Integration of inventory and transportation decisions in a logistics system
This paper addresses some of the challenges faced by a company which is responsible for delivering coal to its four subsidiaries situated along a river, through river hired or self-owned vessels. We propose to adopt a vendor managed inventory concept that involves establishment of a central warehouse at the port, and apply the Markov Decision Process (MDP) to formulate both ordering and delivery problems, considering different transportation modes, costs, and inventory issues. An efficient algorithm is developed for solving the MDP models. Our computational tests show that the proposed strategy can significantly reduce the overall system costs while maintaining smooth Just-in-Time supplies of coal to the subsidiaries.
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Volume (Year): 46 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
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