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As the boundaries and population of urban areas expand, beverage distributors may seek to expand the capacity in their distribution centers. As a result, they may need to add new locations or increase the utilization of their existing center. This paper investigates the facility location problem through network space, considering traversable truck roads, thereby providing a strategic decision for identifying a depot location in consideration of vehicle routings from a real application. For the analysis, a geospatial tool, which is embedded in the commercial software ArcMap®, was used for routing and calibrating the model. Ten candidates from commercial and industrial zones in the cities of Fargo, West Fargo, and Moorhead were considered for future distribution centers. The candidate locations were analyzed to determine which site minimizes the total transportation costs and travel miles in consideration of time window, vehicle capacity, heterogeneous vehicle types, land use plan, and hours-of-service. Most attractive candidates are close to the intersections of major highways. From the analysis, the study recommends locating a distribution center at three alternatives based on the average ranking method. This study can be used by distributors as they consider new locations and extra depots to support strategic planning to deal with mid-term and long-term growth of demand in beverage markets. This study provides a ready-to-use example of how to adopt state-of-the-art spatial technology and operations research using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and bring it to state-of-practice.


© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (

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