Shelf life modelling for first-expired-first-out warehouse management

Maarten L.A.T.M. Hertog, Ismail Uysal, Ultan McCarthy, Bert M. Verlinden, Bart M. Nicolaï

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


In the supply chain of perishable food products, large losses are incurred between farm and fork. Given the limited land resources and an ever-growing population, the food supply chain is faced with the challenge of increasing its handling efficiency and minimizing post-harvest food losses. Huge value can be added by optimizing warehouse management systems, taking into account the estimated remaining shelf life of the product, and matching it to the requirements of the subsequent part of the handling chain. This contribution focuses on how model approaches estimating quality changes and remaining shelf life can be combined in optimizing firstexpired- first-out cold chain management strategies for perishable products. To this end, shelf-liferelated performance indicators are used to introduce remaining shelf life and product quality in the cost function when optimizing the supply chain. A combinatorial exhaustive-search algorithm is shown to be feasible as the complexity of the optimization problem is sufficiently low for the size and properties of a typical commercial cold chain. The estimated shelf life distances for a particular batch can thus be taken as a guide to optimize logistics

Original languageEnglish
Article number20130306
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2017
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cold chain optimization
  • First-expired-first-out
  • Post-harvest food loss reduction
  • Shelf life modelling
  • Warehouse management


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