University of Oulu

Challenges for first-mile logistics in primary production

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Author: Karasu, Taha1; Hussain, Shahid1; Tuomela, Anne1;
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Civil Engineering
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.9 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulun yliopisto, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-01-31


Primary production, particularly in the agriculture industry, has been and will be affected by climate change. Extreme weather conditions and their effects on the agriculture supply chain and agricultural field soil are highly evident and attract considerable media attention. Although the agriculture supply chain is scrutinized carefully, there is not enough focus on first-mile logistics. The first mile also affects the downstream stages of the supply chain.

These project deliverables aim to enhance the understanding of the challenges of first-mile logistics in poor-bearing soils and vulnerable environments. It seeks to identify and elaborate on different challenges and proposes how agricultural machine and equipment providers might be able to provide solutions.

This research applies both qualitative and quantitative methods. The scientific and gray literature and other sources are scanned to compile the challenges. The fault-tree type of analysis is carried out to categorize and structure the challenges. Next, the information value of the identified challenges is assessed by an evidence-scoring and ranking system. Industrial partners and other field experts are interviewed to ensure the validity of the findings. The quality function deployment (QFD) framework is proposed to link the identified challenges with industrial partners’ product features. Lastly, some arguments are provided in order to define the prerequisites of simulation and testing of soil–machine interaction on sensitive soils. Based on the interviews with company representatives, the report also re-examines the first-mile concept, redefines the sequential supply chain, and proposes a hybrid supply chain topology with circular transportation (between pre-harvest and post-harvest phases).

Altogether, 93 challenges are identified and categorized into six different clusters, with subgroups. Through additional expert interviews, it is also found that the majority of the identified challenges are globally acknowledged, except soil compaction. Out of the 93 challenges, merely 24 are acknowledged as important by the interviewed industrial partners, which indicates different priorities of agri-machine business actors.

Based on the QFD analysis, it is suggested that subsequent work packages of the LEVITOI project should enhance laboratory simulation and field-testing efforts to enable making products that cause as little soil compaction as possible in varying weather conditions.

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ISBN: 978-952-62-3440-3
Type of Publication: D4 Published development or research report or study
Field of Science: 212 Civil and construction engineering
Funding: The authors thank the LEVITOI partners for their support in this research and gratefully acknowledge the funding of Business Finland (Grant ID 3509/31/2021).
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2023. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.