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The multiple retailer inventory routing problem with backorders

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2008
Alişan, Onur
In this study we consider an inventory routing problem in which a supplier distributes a single product to multiple retailers in a finite planning horizon. Retailers should satisfy the deterministic and dynamic demands of end customers in the planning horizon, but the retailers can backorder the demands of end customers considering the supply chain costs. In each period the supplier decides the retailers to be visited, and the amount of products to be supplied to each retailer by a fleet of vehicles. The decision problems of the supplier are about when, to whom and how much to deliver products, and in which order to visit retailers while minimizing system-wide costs. We propose a mixed integer programming model and a Lagrangian relaxation based solution approach in which both upper and lower bounds are computed. We test our solution approach with test instances taken from the literature and provide our computational results.