A multi-objective model for a multi-period distribution management problem (English)

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The problems arising in commercial distribution are complex and involve several players and decision levels. One important decision is related with the design of the routes to distribute the products, in an efficient and inexpensive way. This article deals with a complex vehicle routing problem that can be seen as a new extension of the basic vehicle routing problem. The proposed model is a multi-objective combinatorial optimization problem that considers three objectives and multiple periods, which models in a closer way the real distribution problems. The first objective is cost minimization, the second is balancing work levels and the third is a marketing objective. An application of the model on a small example, with 5 clients and 3 days, is presented. The results of the model show the complexity of solving multi-objective combinatorial optimization problems and the contradiction between the several distribution management objective.