A fuzzy AHP based integer linear programming model for the multi-criteria transshipment problem

Ting He, William Ho, Carman L.K. Man, Xiaofei Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – The purpose of this research is to develop a holistic approach to maximize the customer service level while minimizing the logistics cost by using an integrated multiple criteria decision making (MCDM) method for the contemporary transshipment problem. Unlike the prevalent optimization techniques, this paper proposes an integrated approach which considers both quantitative and qualitative factors in order to maximize the benefits of service deliverers and customers under uncertain environments.
Design/methodology/approach – This paper proposes a fuzzy-based integer linear programming model, based on the existing literature and validated with an example case. The model integrates the developed fuzzy modification of the analytic hierarchy process (FAHP), and solves the multi-criteria transshipment problem.
Findings – This paper provides several novel insights about how to transform a company from a cost-based model to a service-dominated model by using an integrated MCDM method. It suggests that the contemporary customer-driven supply chain remains and increases its competitiveness from two aspects: optimizing the cost and providing the best service simultaneously.
Research limitations/implications – This research used one illustrative industry case to exemplify the developed method. Considering the generalization of the research findings and the complexity of the transshipment service network, more cases across multiple industries are necessary to further enhance the validity of the research output.
Practical implications – The paper includes implications for the evaluation and selection of transshipment service suppliers, the construction of optimal transshipment network as well as managing the network.
Originality/value – The major advantages of this generic approach are that both quantitative and qualitative factors under fuzzy environment are considered simultaneously and also the viewpoints of service deliverers and customers are focused. Therefore, it is believed that it is useful and applicable for the transshipment service network design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-179
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Logistics Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • distribution management
  • fuzzy analytic hierarchy process
  • fuzzy logic
  • transshipment problem
  • multiple criteria decision making
  • integer linear programming


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