A review on sustainability, Industry 4.0 and collaboration implications in vehicle allocation operations

ÇİMEN M., Benli D., İbiş Bozyel M., SOYSAL M.

International Journal of Logistics Management, 2023 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1108/ijlm-03-2023-0115
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Logistics Management
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ABI/INFORM, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, INSPEC, vLex
  • Keywords: Industry 4.0, Literature review, Logistics collaboration, Sustainability, Vehicle allocation problem
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose: Vehicle allocation problems (VAPs), which are frequently confronted in many transportation activities, primarily including but not limited to full truckload freight transportation operations, induce a significant economic impact. Despite the increasing academic attention to the field, literature still fails to match the needs of and opportunities in the growing industrial practices. In particular, the literature can grow upon the ideas on sustainability, Industry 4.0 and collaboration, which shape future practices not only in logistics but also in many other industries. This review has the potential to enhance and accelerate the development of relevant literature that matches the challenges confronted in industrial problems. Furthermore, this review can help to explore the existing methods, algorithms and techniques employed to address this problem, reveal directions and generate inspiration for potential improvements. Design/methodology/approach: This study provides a literature review on VAPs, focusing on quantitative models that incorporate any of the following emerging logistics trends: sustainability, Industry 4.0 and logistics collaboration. Findings: In the literature, sustainability interactions have been limited to environmental externalities (mostly reducing operational-level emissions) and economic considerations; however, emissions generated throughout the supply chain, other environmental externalities such as waste and product deterioration, or the level of stakeholder engagement, etc., are to be monitored in order to achieve overall climate-neutral services to the society. Moreover, even though there are many types of collaboration (such as co-opetition and vertical collaboration) and Industry 4.0 opportunities (such as sharing information and comanaging distribution operations) that could improve vehicle allocation operations, these topics have not yet received sufficient attention from researchers. Originality/value: The scientific contribution of this study is twofold: (1) This study analyses decision models of each reviewed article in terms of decision variable, constraint and assumption sets, objectives, modeling and solving approaches, the contribution of the article and the way that any of sustainability, Industry 4.0 and collaboration aspects are incorporated into the model. (2) The authors provide a discussion on the gaps in the related literature, particularly focusing on practical opportunities and serving climate-neutrality targets, carried out under four main streams: logistics collaboration possibilities, supply chain risks, smart solutions and various other potential practices. As a result, the review provides several gaps in the literature and/or potential research ideas that can improve the literature and may provide positive industrial impacts, particularly on how logistics collaboration may be further engaged, which supply chain risks are to be incorporated into decision models, and how smart solutions can be employed to cope with uncertainty and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of operations.