This paper formulates a logistics distribution problem as the multi-depot travelling salesman problem (MDTSP). The decision makers not only have to determine the travelling sequence of the salesman for delivering finished products from a warehouse or depot to a customer, but also need to determine which depot stores which type of products so that the total travelling distance is minimised. The MDTSP is similar to the combination of the travelling salesman and quadratic assignment problems. In this paper, the two individual hard problems or models are formulated first. Then, the problems are integrated together, that is, the MDTSP. The MDTSP is constructed as both integer nonlinear and linear programming models. After formulating the models, we verify the integrated models using commercial packages, and most importantly, investigate whether an iterative approach, that is, solving the individual models repeatedly, can generate an optimal solution to the MDTSP. Copyright © 2006 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
- logistics distribution management
- mathematical modelling
- quadratic assignment problem
- travelling salesman problem