2023-2024 / LOGI0017-1

Distribution Management


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in business engineering (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in business engineering (120 ECTS) (Digital Business)5 crédits 


Sabine Limbourg

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The course will provide students with both fundamental and more advanced knowledge about distribution management. The entire distribution network will be taken into consideration. The scope of the course is to highlight the most important theories, concepts, models and methods in order to identify, describe, analyze and design diverse solutions for physical distribution of goods. The course will furnish an understanding of the important role played by warehouses, facilities in the supply chain where product pauses and is handled. One goal of this lecture is to develop mathematical models to allow to reduce space and time requirements or to exchange one for the other. This course also treats the fundamental topics of distribution such as distribution network design, hub-and-spoke networks, terminals and distribution centers, the travelling salesman problem, the bin packing problem, pickup and delivery problem, the vehicle routing problem, third and fourth party logistics.
Finally, the increased concerns about the environmental impacts of industrial activities and the search for economic advantages have given birth to the concept of a closed-loop supply chain (CLSC). Therefore, this course aims at covering topics related to CLSC such as returnable transport items, green logistics and return flow processes. The latter include the product acquisition from end-users, the reverse logistics to bring these back, the testing, sorting and disposition to determine the most economically attractive reuse option(s), as well as the remanufacturing and the remarketing to create and exploit new markets.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Understand the importance of distribution in the overall Supply Chain performance and have an overall picture of distribution.
Understand the factors influencing the design of distribution systems
Understand how changes in distribution systems can influence industries' activities and vice versa: how industries' activities can influence requirements of distribution systems
Understand, explain, and compare different theories and models about distribution.
Use established technical terms to communicate and discuss distribution related issues
Use reference literature and scientific publications to analyse, evaluate and develop solutions for distribution systems
Ability to use theories, models and tools to describe, analyse and evaluate industries' distribution needs.
Resolve problems inherent in distribution management.
Capacity to independently describe, analyse and design solutions for distribution according to industries' requirements
Exchange ideas with industry guest speakers when available.
Acquire some skills of an international executive: work within a team, demonstrate a sense of synthesis and communicate in writing.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Basic notions of mathematics and statistics
Ability to follow algorithmic instructions

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Methodology used:
Lectures Readings Discussions Exercise sessions E-learning Project
General planning of the course:
First semester

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Recommended or required readings

Available documents on the virtual campus Lol@:
1. Slides 2. Exercises and solutions
Recommended references:
[1] Bartholdi J and Hackman S (2011) Warehouse & Distribution Science [2] Ghiani, G., Laporte, G. and Musmanno, R. (2004) Introduction to Logistics Systems Planning and Control, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, West Sussex, England. ISBN 0470849177 [3] Daskin M. (1995) Network and discrete location: Models, Algorithms and Applications, Wiley Interscience, NY [4] Various articles

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

Additional information:

First session

Group projects (30%)

Written exam (70%)

Second session

Written exam (100%)


Written exam (questions may consist for instance of a multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions; on the whole material seen in the course, thus both on theory and exercises)

Documents allowed: 2 pages (not sheets!) of personal notes. The notes must be handwritten and individual. Failure to comply with these instructions will result in the withdrawal of the document during the exam. 

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Lecturer Sabine LIMBOURG Building N1, Room 337 sabine.limbourg@uliege.be
Assistant: Elodie Bebronne elodie.bebronne@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs

Items online