IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Model and algorithm for inventory/routing decision in a three-echelon logistics system


  • Zhao, Qiu-Hong
  • Chen, Shuang
  • Zang, Cun-Xun


This paper addresses an integrated inventory and routing problem in a three-echelon logistics system, which consists of a supplier, a central warehouse and a group of retailers. The inventory decision of each member and the routing decision among members of the system are made simultaneously, with the objective of minimizing the overall average cost of the system. A strategy named fixed partition and power-of-two (FP-POT) is proposed for the considered problem and a variable large neighborhood search (VLNS) algorithm, which is a special case of variable neighborhood search (VNS) algorithm, is developed. The efficiency of the strategy as well as the algorithm is illustrated by comparing computational results with a lower bound. The advantage of the proposed VLNS algorithm is further shown by getting better results for the problems in a two-echelon logistics system, which have been solved by a Tabu Search algorithm recently.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhao, Qiu-Hong & Chen, Shuang & Zang, Cun-Xun, 2008. "Model and algorithm for inventory/routing decision in a three-echelon logistics system," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 191(3), pages 623-635, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:191:y:2008:i:3:p:623-635

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zhao, Qiu-Hong & Wang, Shou-Yang & Lai, K.K., 2007. "A partition approach to the inventory/routing problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 177(2), pages 786-802, March.
    2. Hansen, Pierre & Mladenovic, Nenad, 2001. "Variable neighborhood search: Principles and applications," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 130(3), pages 449-467, May.
    3. S. Viswanathan & Kamlesh Mathur, 1997. "Integrating Routing and Inventory Decisions in One-Warehouse Multiretailer Multiproduct Distribution Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(3), pages 294-312, March.
    4. Sila Çetinkaya & Chung-Yee Lee, 2000. "Stock Replenishment and Shipment Scheduling for Vendor-Managed Inventory Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(2), pages 217-232, February.
    5. Robin Roundy, 1985. "98%-Effective Integer-Ratio Lot-Sizing for One-Warehouse Multi-Retailer Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(11), pages 1416-1430, November.
    6. S. Anily & A. Federgruen, 1990. "One Warehouse Multiple Retailer Systems with Vehicle Routing Costs," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(1), pages 92-114, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Sainathuni, Bhanuteja & Parikh, Pratik J. & Zhang, Xinhui & Kong, Nan, 2014. "The warehouse-inventory-transportation problem for supply chains," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 237(2), pages 690-700.
    2. Li, Jianxiang & Chu, Feng & Chen, Haoxun, 2011. "A solution approach to the inventory routing problem in a three-level distribution system," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 210(3), pages 736-744, May.
    3. Cheng, Chun & Qi, Mingyao & Wang, Xingyi & Zhang, Ying, 2016. "Multi-period inventory routing problem under carbon emission regulations," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 182(C), pages 263-275.
    4. Li, Kunpeng & Chen, Bin & Sivakumar, Appa Iyer & Wu, Yong, 2014. "An inventory–routing problem with the objective of travel time minimization," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 236(3), pages 936-945.
    5. repec:eee:ejores:v:266:y:2018:i:2:p:487-497 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Cheng, Chun & Yang, Peng & Qi, Mingyao & Rousseau, Louis-Martin, 2017. "Modeling a green inventory routing problem with a heterogeneous fleet," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 97-112.
    7. Li, Jianxiang & Chen, Haoxun & Chu, Feng, 2010. "Performance evaluation of distribution strategies for the inventory routing problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 202(2), pages 412-419, April.
    8. Diabat, Ali, 2014. "Hybrid algorithm for a vendor managed inventory system in a two-echelon supply chain," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 238(1), pages 114-121.
    9. Bolduc, Marie-Claude & Laporte, Gilbert & Renaud, Jacques & Boctor, Fayez F., 2010. "A tabu search heuristic for the split delivery vehicle routing problem with production and demand calendars," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 202(1), pages 122-130, April.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:191:y:2008:i:3:p:623-635. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.