Analysis and Solution Developement of the Single-Vehicle Inventory Routing Problem
The inventory routing problem (IRP) is a challenging optimization problem underlying the vendor managed inventory policy. In this paper, we focus on a particular case of this problem, namely, the long-term single-vehicle IRP with stable demand rates. The objective is thus to develop an optimal cyclical distribution plan, of a single product, from a single distribution center to a set of selected customers. After an analysis of the problem’s features, we propose and discuss a hybrid approximation algorithm to solve the problem. The approach is then tested on some randomly generated problems to evaluate its performance.