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Today's global economy relies heavily on transportation and warehousing to deliver goods. Outsourcing has made the distribution networks complex with several layers of National (import) Distribution Centers (NDCs) and Regional Distribution Centers (RDCs) between suppliers and retailers. More distribution nodes in the supply chain also means more inventory stockpiles. The paper presents an integrated facility location and inventory allocation problem for designing a distribution network with multiple NDCs and retailers. The key decisions are where to locate the regional distribution centers and how much inventory to hold at the different nodes of the distribution network such that the total network cost is minimized.
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