Engineering Professional Education

The Science and Business of Logistics Systems


Fall 2017

Days/Time: TTh / 3:00-4:15 pm
Credit Hours: 3

Learning Objective:
A student completing this course is expected to:
1. Reinforce the integrated nature of logistics systems from tactical, operational and strategic perspectives, different actors in this system and the role of logistics systems as an economic driver.
2. Understand the basics concepts and models of demand prediction, inventory management, operational and tactical planning in supply chain management. 3. Demonstrate the ability to develop appropriate quantitative tools for planning and logistics problems using optimization techniques and solve them using appropriate solution algorithms, techniques and software.
3. Demonstrate the ability to develop appropriate quantitative tools for planning and logistics problems using optimization techniques and solve them using appropriate solution algorithms, techniques and software.
4. Apply the science of logistics systems to improve the cost and overall efficiency of real world logistics problems.

This course provides a foundation of analytical tools, methods and applications of logistics systems in the context of planning and operations of integrated supply chain systems. The material is useful for students interested in managing supply chain systems providing a background on where and how specific methods can be used for improving overall performance of the supply chain. The course is broadly divided into two parts: (1) Science of Logistics which provides an introduction to unique characteristics of supply chain management; demand forecasting, planning and management; inventory control and planning; operational transportation issues such as vehicle routing and supply chain contracts and network design. (2) Business of Logistics which discusses the applications of the science to real-world logistics systems. Real world case studies from past problems will be the basis for discussion and will include the nature of costs in supply chain networks, operational issues, vehicle routing problems, interactions of carriers and shippers using auctions and yield management. The course will use intuitive arguments and mathematical optimization tools will be used to illustrate many situations in a rigorous fashion.
Course Outline by Week

Topics Covered:
Block 1 Conceptual Foundation:
Overview of Transportation Planning
Nature of Logistics Systems
Different Actors in Freight Networks: Firms, Shippers and Carriers
Basic Concepts in Optimization and Routing

Block 2 Science of Logistics Systems Modeling:
Role of Supply Chain Modeling - Strategic, Tactical and Operational Issues
Demand Forecasting Methods
Inventory Control Methods
Operational Networks (Costs and modeling interdependencies)
Shipper Perspective--Strategies and approaches for design and management (Vehicle Routing Problem)
Routing and Scheduling Algorithms
Carrier Perspective and Yield Management

Block 3 Business of Logistics Systems:
Case Study 1: Improving the Logistics Handling of Dell Systems
Case Study 2: Optimizing Daily Dray Operations Across an Intermodal Freight Network
Case Study 3: Tactical Distribution Decisions in a Beverage Industry

Block 4 Additional Topics
Network Design
Supply Chain Contracts
Auction in Freight Supply Chains
F2015 Syllabus

Undergraduate calculus, basic knowledge of probability and statistics at the undergraduate level. Competency in using excel and VB for data analysis. As a graduate elective, this course is appropriate for students with an interest in learning about models and business aspects of logistics systems.

Applied/Theory: 60/40

Web Address:

Classes will be in a combination of lecture and discussion. Five or Six problem sets will be given, and the analysis of these assignments will be the basis for some class discussion.

No. Paper review without presentation.

Two midterm exams

Official textbook information is now listed in the Schedule of Classes. NOTE: Textbook information is subject to be changed at any time at the discretion of the faculty member. If you have questions or concerns please contact the academic department.
No required text book. The material will be derived from various sources which will be distributed by the instructor.

Computer Requirements:
Windows Based Desktop

ProEd Minimum Requirements: view

Tuition & Fees: view


Fall 2017


Satish Ukkusuri



Purdue University
Civil Engineering Building
550 Stadium Mall Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2051


Instructor HomePage

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