The Transportation Problem is a simple freight traffic assignment problem in a many-to-many distribution context. The objective of the problem is to find a minimum cost routing plan for goods from their origins (e.g. their manufacturing plants) to their destinations (e.g. retail points).
The real-life case study is about a third-party transportation firm which has to transfer empty containers from 6 warehouses (located in Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York), to 5 destinations (Cardiff, Edinburgh, Felixstowe, Glasgow, Southampton).
Mike Simpson and Andrea Genovese provide readers with a detailed and comprehensive analysis of putting together a transportation plan and work examples of mathematical models. Readers are also presented with a series of tables showing the containers availability at each warehouse location and the situation at each port.
Aimed at students on transport management and logistics courses, the reader is shown how to work out a transportation plan that will minimize the total costs by fulfilling all the requirements. The case study guides the reader through the mathematical models and calculations required to reach a solution. The authors also look at possible constraints and how to tackle them.
This case study provides readers with fundamental knowledge about the Least Cost Method.
Mike Simpson is a Senior Lecturer in Operations Management on the MBA programme and Operations Management and Supply Chain Management on the MSc programmes at The University of Sheffield Management School.
Andrea Genovese is a Lecturer in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at the University of Sheffield Management School.