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Supply chain design considering economies of scale and transport frequencies. (English) Zbl 1244.90030

Summary: We consider a 3-echelon, multi-product supply chain design model with economies of scale in transport and warehousing that explicitly takes transport frequencies into consideration. Our model simultaneously optimizes locations and sizes of tank farms, material flows, and transport frequencies within the network. We consider all relevant costs: product cost, transport cost, tank rental cost, tank throughput cost, and inventory cost. The problem is based on a real-life example from a chemical company. We show that considering economies of scale and transport frequencies in the design stage is crucial and failing to do so can lead to substantially higher costs than optimal. We solve a wide variety of problems with branch-and-bound and with the efficient solution heuristics based on iterative linearization techniques we develop. We show that the heuristics are superior to the standard branch-and-bound technique for large problems like the one of the chemical company that motivated our research.

MSC:

90B06 Transportation, logistics and supply chain management
90B05 Inventory, storage, reservoirs
90C59 Approximation methods and heuristics in mathematical programming
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