Thirty years of inventory routing

Leandro C. Coelho, Jean François Cordeau, Gilbert Laporte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

434 Citations (SciVal)


The inventory-routing problem (IRP) dates back 30 years. It can be described as the combination of vehiclerouting and inventory management problems, in which a supplier has to deliver products to a number of geographically dispersed customers, subject to side constraints. It provides integrated logistics solutions by simultaneously optimizing inventory management, vehicle routing, and delivery scheduling. Some exact algorithms and several powerful metaheuristic and matheuristic approaches have been developed for this class of problems, especially in recent years. The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive review of this literature, based on a new classification of the problem. We categorize IRPs with respect to their structural variants and the availability of information on customer demand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalTransportation Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • History
  • Inventory routing
  • Literature review
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


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