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Application of the network robustness index to identify critical links supporting Vermont's Bulk milk transportation.
  • Published Date:
    2011-08-18
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-793.18 KB]


Details:
  • Publication/ Report Number:
    UVM TRC Report # 11-006
  • Resource Type:
  • Geographical Coverage:
  • Format:
  • Abstract:
    The food supply chain is an interwoven network consisting of producers, processors,

    manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers. With the exception of direct

    marketing or community-supported agriculture systems, some or all of these intermediaries

    are involved. In all cases, links between each member of the supply chain are subject to

    disruption. A disruption in transit of goods between any of these points, be it a detour, poor

    road condition, theft, accident, or major disruption caused by natural, accidental, or

    intentional catastrophe can have consequences ranging from reduced efficiency of operations

    to total loss of value of product (if stolen or highly perishable). Given that the food and

    agriculture sector was declared a critical infrastructure by Homeland Security Presidential

    Directive 9 [1], ways to assess vulnerabilities and prioritize mitigation strategies are needed.

    One such tool for identifying critical links in a transportation network is the Network

    Robustness Index (NRI) [2]. The NRI provides a system-wide approach to identifying critical

    links and evaluating transportation network performance. The theoretical framework of the

    NRI accounts for network-wide demand and traffic re-assignment. It may prove a useful

    approach for evaluating critical links for freight commodity or any other transportation

    flows.

    The objective of this project was to apply the NRI to a real-life data set of freight

    transportation flows over a real road network. Given the dominant position of dairy in

    Vermont’s agricultural production and export markets, the flow of bulk milk from farm to

    first collection point was selected for study. Application of the NRI to Vermont milk

    transportation networks would help focus attention on links critical to the overall

    performance of the road infrastructure serving the raw milk supply chain. This report

    presents the analysis of a data set reflecting milk movements in northwestern Vermont.

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