Table of Contents
International Journal of Manufacturing Engineering
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 2021395, 8 pages
Research Article

Supply Chain Inventories of Engineered Shipping Containers

1Birmingham, MI, USA
2Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Received 18 July 2016; Accepted 8 September 2016

Academic Editor: Fu-Shiung Hsieh

Copyright © 2016 David A. Field and Dennis E. Blumenfeld. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Manufacturing operations that assemble parts often receive components in expensive highly engineered shipping containers. As these containers circulate among suppliers, assembly operations, and logistic providers, they require inspections and repairs. This paper presents mathematical models that predict the number of available containers as functions of damage, repair times, and scheduled daily production. The models allow making complex decisions with a few basic parameters. Results not only show a minimal investment in the number of containers and safety stock but also quantify the dependence on damage rates and repair times for ordering additional containers.