An Inventory Routing Problem for Perishable Products with Stochastic Demands and Direct Deliveries
International Journal of Industrial Engineering and Production Research
In any supply chain, distribution planning of products is of great importance to managers. With effective and flexible distribution planning, mangers can increase the efficiency of time, place, and delivery utility of whole supply chain. In this paper, inventory routing problem (IRP) is applied to distribution planning of perishable products in a supply chain. The studied supply chain is composed of two levels a supplier and customers. Customers' locations are geographically around the supplier
... around the supplier location and their demands are uncertain and follow an independent probability distribution functions. The product has pre-determined fixed life and is to be distributed among customers via a fleet of homogenous vehicles. The supplier uses direct routes for delivering products to customers. The objective is to determine when to deliver to each customer, how much to deliver to them, and how to assign them to vehicle and routes. The mentioned problem is formulated and solved using a stochastic dynamic programming approach. Also, a numerical example is given to illustrate the applicability of proposed approach.