A Post-Brexit Transportation System Analysis for an Agri-Fresh Produce Supply Chain

The ever-increasing demand for fresh and healthy products initiated an urgency for transportation system analysis and effective planning for Agri-Fresh Produce Supply Chains (AFPSC). However, AFPSC faces many challenges, including product vulnerability to market disruption and limited shelf-life. In case of a no-deal Brexit (i.e., the UK leaving the EU without an agreement), trade between Ireland and the UK will most probably be subjected to customs control. In effect, transportation delays and products deterioration rates will increase.

Based on interviews with an Irish AFPSC forwarder, a simulation model was developed to investigate different systems’ dynamics and operating rules under different delay patterns on the (yet non-existent) inner-Irish border. A cost analysis of varying border regimes favours a more thorough change in operations, e.g., route adjustments. Conducting a transportation system analysis, this paper gives a first indication on how AFPSC forwarders in Ireland can deal with a no-deal Brexit situation.

This paper aims to fill a research gap by introducing a hybrid-simulation model that integrates Discrete Event Simulation (DES) and Agent-Based Modelling (ABM) to simulate different decisions of AFPSC between RoI and NI based on the transportation system analysis and under different Brexit scenarios. The model will mimic the dynamics and complexity of the transportation system to analyze the impact of truck delays on the borders on product shipping, operating and waste costs.

Transportation system analysis: standard and two-truck routes
Standard and two-truck routes

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