This paper studies a rental perishable supply chain in which perishable commodities can be recycled with demand uncertainty. Battery of electricity vehicle, rental service of DVD, construction equipment, cellphone, bestseller book, style costume and camera in tourist area are examples of rental perishable items with a fixed shelf life and recycling characteristic. Mainly taking battery swap station of electricity vehicles for example, this paper attempts to gain an insight into the role of return policy in rental perishable supply chain from the perspective of supplier. Under the condition of rental demand uncertainty, the supplier faces issue of how to maximize expected profit through return policy. Therefore, a bilateral monopoly model is developed to address this question. This paper illustrates that return policy tends to ensure system optimal for rental perishable supply chain as long as battery supplier choose appropriate wholesale price and buyback price. Moreover, return policy can achieve channel coordination and both parties benefit from the win–win situation under certain condition. It is possible for battery supplier to arbitrarily distribute the incremental profit of return policy by appropriately choosing values of wholesale price and buyback price.
Rental perishables Uncertain demand Random variables Micro-grid
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This research was supported by Fundamental Research Funds for the Central University (No. 2018CDYJSY0055) and National Social Science Fund of China (NSSFC) Grant Nos. 17ZDA065 and 14AZD130. The authors would like to thank the Managing Editor and reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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