Alternative Concepts for Managing the Distribution of Resupply Cargo

by Stephen J. Carroll, D. Robert Worley, Gordon Crawford

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The existing Department of Defense (DOD) system for distributing resupply (non-unit-related) cargo is not well integrated. The system as a whole lacks mechanisms to ensure that it will respond well to the demand variations characteristic of wartime. This Note offers several alternatives for improving the management of resupply operations in DOD's future distribution system, along with a framework for evaluating them. The authors identify six tasks in two broad categories for decisionmaking. The first category — configuring the transportation system — requires (1) the forecasting of movement requirements and (2) the establishment of resupply pipelines. The second category — meeting day-to-day resupply needs — requires (1) establishment of resupply priorities, (2) allocation of materiel, (3) allocation of pipeline capacity, and (4) management of pipelines.

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