The floating stock distribution concept exploits intermodal transport to deploy inventories in a supply chain in advance of retailer demand. In this way response times are reduced and storage costs can be reduced as well by having products in the pipeline. In this paper we present two mathematical models to analyse this policy with backlogging allowed. The first one tries to optimize the advanced shipping time of containers to intermodal terminal, and the second optimizes the total number of containers in pipeline and terminal. A comparison is made with the simulation outcomes of applying previously developed strategies, which shows that this concept has advantages in inventories over other strategies.

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Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Pourakbar, M, Sleptchenko, A.V, & Dekker, R. (2009). The floating stock policy in fast moving consumer goods supply chains. Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, 45(1), 39–49. doi:10.1016/j.tre.2008.06.001