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Air Liquide — Inventory Routing

Air Liquide is a French multinational company which supplies industrial gases and services to various industries, including medical, chemical, and electronic manufacturers. Founded in 1902, it is the second-largest supplier of industrial gases by revenues and has operations in over 80 countries.

Context and problem

Every day, Air Liquide’s trucks travel 1 million kilometers to deliver liquid gases to their customers worldwide. Every day, 4,000 drivers, 250 dispatchers, and 50 business leaders work hand in hand to guarantee that their customers receive the right products on time and safely. To optimize and digitalize the bulk supply chain, Air Liquide developed an inventory routing software, namely Bulk Trip Assist (BTA), based on LocalSolver to plan more efficient deliveries of bulk cryogenic liquids to customers.

Solution

Bulk Trip Assist aims to standardize the logistics analyst’s approach to scheduling bulk deliveries by using an interactive tool that assists the analyst in optimizing the vehicle routing (minimizing kilometers) and inventory routing (maximizing kg/km) on deliveries while respecting business rules and constraints. Having validated the vehicle routing in the proof of concept, the small scale commercialization enhanced the tool’s capability of inventory routing to maximize kilograms of product per kilometer driven while also increasing interactivity features to allow logistics analysts more flexibility in planning shifts. The logistics analyst will remain the final decision maker, using the tool to support their work.

Benefits

Environmental benefits Financial benefits
  • LocalSolver optimizes planning across a 5 day horizon
  • LocalSolver solves context in under 5 minutes on a 2.7GHz server
  • Annual reduction in kms driven in Canada varying from 2-7%
  • Reduction of 1.67 kgCO2e/km reduced from delivery trip
  • Payback in 20 months for small-scale industrialization project phase
  • €250,000 savings/year in Canada with small-scale industrialization

For more information on the context of this project, please have a look at the magazine published by Air Liquide here

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