Design of robust distribution networks run by third party logistics service providers

M. P M Hendriks, Hans Armbruster, M. Laumanns, E. Lefeber, J. T. Udding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We consider a third party logistics service provider (LSP), who faces the problem of distributing different products from suppliers to consumers having no control on supply and demand. In a third party set-up, the operations of transport and storage are run as a black box for a fixed price. Thus the incentive for an LSP is to reduce its operational costs. The objective of this paper is to find an efficient network topology on a tactical level, which still satisfies the service level agreements on the operational level. We develop an optimization method, which constructs a tactical network topology based on the operational decisions resulting from a given model predictive control (MPC) policy. Experiments suggest that such a topology typically requires only a small fraction of all possible links. As expected, the found topology is sensitive to changes in supply and demand averages. Interestingly, the found topology appears to be robust to changes in second order moments of supply and demand distributions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1150024
JournalAdvances in Complex Systems
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Network topology design
  • bi-level optimization
  • logistics service provider
  • robustness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Design of robust distribution networks run by third party logistics service providers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this