The Inventory–Routing Problem for Distribution of Red Blood Cells considering Compatibility of Blood Group and Transshipment between Hospitals

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Institute for Management and Planning Studies (IMPS), Tehran, Iran

2 School of Industrial Engineering, Iran University of Science & Technology


This paper presents an inventory-routing problem (IRP) for Red Blood Cells (RBCs) distribution, in which -to avoid shortage- supplying the demand with compatible blood groups (substitution) and the RBC transshipments between hospitals (transshipment) are considered. The mentioned problem is investigated in four conditions: 1- Allowing the transshipment and substitution, 2- Allowing the transshipment, but no substitution, 3- Allowing the substitution, but no transshipment, 4- No allowing the transshipment and substitution. Since the mentioned problem is NP-Hard, the adaptive large neighborhood search algorithm (ALNS) has been used to solve all conditions. The cost in the first condition is the least one, because the feasible solution space is the largest. Also, the results show that the transshipment has a more active role than the substitution in reducing the shortage. Moreover, in the first and third conditions, the O+ blood group is used more than the other blood groups to meet the other compatible blood groups' demands.


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