A group risk assessment approach for the selection of pharmaceutical product shipping lanes

S. Faghih-Roohi (Corresponding author), A. Akcay, Y. Zhang, E. Shekarian, Eelco de Jong

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This paper provides a risk assessment framework to select shipping lanes for pharmaceutical products. The main categories of risks are determined through an algorithm based on yes/no decisions. Then, according to the risk categories, a Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) table is proposed for risk assessment of pharmaceutical product shipments and logistics. The evaluations are based on Intuitionistic Fuzzy Numbers (IFNs) to be able to account for the uncertainty in the experts’ judgments. By using an intuitionistic fuzzy hybrid TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution) approach, the evaluated risks of each shipment lane can be scored and prioritized. The proposed TOPSIS-based FMEA approach in the intuitionistic fuzzy environment provides an opportunity to aggregate the risk assessments of different experts in a practically efficient way. Different from the earlier literature, we address risk identification and risk assessment under uncertainty as the two key challenges in group decision making. Our method further provides a framework that integrates the categorization and evaluation of risks with subsequent decision making. A case study of shipping lane selection in the context of air cargo distribution of pharmaceutical products demonstrates a potential implementation of the proposed approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107774
Pages (from-to)107774
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • FMEA
  • Intuitionistic fuzzy TOPSIS
  • Lane selection
  • Pharmaceutical supply chains
  • Risk assessment


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