Multidepot distribution planning at logistics service provider Nabuurs B.V.


Distribution networks of many logistics service providers have evolved from single-depot to complex, dynamic multidepot networks. In a single-depot network, the deliveries from each depot are planned for that depot only, and drivers return to the starting depot to pick up each new order. In a multidepot network, the deliveries from multiple depots can be planned simultaneously; therefore, a logistics service provider can efficiently combine its resources, thus reducing its labor and transport costs. However, an increasing emphasis on reliability, customization, and flexibility is affecting the logistics structures. This paper describes the shift from single-depot planning to multidepot planning for Nabuurs B.V., a large Benelux logistics service provider that implemented a centralized, automated multidepot planning process throughout its organization. We developed a simulation model to evaluate system performance and to address performance challenges. In this paper, we discuss the results of extensive simulation tests and the specific recommendations that Nabuurs B.V. management implemented.

Interfaces, (44), 6, pp. 591-604