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Design Of A Network Of Reusable Logistic Containers

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Executive Summary

In this paper, the authors consider the management of the return flows of empty logistic containers that accumulate at the customer's sites. These containers must be brought back to the factories in order to sustain future expeditions. They consider a network composed of several factories and several customers in which the return flows are independent of the delivery flows. The models and their solutions aim at finding to which factory the containers have to be brought back and at which frequency. These frequencies directly define the volume of logistic containers to hold in the network. They consider fixed transportation costs depending on the locations of the customers and of the factories and linear holding costs for the inventory of logistic containers.

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