Message > Stage / Internship M2 : Hyperconnected Distribution

  • Forum 'Stages' - Sujet créé le 05/12/2017 par Gautier Stauffer (158 vues)

Le 05/12/2017 par Gautier Stauffer :


Towards Physical Internet-enabled Hyperconnected Distribution: The case of La Poste Network 

1. Context and objective

The Physical Internet (PI) (see [1] and the references therein) propose to transpose the logic of the distribution of packets (of information) on the internet to the physical distribution of goods. The con- cept relies on standardization of containers and sophisticated protocols to flow products from origins to destinations. Several initiatives are emerging to build the corresponding infrastructure (see for instance The economical, societal and ecological impact of PI would be tremen- dous.

While many companies see the value of such a change of paradigm, it may sound too far from daily activities to operate a shift in the short run. However, some companies could already exploit some of the key features of PI, like mutualisation of warehouses, information and transportation infrastructures to improve their distribution. In many companies, each branch or subsidiary has its own dedicated logistics and cooperation already offers a great potential for improvement. In this project, we would like to study the potential benefit of moving one step further toward PI in such a context, i.e. by leveraging the different infrastructures of the different branches within a company. By analogy to PI, we could call the corresponding concept the Physical Intranet.

The Center of Excellence in Supply Chain at Kedge Business School and La Poste have signed a partnership agreement for the creation of the “La Poste Supply Chain Chair” in Bordeaux whose goal is to “advance research in supply chain management”. We will focus in this study on the logistic operations at La Poste. 

2. Approach

We propose to use simulation and optimization models to demonstrate the potential benefits of setting up a Physical Intranet within La Poste. We will first propose and study different (simplified) protocols that could be adopted by La Poste without changing too drastically the current mechanics. Then we will use optimization to redesign the Physical Intranet so that the hub (the warehouses, a key asset of La Poste [2]) are preserved but the connections (the routes) are adapted to improve further the key performances (efficiency, costs, ecological impact, etc...). The models will be evaluated on real data from La Poste. We might build on top of some recent work on the design of city logistic infrastructure at La Poste in the context of merging urban mail and parcel services [3, 4] but we will also consider alternative models and algorithms.

3. Supervision

This project stems from a collaboration between La Poste and the Center of Excellence in Supply Chain at Kedge Business School. The student will work together with both parties : La Poste will provide practical expertise and data ; the Center of Excellence in Supply Chain will lead the simulation and optimization parts. Supervisors : Walid Klibi, Gautier Stauffer.

4. Location and duration

The internship will take place at Kedge Business School in Bordeaux, for a period of 5 to 6 months. The starting date is flexible.

5. Pre-requisite

We are looking for candidates with a strong background in operations research (Engineering School or Master 2 in the area) and who are proficient in programming.

6. Contact

If you are interested, please send a CV and a motivation letter to



[1]  Shenle Pan, Eric Ballot, George Q. Huang, and Benoit Montreuil. Physical internet and intercon- nected logistics services: research and applications. International Journal of Production Research, 55(9):2603–2609, 2017.

[2]  Brendan Pittaway. End games. Postal and Parcel Technology International, pages 24–30, march 2017.

[3]  Matthias Winkenbach, Paul R. Kleindorfer, and Stefan Spinler. Enabling urban logistics services at

La Poste through multi-echelon location-routing. Transportation Science, 50(2):520–540, 2016.

[4] Matthias Winkenbach, Alain Roset, and Stefan Spinler. Strategic redesign of urban mail and parcel

networks at la poste. Interfaces, 46(5):445–458, 2016. 


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