The Vehicle Routing Problem: Latest Advances and New Challenges

Volume 43 of the series Operations Research/Computer Science Interfaces pp 49-72

Inventory Routing

  • Luca BertazziAffiliated withDepartment of Quantitative Methods, University of Brescia Email author 
  • , Martin SavelsberghAffiliated withH. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering Georgia Institute of Technology
  • , Maria Grazia SperanzaAffiliated withDepartment of Quantitative Methods, University of Brescia

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In this chapter, we introduce inventory routing problems. Inventory routing problems are among the more important and more challenging extensions of vehicle routing problems, in which inventory control and routing decisions have to be made simultaneously. The objective is to determine distribution policies that minimize the total cost, i.e., the sum of inventory holding and transportation costs, while avoiding stock-outs and respecting storage capacity limitations. All inventory routing problems have some common characteristics, but they may also have a number of significantly different characteristics. As a result, a variety of solution approaches has been developed. We discuss the various characteristics of inventory routing problems in order to create an understanding of and instill an appreciation for the complexities of inventory routing problems.

Key words

Logistics supply chain management inventory routing survey