A branch-and-cut algorithm for the multi-product multi-vehicle inventory-routing problem

Leandro C. Coelho, Gilbert Laporte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Citations (SciVal)


The combined operation of distribution and inventory control achieved through a vendor-managed inventory strategy creates a synergetic interaction that benefits supplier and customers. Inventory-Routing Problems (IRPs) arise when inventory and routing decisions must be taken simultaneously, which yields a difficult combinatorial optimisation problem. While most IRP research deals with a single product, there are often several products involved in distribution activities. In this paper, we propose a branch-and-cut algorithm for the solution of IRPs with multiple products and multiple vehicles. We formally define and model the problem, and we solve it exactly. We also consider the inclusion of consistency features that are meaningful in a multi-product environment and help improve the quality of the service offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7156-7169
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number23-24
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013


  • Branch-and-cut
  • Inventory management
  • Inventory-routing
  • Operational research
  • Optimisation
  • Vendor managed inventory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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