Digital Technologies for Forest Supply Chain Optimization: Existing Solutions and Future Trends

Johannes Scholz, Annelies De Meyer, Alexandra S. Marques, Tatiana M. Pinho, José Boaventura-Cunha, Jos Van Orshoven, Christian Rosset, Julien Künzi, Jaakola Kaarle, Kaj Nummila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of digital technologies for fostering sustainability and efficiency in forest-based supply chains is well acknowledged and motivated several studies in the scope of precision forestry. Sensor technologies can collect relevant data in forest-based supply chains, comprising all activities from within forests and the production of the woody raw material to its transformation into marketable forest-based products. Advanced planning systems can help to support decisions of the various entities in the supply chain, e.g., forest owners, harvest companies, haulage companies, and forest product processing industry. Such tools can help to deal with the complex interdependencies between different entities, often with opposing objectives and actions---which may increase efficiency of forest-based supply chains. This paper analyzes contemporary literature dealing with digital technologies in forest-based supply chains and summarizes the state-of-the-art digital technologies for real-time data collection on forests, product flows, and forest operations, as well as planning systems and other decision support systems in use by supply chain actors. Higher sustainability and efficiency of forest-based supply chains require a seamless information flow to foster integrated planning of the activities over the supply chain---thereby facilitating seamless data exchange between the supply chain entities and foster new forms of collaboration. Therefore, this paper deals with data exchange and multi-entity collaboration aspects in combination with interoperability challenges related with the integration among multiple process data collection tools and advanced planning systems. Finally, this interdisciplinary review leads to the discussion of relevant guidelines that can guide future research and integration projects in this domain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1108-1133
Number of pages26
JournalEnvironmental Management
Issue number6
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Aug 2018

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