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Design of a network of reusable logistic containers


  • LANGE, Jean-Charles

    () (Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain School of Management and CORE, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

  • SEMAL, Pierre

    () (Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain School of Management and CORE, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)


In this paper, we consider the management of the return flows of empty logistic containers that accumulate at the customer’s sites. These containers must be brought back to the factories in order to sustain future expeditions. We consider a network composed of several factories and several customers in which the return flows are independent of the delivery flows. The models and their solutions aim at finding to which factory the contain- ers have to be brought back and at which frequency. These frequencies directly define the volume of logistic containers to hold in the network. We consider fixed transportation costs depending on the locations of the customers and of the factories and linear holding costs for the inventory of logistic containers. The analysis also provides insight on the benefit of pooling the containers among different customers and/or factories.

Suggested Citation

  • LANGE, Jean-Charles & SEMAL, Pierre, 2010. "Design of a network of reusable logistic containers," CORE Discussion Papers 2010009, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2010009

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    Cited by:

    1. Tancrez, Jean-Sébastien & Lange, Jean-Charles & Semal, Pierre, 2012. "A location-inventory model for large three-level supply chains," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 485-502.

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    supply chain management; returnable items; reverse logistic; economic order quantity; network design;

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