Caterpillar Inc.: Aftermarket Parts Freight Optimization
A key contributor to the business reputation and success of Caterpillar Inc. (Caterpillar) was the company's reliable aftermarket service. Caterpillar's Asia Distribution Centre in Singapore processed urgent spare parts orders received from dealers located in 10 Southeast Asian countries. In 2017, the operations team was working to develop a rigorous analytical method for making daily decisions about how to ship the spare parts. Shipments were consolidated by country destination and needed to optimize the interests of three stakeholders: (1) Caterpillar, which wanted to minimize freight costs; (2) dealers, who wanted to receive the spare parts in the shortest time possible; and (3) freight forwarders, who wanted to be rewarded for their on-time delivery performance. Singfat Chu is affiliated with National University of Singapore.