An integrated decision making model for the selection of sustainable forward and reverse logistic providers

Kannan Govindan*, Vernika Agarwal, Jyoti Dhingra Darbari, P. C. Jha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Due to rising concerns for environmental sustainability, the Indian electronic industry faces immense pressure to incorporate effective sustainable practices into the supply chain (SC) planning. Consequently, manufacturing enterprises (ME) are exploring the option of re-examining their SC strategies and taking a formalized approach towards a sustainable partnership with logistics providers. To begin with, it is imperative to associate with sustainable forward and reverse logistics providers to manage effectively the upward and downstream flows simultaneously. In this context, this paper proposes an integrated SC network for the evaluation and selection of forward distribution partners (FDP) and third party reverse logistic providers (3PRLP) from a sustainable perspective of an Indian electronic ME. The sustainable evaluation of the logistic partners is performed using fuzzy analytic hierarchy process and the technique for order performance by similarity to ideal solution. The integrated logistics network is modeled as a bi-objective mixed-integer programming problem with the objective of maximizing the profit of the manufacturer and maximizing the sustainable score of the selected forward and reverse logistics providers. The novelty of the study is its ranking of the FDPs and 3PRLPs on the economic, environmental, and social dimensions of sustainability and the simultaneous integration of logistics outsourcing decisions for the forward and reverse flow of products. Goal programming approach is utilized to capture the trade-off between the conflicting objectives and to attain a satisfying solution to the bi-objective problem. The results indicate that integrating the strategic decisions of selection of logistics partners with the operational flow planning decisions can immensely improve the sustainable performance value of the SC network and secure reasonable profits. The managerial implications drawn from the result analysis provide a sustainable framework to the ME for enhancing its corporate image.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)607-650
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • 3PRLP
  • FAHP
  • FDP
  • Outsourcing
  • Sustainability


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