digital counterparts, logistics networks remain highly fragmented, still mostly dedicated to a company or a specific market. The recently introduced Physical Internet concept proposes to remedy this situation by interconnecting logistics services on a global scale. The implementation and deployment of the Digital Internet has profited extensively from a structured and a standardized approach to interconnect networks. Indeed, the layered structuring of digital services and protocols associated to both the Open System Interconnection (OSI) model and the TCP/IP model has been instrumental in shaping the Digital Internet. This paper proposes, describes and illustrates a sevenlaye Open Logistics Interconnection (OLI) model to enable interconnecting logistics services within the Physical Internet. It describes each proposed layer and the way logistic services are organized within and across these layers.
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Lounès M. & Montreuil B. (2011) “Towards a worldwide Physical Internet”. Paper published in the: International Zeitschrift für international Absolventen der Technischen Universität Berlin, Germany


Abstract : Aiming for a radical sustainability improvement, the Physical Internet Initiative (PI2) has the potential of revolutionizing the fields of material handling, logistics, transportation, and facilities design. It exploits the enabling concept of standardized, modular and smart container as well as the universal interconnectivity of logistics networks and services. Its underlying paradigm shift creates a tremendous breakthrough innovation opportunity for the material handling and facility logistics community in terms of equipment, systems, and facility design and operation.
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Ballot, E, B. Montreuil and F. Fontane (2010). Topology of Logistic Networks and the Potential of a Physical Internet, CGS-Production and Logistics Systems, École des Mines de Paris, France et CIRRELT, Université Laval, Québec, Canada


Abstract : The topology of the logistic networks that contribute contemporary logistics is minimally examined or challenged in the assessment and improvement of the performance of supply chains, logistic and freight transportation. We shoe in this paper that the topology of logistic networks has a major performance impact and that it can be significantly improved if the actual organization of flows is substituted by an organization founded on the universal interconnectivity of logistic networks: the Physical Internet. Given the exploratory nature of this work, the demonstration is achieved analytically by exploiting the continuous approximation method.The performance of contemporary vs. Physical Internet enabled network topologies is measured and contrasted through transportation throughput requirements, flow travel, and total costs.
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Montreuil B. (2011) Towards a Physical Internet: Meeting the Global Logistics Sustainability Grand Challenge, Logistics Research, Vol. 3, No. 2-3, p. 71-87.


Abstract : This paper starts with the assertion that the way physical objects are currently transported, handled, stored, realized, supplied, and used throughout the world is unsustainable economically, environmentally, and socially. Evidence supporting this assertion is exposed through a set of key unsustainability symptoms. Then, the paper expresses the goal to revert this situation, thus meeting the global logistics sustainability grand challenge. It suggests exploiting the Digital Internet metaphor to develop a Physical Internet vision toward meeting this grand challenge. The paradigm breaking vision is introduced through a set of its key characteristics. The paper then proceeds with addressing the implications and requirements for implementing the Physical Internet vision as a means to meet the grand challenge. It concludes with a call for further research, innovation, and development to really shape and assess the vision and, much more important, to give it flesh through real initiatives and projects so as to really influence in a positive way the collective future. For this to happen, it emphasizes the requirement for multidisciplinary collaboration among and between academia, industry, and government across localities, countries, and continents.
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Montreuil, B., R.D. Meller, E. Ballot (2010). Towards a physical internet: the impact on logistics facilities and material handling systems design and innovation, International Material Handling Research Colloquium (IMHRC 2010), Milwaukee, États-Unis, 2010/06/21-24


Abstract : Aiming for a radical sustainability improvement, the Physical Internet has the potential of revolutionizing the fields of material handling, logistics, transportation and facilities design. It exploits the enabling concept of standardized, modular and smart containers as well as the universal interconnectivity of logistics networks and services. Its underlying paradigm shift creates a tremendous breakthrough innovation opportunity for the material handling and facility logistics community in terms of equipment, systems and facility design and operation. This paper provides a primer overview of a key subset of the physical elements serving as the foundation of the Physical Internet infrastructure, classified in three categories: containers, movers and nodes. Each element introduced is characterized and illustrated to enable visualization of their innovative nature. The paper helps uncover a wide variety of potent research avenues. Download PDF

Hakimi D., B. Montreuil, O. Labarthe (2010), Supply Web Agent-Based Simulation Platform, ILS 2010 – Casablanca (Morocco), April 14-16


Abstract : A Supply Web is a network of interrelated supply networks, each embedding interlaced supply chains, involving multiple organizations with collaborative or competitive supply relationships. The Supply Web concept involves both high complexity and large scale modelling. It requires to deal with soft, behavioural and systemic perspectives to address issues facing managers in these large complex supply systems. In this article, we introduce a Supply Web Simulation Platform to support the decision making in the complex environment of Supply Webs. The platform is a multi-agent tool that creates virtual worlds featuring complex organization behaviours and relationships while considering a granulated level of detail. The platform is connected through a Database to a set of Supply Web Business applications that allow users to visualize, monitor, mine and assess the dynamic states and performances of the virtual supply webs studied. Download PDF

Hakimi, D., B. Montreuil and O. Labarthe (2009). Supply Web: Concept and Technology. 7th Annual International Symposium on Supply Chain Management, Toronto, Canada. 2009/10/28-30.


Abstract : : The concepts of supply chain, supply network and extended collaboration between partners are constantly pushing the limits of what should be considered when dealing with supply chain management. Managers that were dealing only with adjacent partners, started to consider multi-level supply chains, then extended to more complex supply networks, and are now beginning to consider networks that are interacting with other networks. In this article we introduce the concept of Supply Web as a network of interrelated supply networks, involving multiple organizations with collaborative or competitive supply relationships. In order to take into consideration the complexity involved with this concept and to enable managers and analysts to exploit it, we present Supply Web Technologies. We focus on their conceptualization, on highlighting their usefulness in supporting managers involved in supply webs, and on depicting how they can be instrumental in enabling and enhancing collaboration between networked organizations. Download PDF

Montreuil, B., O. Labarthe, D. Hakimi, A. Larcher & M. Audet (2009). Supply Web Mapper, Industrial Engineering and Systems Management Conference (IESM), 2009-05-13/15, Montréal, Canada. *D. Hakimi winner of the best graduate research paper.


Abstract : This article introduces the concept of Supply Web Mapper which is visualisation, mining and assessment application allowing analysts or decision-makers to explore in a summarised and efficient way the Supply Web created through the interactions of multiple organizations. The mapper allows a visual mining of a Supply Web by exploring available partner’s databases while protecting their confidentiality. A Supply Web is an open generalization of the well-known notions of logistic networks and supply chains. The mapper leads to the representation of a large quantity of data supplied by inter organizational information systems, in several multi-dimensional synthetic diagrams. These diagrams take the form of spreadsheets, data graphs, conceptual and geographical maps. The article presents a prototype developed in our laboratories and tested on a large scale case in a retail Supply Web. Download PDF



Presentations

Modeling a Scenario-based Distribution Network Design Problem in a Physical Internet-enabled open Logistics Web

By Helia Sohrabi (Université Laval, Canada), Walid Klibi (BEM- Bordeaux Management School, France) and Benoit Montreuil (Université Laval, Canada). This presentation was exposed in the fourth International Conference on Information Systems, Logistics and Supply Chain (ILS 2012). Download PDF

Potential of routing protocols for freight in open logistics networks: the case of FMCG in France.

By Rochdi Sarraj (Mines ParisTech,France), Eric Ballot (Mines ParisTech,France) and Shenle Pan (Mines ParisTech,France). This presentation was exposed in the fourth International Concerference on Information Systems, Logistics and Supply Chain (ILS 2012). Download PDF

Simulating Physical Internet Enabled Distribution Webs

By Driss Hakimi (Université Laval,Canada), Benoit Montreuil (Université Laval,Canada), Rochdi Sarraj (Mines ParisTech,France), Eric Ballot (Mines ParisTech,France) and Shenle Pan (Mines ParisTech,France). This presentation was exposed in the fourth International Concerference on Information Systems, Logistics and Supply Chain (ILS 2012). Download PDF

The Impact of Standardized Physical Internet Containers on Shipping Volume

By Russell D. Meller ( University of Arkansas,USA), Yen-Hung Lin (University of Arkansas,USA) and Kimberly P. Ellis ( University of Arkansas,USA) from the Center for Excellence in Logistics and Distribution (CELDi). This presentation was exposed in the fourth International Concerference on Information Systems, Logistics and Supply Chain (ILS 2012). Download PDF



Posters

Functional Design of Physical Internet Facilities: A Road-Rail Hub, Poster By Eric Ballot (Mines ParisTech, France), Benoit Montreuil (Université Laval, Canada) and Collin Thivierge Université Laval, Canada) - CICMHE 2012.

Objective: In their 2010 IMHRC paper, Montreuil, Meller and Ballot proposed a set of facility types that would be necessary to operate a Physical Internet, which they termed “π-nodes”. This paper is part of a three-paper series for the 2012 IMHRC where the authors provide functional designs of three π-nodes. The objective of the Road-Rail π-Hub is to overcome the current drawbacks of classic railcars marshaling yards: shocks, lead-time, delay, safety issues, huge land footprint. The objective for the π-hub is to:

1) Operate full trains without unhooking locomotive or railcars
2) Handle and sort π-containers instead of railcars
3) Allow short stops at each hub
4) Minimize the environmental footprint (land consumption and emissions)
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Functional Design of Physical Internet Facilities: A Road-Based Transit Center, Poster By Russell D. Meller (University of Arkansas, USA), Benoit Montreuil (Université Laval, Canada), Collin Thivierge( Université Laval, Canada) and Zachary Montreuil (Université Laval, Canada) - CICMHE 2012

Objective: In their 2010 IMHRC paper, Montreuil, Meller and Ballot proposed a set of facility types (“-nodes”) that would be necessary to operate a Physical Internet. This paper is part of a three-paper series for the 2012 IMHRC where the authors provide functional designs of three -nodes. The subject of this paper is a road-based transit center, or road-based -transit. The mission of a -transit node is to enable the transfer of -carriers from their inbound to outbound destinations. The objective of the paper is to illustrate the design and its components, as well as the design process. Download PDF

Functional Design of Physical Internet Facilities: A Road-Based Distribution Hub, Poster By Benoit Montreuil (Université Laval, Canada), Russell D. Meller ( University of Arkansas, USA), Collin Thivierge (Université Laval, Canada) and Zachary Montreuil (Université Laval, Canada) - CICMHE 2012.

Objective: In their 2010 IMHRC paper, Montreuil, Meller and Ballot proposed a set of facility types that would be necessary to operate a Physical Internet, termed π-nodes. This paper is part of a three-paper series for the 2012 IMHRC providing functional designs of three such π-nodes. This paper focuses on road-based distribution π-hubs. Their mission is to efficiently and sustainably transfer π-containers from their inbound to their outbound trucks, enabling their distributed route from sourtce to destination through the Physical Internet. The objective of the paper is to illustrate the design of such π-hubs and their components, as well as their design process Download PDF

Simulating Physical Internet Enabled Logistics Webs (2012) Driss Hakimi1, Benoit Montreuil (Université Laval, Canada), Rochdi Sarraj, Eric Ballot, S. Pan (Mines ParisTech, France)

Objective: The Logistics Web Simulator is a multi-agent, discrete-event application that reproduces a current or potential way of supplying, distributing, storing, and moving products within a logistics web by exploiting a certain supply, distribution and mobility web configuration. Download PDF

Towards a Physical Internet: The Impact on Facilities and Material Handling Systems Design and Innovation, Poster By Benoit Montreuil (Université Laval, Canada), Russell D. Meller ( University of Arkansas, USA) and Eric Ballot (Mines ParisTech, France) - IMHRC 2010

Objective: Assess the conceptual, functional and technological transformations of logistics facilities and material handling systems either necessary for the Physical Internet vision to be fully instantiated or enabled by the gradual implementation of the Physical Internet Download PDF